What is the Meaning Yoga?
As per Akhand Sutra,the real meaning of science of yoga is to unite the hundred trillion cells of the human body called Jivatma with the indwelling human soul called antaratma and the consciousness of the ultimate,Formless,Omniscient,Omnipotent and all pervasive Universal Consciousness called Nirakar-Nirgun-Brahman(God-Nature-Parmatma),the source of everything in the universe,within the human body.
The ultimate union of Jivatma-Antaratma,Paramatma is known as Trait Para Vidya Antar Yoga and Akhand Yoga.Somehow it is not easy to get an experience of Antar Yoga.
As a result,the aspirants if yoga follow different aspects of Yoga.Which can ultimately lead to the experience if Antar Yoga Or Akhand Yoga.
What are the Types of Yoga ?
We can say,there are different Paths of Yoga or Styles of Yoga or Types of Yoga.There are so many different types of Yoga Which can demand physical stamina to perform or concentration to do meditation.
Here are 10 major types of Yoga:
- Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is the term which is used to describe the practice of asana (postures).The syllables from the term “Hatha”,’ha’ denotes the pranic (vital) force governing the physical body and ‘tha’ denotes chitta (mental) force,thus hatha Yoga is made as catalyst to an awakening of the two energies that govern our lives.Moreover the techniques described in hath yoga harmonise and purify our mind and body to focus and practice and prepare for more advanced chakra and kundalini practices.
The system of Hath Yoga includes Asana with six shatkarmas(with physical and mental detox techniques), mudra, babdhas ( psycho-physiological energy release techniques) and pranayama (pranic awakening practices). It does fine tuning of the human personality at increasingly subtle levels to reach higher states of meditation and awareness.
- Yoga asana( Yoga positions)
- Six shatkarmas (physical and mental detoxification techniques)
- Mudras and bandhas (psycho-physiological energy release techniques)
2. Ashtanga Yoga( Yoga by Patanjali)
Ashtanga Yoga is based on the Yoga sutras (sanskrit verses) of Patanjali.We will be considering different aspects of yoga while remaining under the guiding principles of Patanjali’s Yoga(Ashtanga Yoga).Asana,Pranayama,Dhyan,Dharana,Samadhi,Yama or Niyama has been described systematically by Patanjali in his Sanskrit Sutras (Verses).
- Asana (Yogic postures)
- Pranayama( Yogic Breathing techniques)
- Niyama ( Personal Disciplines)
- Pratyahara( Withdrawal of Senses)
- Yama ( Principles)
- Dharana ( Concentration of Object)
- Dhyan ( Meditation)
- Samadhi (Salvation)
3. Jnana Yoga
It is the process of converting intellectual knowledge into practical wisdom.It us the discovery of human dharma in relation to universe and nature.It is the process which is described by tradition to gain the highest meditative state and inner knowledge.
jnana word itself says the meaning “knowledge”,But in Yoga, it is the process of meditative awareness which leads to illumination wisdom.Its not a way to fine rational answers to eternal questions.Its the part of meditation which leads to self-realisation and self-enquiry.
Component of Jnana Yoga:
- Self-awareness lead us to self analysis
- Not believing but you are realising
- Realising the personal nature
- Experiencing knowledge
- You will be developing intuitive wisdom
- You will be experiencing inner Unity
4. Mantra Yoga
Mantra Yoga includeds Japa Yoga,Requirements, State of consciousness.It also includes methods of chanting,effects of mantra,how to practice and rules of mantra chanting.
Vedic Science has the origin of Mantra Yoga and also its origin found in Tantra,infact all the sutras( verses) present in Vedas called Mantras,It is said that and also if the person can chant or sing Vedas could achieve the ultimate salvation or union with supreme consciousness only by chanting mantras is the ultimate aim of Mantra Yoga.
5. Bhakti Yoga( Devotion)
This type of yoga is complete devotion or faith which is generally in the god or supreme consciousness in any of the forms.It may be lord Krishna,Rama,Budhha,Christ,Mohammed etc.It may be guru for his disciples.
This is importamt for the person who is following this path should have very strong emotional bond with the object of faith.The flow of emotional energy is directed to this object. Many people suppress their emotions which often reflects in the form of physical and mental disorders.So this type of yoga releases suppressed emotions and brings the purification of inner self.
If the person is continuously doing mediation of god or having an object of faith gradually decreases the ego of practitioner and further prevents new distractions,flickleness or even pain and induces strong bond of love towards god.Here practitioner loses his self identity and become the one with object of faith,this is the state of self-realisation.
6. Swara Yoga
‘Swara’ is the sanskrit word means sound or note.Swara is the continuous flow of air through one nostril.Yoga is union,Swara Yoga is Science which is the realisation of cosmic consciousness and breath manipulation.
It’s a science of complete observation,study,control and manipulation of breath or swara.Pranayam is only related to control of breath in many ways.In swara Yoga,the association of breath in relation to the activities of sun,moon,physical and mental state of individuals and various seasons.So it is more comprehensive in theory and practices related to breath.
7. Karma Yoga
It is a process of devotion for the work.One loses his identity while working and only selfless work remains.This state is very difficult to achieve, generally some rewards,outcomes,incentives follows the work and one is attached to this outcomes.This is not karma yoga.If the person has non-attatchment with the work and becoming the perfect instrument of the super consciousness in this universe is the ultimate aim of karma Yoga.
8. Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini yoga system is awakening of psychic centers or chakras,Which exist in every individual.There are six main chakras in the human beings.
So our mind is made up of different subtle layers and each of these layers are progressively associated with the higher level of consciousness.Every levels are related to different chakras or centers located throughout the psychic body.There are many number of chakras apart from this six main chakras which planes below the human level. We all have chakras that connect us to the animal level mind,to instinctive realms of being or to the heights of consciousness.
Asanas, Bandha, Mudra, pranayama and other forms of yoga such as mantra yoga and also involves deep concentration are used to stimulate the awakening of higher level chakras in Kundalini Yoga.
9. Kriya Yoga
Kriya means activity,It is the process of activity or movement of consciousness.It is a type of practical or preliminary practice which leads to total union,the final result of practice.It doesn’t curb mental fluctuations but purposely create activity and awakening in consciousness.This result includes all faculties harmonised and flower into their fullest potential.
This is evolved over time with practice and experience.The full form of kriya yoga consists of 70 form out of which 20 forms are commonly known.
Swami Satyanand Saraswati propagated the practice of Kriya Yoga from secret teachings described in the Yoga and Tantra Shashtras.The Kriyas taught by Swami Satyanand are one of only two systems of Kriya Yoga recognized the world over and there other one by paramahamsa Yogananda.
10. Raja Yoga
This system of yoga is described in the yoga sutras of Sage Patanjali.In ancient text,Sage Patanjali describes eight stages of yoga which is known as Raja Yoga.
Raja Yoga is the comprehensive system which deals with :
- The refinement of human behavior and personality through the practice of yamas (restraint)and niyamas( desciplines)
- Attainment of physical health and vitality through asanas (postures) and pranayamas (pranic breathing techniques)
- Management of mental and emotional conflicts and development of awareness and concentration through pratyahara( sensory withdrawal)
- dharana( concentration)
- Developing the creative aspects of consciousness for transcendental awareness through dhyan ( meditation) and samadhi (Obsorption in the universal identity).