The Term Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root “Yujir Yogey” meaning to unite, to yoke, to join, to put together.Yoga is a way of life. It is not about mind over body, but about developing harmony between them. In Yoga, you use your mind to perceive (diagnose) and guide (heal) your body.

A yogi's ultimate aim is to be able to attain this 'union' with the Eternal Self with the help of certain mental and physical exercises.Yoga positions are about paying attention to how your body feels. Yoga is all about breathing correctly about integrating that breath into your being.

Major branches of Yoga include:

  • Hatha Yoga,
  • Karma Yoga,
  • Jnana Yoga,
  • Bhakti Yoga and
  • Raja Yoga
  • Hatha Yoga:Traditional hatha yoga is a holistic yogic path, including disciplines, postures (asana), purification procedures (shatkriya), gestures (mudra), breathing (pranayama), and meditation. The hatha yoga predominantly practiced in the West consists of mostly asanas understood as physical exercises. It is also recognized as a stress-reducing practice.

    Karma Yoga:Karma yoga is described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one orients oneself toward realization by acting in accordance with one's duty (dharma) without consideration of personal self-centered desires, likes or dislikes. One acts without being attached to the fruits of one's deeds.

    Jnana Yoga:Jñana yoga teaches that there are four means to liberation:

    • Viveka - Discrimination: The ability to differentiate between what is real/eternal (Brahman) and what is unreal/temporal (everything else in the universe.) This was an important concept in texts older even than the Bhagavad Gita, and often invoked the image of a Swan, which was said to be able to separate milk (or Soma) from water, whilst drinking.
    • Vairagya - Dispassion: After practice one should be able to "detach" her/himself from everything that is "temporary."
    • Shad-sampat - The 6 Virtues: Sama-Tranquility (control of the mind), Dama (control of the senses), Uparati (cessation/renunciation of activities that are not duties), Titiksha (endurance), Shraddha (faith), Samadhana (perfect concentration).
    • Mumukshutva - Intensely focused longing for moksha, liberation from temporal entanglements that bind one to the cycle of death and rebirth.

    Bhakti Yoga:Bhakti yoga is a spiritual path described in Hindu philosophy which is supposed to be for fostering love, utter faith and surrender to God. It is a means to realize God, and is the easiest way for the common person because it doesn't involve extensive yogic practices.

    Raja Yoga:Raja yoga ("royal yoga", "royal union", also known as classical yoga and ashtanga yoga) is concerned principally with the cultivation of the viewer's mind using a succession of steps, such as meditation (dhyana, dhyana) and contemplation (samadhi, samadhi). Its object is to further one's acquaintance with reality (viveka), achieve awakening (moksha) and eventually enlightenment, kaivalya.

    Coming Soon: List of Yoga Adepts by Region

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