Types of yoga

Hatha yoga

The Sanskrit root words “Ha”, means Sun and “Tha” means Moon. Hatha yoga is a discipline that harnesses and combines different Currents of the body to invoke all-powerful Kundalini force. It is a very ancient and resonant limb of spiritual Traditions of India, which is said to be initiated by Lord Shiva himself.
    
Hatha Yoga and our Body

Hatha Yoga is designed to gain in-depth understanding of our body and to unleash its power and strength to obtain our higher selves. To a Hatha Yogi, the body is not a mere mass of living matter, but a mystic bridge between the spiritual and the physical being. Learn this basic doctrine upon which the rigorous physical regime of Hatha Yoga is based.
    
Hatha Yoga Techniques

Yoga begins the journey by purifying and toning the body, as the prerequisite for further enhancements. The stages of supreme concentration and meditation ultimately summons the state of Samadhi to know and unite with our supreme and pure self. Thus, the journey of Hatha yoga from physical to the subtlest form is covered systematically step by step.
    
Effects of Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is widely used to discover the potential within our Body. The unleashing of the ultimate force of Kundalini provides the gateway to many amazing feats that can be performed by true Yogis. This section talks about the “Sidhis” and Miraculous achievements of Hatha Yogis, which has gone through scientific tests to establish them as truth.

Raj Yoga

An important branch of Yoga, Raja Yoga is a one stop solution for complete and holistic healing. Raja Yoga possesses the positive power of influencing the life of human beings. Apart from harmonizing with all spheres the physiological system, it also transforms the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, occupational, social and spiritual being of a person. Raja Yoga also helps an individual to alleviate himself/herself from all emotional and mental conflicts. It brings lasting peace and satisfaction in one’s life. One of the most prominent benefits of Raj Yoga is that it heals a person from the inside. However, the benefit of Raj Yoga is not just limited to the mind and body of a person, but it also brings harmony with other human beings and environment, at large. Raja Yoga is sometimes referred as Astanga or eight-limbed yoga. This is because there are eight aspects to the path to which one must attend.

All our believes and faith are based on different theories and sects but one common point is that we all wants truth.  To experience the truth is a strong desire of a person and RAJA-YOGA suggests us a practical and logical way of getting this truth.  No truth may realize until a person experience it himself and gain knowledge from that experience and RAJA-YOGA provides us the opportunity for this experience and knowledge.

For acquiring knowledge we first make observations but these observations are external only, whereas RAJA-YOGA proposes that to experience the things we should observe them internally also.  There is only one method by which we can observe internally, that which is called concentration of mind.  The mind when properly guided to explore the inner world, it analyzes facts deeply and we get the exact knowledge about the things.

The nature is ready to give up its secrets if we know how to take with strong strength of concentration of mind.  There is no limit to the power of human mind, the more we concentrate, the more power we can able to generate at one point and when this power is turned back upon the mind, the nature automatically reveals all its secrets.

In RAJA-YOGA no faith or belief is required, it suggest that believe nothing until you experience it yourself.  The study of RAJA-YOGA requires constant practice of concentration of mind and this leads to the point where no law of nature will influence and the person will be able to go beyond laws of nature and will be the master of the whole nature internally as well as externally.

A person who is doing the practice of concentration of mind the nature put hurdles to tempt yogi because it do not want anyone free himself from the laws of nature.  The persons who are tempted they are not successful but persons who strong enough to resist these temptations, go straightly and become free.

Super consciousness

The inaudible repetition of the Mantra “OM”, accompanied with the thinking of its meaning is called the mental repetition and is the best of way for purification of mind.

Karam Yoga

WHAT IS KARMA YOGA ?

Karma Yoga is consecration of all actions and their fruits unto the Lord. Karma Yoga is performance of actions dwelling in union with the Divine, removing attachment and remaining balanced ever in success and failure.

Karma Yoga is selfless service unto humanity. Karma Yoga is the Yoga of action which purifies the heart and prepares the Antahkarana (the heart and the mind) for the reception of Divine Light or attainment if Knowledge of the Self. The important point is that you will have to serve humanity without any attachment or egoism.

BENEFITS OF KARMA YOGA

By doing selfless service you purify your heart. Egoism, hatred, jealousy, ideas of superiority and all the kindred negative qualities will vanish. You will develop humility, pure love, sympathy, tolerance and mercy. Sense of separateness will be annihilated. Selfishness will be eradicated. You will get a broad and liberal outlook on life. You will begin to feel oneness and unity. Eventually you will obtain knowledge of the Self. You will realize One in all and All in one.

Generally people are impatient and they expect Siddhis after doing a little service. The real Karma Yogi who serves people with humility and Atma Bhava (seeing God in every face) becomes a real ruler of the world. He is honoured and respected by all. The more service you do with Atma Bhava the more power, energy and capacity you get. Practice this and feel.

In the practice of Nishkama Karma Yoga, there is no loss of effort. There is no harm. There is no transgression also. Even a little of this practice can protect you from great fear of rebirth, of death with its concomitant evils. You will reap the fruits of Karma Yoga, viz. Jnana. There is no uncertainty here. The path of Karma Yoga eventually leads to the attainment of Bliss of the Self.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti or devotion holds a very unique and important place on the path to God. It’s very common that all the yoga traditions are described as spokes of a wheel that all lead to the same hub (spiritual enlightenment).
In actual fact, there are many paths of heart and mind purification expressed through many types of physical and mental practices, but there is only one path to God – the path of grace or bhakti. If a path or practice is to have a divine outcome, it must include or culminate in bhakti.

Although it is natural to think your temperament or inclination determines the right path for you, in actual fact each path has “eligibility requirements”. For example, there are very specific guidelines for those who wish to practice nondual meditation or jnana yoga, just as there are for those who wish to begin a practice of bhakti yoga.

A more correct relationship of all the paths would look like this:

The style of your realization will be determined by your previous practice, whether that was to experience God’s love and beauty or to merge into absolute truth, but reaching that perfected state is only through the grace of the personal form of God.
Through bhakti yoga we join our heart and mind with God through devotion to receive divine grace. Grace is the power that enlightens us with spiritual realization; bhakti is the means by which we attain grace.

Bhakti Yoga is the path of selfless devotion, worship, reverence, self-surrender and adoration of God. This path of realization is more suitable for those who are natural emotional bent of mind. Since it is the ego (ahankara) that keeps an individual separated from God, the aim of Bhakti Yoga is to dissolve ego of through devotion and self-surrender to the will of Almighty. Various rituals like singing of devotional songs (bhajans), idol worship etc. are meant for constant remembrance of divine attributes of God.

The praise of bhakti yoga as a means of salvation is expressed in Bhagwad Gita :

And he (the devotee) shall soon become pure and attain lasting peace. This is my word of promise, that he who loves me shall never perish

Gyan Yoga

The path of Gyan Yoga is suited for those who are gifted with strong mental and intellectual faculties. This path emphasis on the true knowledge regarding the nature of the self, and requires sharp intellect coupled with intense spiritual longing. Since ignorance (avidya) obscures the self from achieving salvation, the aim of this path is to destroy ignorance by discrimination and contemplation on Truth.

This basic features of Gyan Yoga are:

Listening to the scriptures and the spiritual discourses from spiritual teachers (gurus) who are themselves well-established in Truth. The company of truly awakened souls strengthens the power of right discrimination and accelerates the unfolding of the true Self.  Discriminating truth from falsity and intense contemplation on the guru’s words. Thoughtful contemplation gradually weakens the ego and frees the soul from its wrong identification with the body and mind.

Practice of shifting the focus of attention from the mortal aspect of one’s being to the immortal aspect of being, and intense contemplation therein. Jnana is the highest teaching of the Upanishads and the central theme of the Bhagavad Gita. As stated in the following verses of the Bhagavad Gita, Jnana is considered a supreme purifier:

‘Nothing indeed purifies in this world like wisdom. He who lives in self-harmony finds it [wisdom] in time within himself, by himself.’ (BG 4.38)

Mantra Yoga

Mantra Yoga has its origin in Vedic Sciences and also in Tantra, infact all the verses in Vedas are called mantras, it is said that any person who can chant or sing Vedas can achieve the ultimate salvation or union with supreme consciousness only by chanting the mantras, which is the aim Mantra Yoga.

Effects of Mantra

On personal level
– Mantra impacts on mental & psychological plane in a positive way.
– Stirs up emotions (desires, fears, jealousy from subconscious mind to conscious level as thoughts.) for removing negative tendencies of mind and re programming the thinking process
– Creates potential energy reservoir

On surroundings
– Deeper, subtle & astral spheres
– Impacts on macro cosmos & micro cosmos
– Purification of collective conscious mind

How to practice?
    

One should have a Mala or Rosary consisting of 108 beads as is significant in all Tantra & Veda Texts.

o Repeat Mala for 2 to 3 times daily (increase to even 8 to 10 hours) or Chant Mantra for at least 11 times.

      Time of Practice – Morning or evening time

Tantra Yoga

Tantra Yoga is a holistic approach to the study of the universal from the point of view of the individual: the study of the macrocosm through the study of the microcosm. Tantra Yoga draws on all the sciences – astronomy, astrology, numerology, physiognomy, physics, chemistry, alchemy, Ayurveda (the traditional medicine of India), psychology, mathematics, geometry, and so on – to provide a practical means of realizing the highest ideals of philosophy in daily life. Instead of separating and categorizing the different areas of human knowledge, Tantra Yoga draws them together. Tantra Yoga studies the tree of life itself instead of limiting itself to any single branch of the tree. This tree is a microcosm, a great organization of diverse elements linked together by a unifying law (dharma) that is inherent in their very nature. Tantra Yoga seeks to understand this law.

The aim of Tantra Yoga is to expand awareness in all states of consciousness, whether waking state, dream state or sleep state. To accomplish this we need a kind of “deprogramming” and “reprogramming” of our human computer. Our birth in a particular place and time gives us our primary programming, influenced by heredity and environment. If we are content with the results and live our lives without too many problems, then we will see no need for change. But when we experience great difficulties in life or begin to seek something beyond our limited “program” then we need a way to alter it. Tantra Yoga provides the methodology and the tools for this work. Tantra Yoga teaches us to identify the various factors that influence our thoughts and feelings and to transcend the obstacles to our evolution arising from ignorance, intolerance, attachment to our animal nature, and selfishness. By refining our thoughts and feelings by means of these Tantra Yoga practices, we learn to create peace, harmony, and order within ourselves. Tantra Yoga thus promotes a one-pointedness and centeredness that help us to free the consciousness from limitations.

Ardhnarishvara symbolizes the unity between the Shiva and Shakti principles – click for a larger image.The universe is a product of two opposites: the static principle (rest, shaktiman, powerholder, Shiva) and the dynamic principle (movement, energy, power, creativity, Shakti). The external part of everything is the creative aspect, and inside every dynamic creation is the static aspect. The play of Shakti has no beginning or end. Although it is restless, the energy moves in an orderly cycle, alternating periods of motion and rest. Energy undergoes many changes, gets distorted and then it reorganizes itself during the period of rest. Thus a continuous process of creation, preservation and destruction, reorganization and re-creation goes on forever. Tantra Yoga believes that as long as the phenomenal world exists, it is the Universal Mother who is the creator, preserver and destroyer. Thus in Tantra Yoga she should be worshipped as an aspect of the Divine.

Astanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga recorded by the sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta, an ancient manuscript “said to contain lists of many different groupings of asanas, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras, and philosophy” (Jois 2002 xv). The text of the Yoga Korunta “was imparted to Sri T.

Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927″ (“Ashtanga Yoga”). Since 1948, Pattabhi Jois has been teaching Ashtanga yoga from his yoga shala, the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute (Jois 2002 xvi), according to the sacred tradition of Guru Parampara [disciplic succession] (Jois 2003 12).

Ashtanga yoga literally means “eight-limbed yoga,” as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali, the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the following eight spiritual practices:
To know more about the eight limbs of Astanga Yoga, read through the following lines.