The numerous types of yoga that are practiced in our country allow beginners to try themselves in different directions and choose the most suitable one for themselves.
The introduction to spiritual practices should begin with a regular trial lesson in a specialized studio. We strongly recommend not to buy a long-term subscription right away, but to give preference to a trial visit. This approach will allow you to understand the important things:
- Is the chosen direction of yoga suitable for you or should you turn to simpler / more complex practices;
- Is the atmosphere in a particular room suitable, is it convenient to study with the available equipment;
- Is the instructor close in spirit and like his teaching style?
These points are no less important than the choice of the type of yoga itself, so they should not be neglected. If you felt any discomfort in the first lesson, it is better to visit several studios and choose the one in which you will feel easy and free in every sense.
The main types of yoga
There are many types and varieties of yoga. We can say that any manifestation of a person stands out as a separate type of yoga. Physical, mental, tactile, mental, and other abilities of a person are used in different directions of yoga practices.
Fitness yoga is also distinguished in modern classification. However, it has little to do with classical yoga. After all, yoga is primarily a system of self-knowledge and not a sports discipline. Although one of the directions of yoga (hatha yoga) uses physical exercise for spiritual training.
Consider the main types of yoga that lead along the path of cognition of the Absolute and are most often used as yoga practice.
Ashtanga Yoga, which is often classified as a separate kind, is the principle of constructing the yogic system described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Ashtanga in translation from Sanskrit means “eight”, this is the number of steps that Patanjali describes on the path to achieving samadhi.
Yama and Niyama (the first two stages of Ashtanga Yoga) are a complex of moral and ethical principles that create favorable conditions for the full evolution of consciousness. These two stages, together with shatkarmas (purification procedures), form the foundation of Kriya Yoga. It is achieved when consciousness deprives the body of problems (diseases, ailments) and the difficulties of communication with the external environment (stress, misunderstanding, and conflicts).
Asana and pranayama (the next two steps) together form hatha yoga. At the same time, the practitioner develops his body and attention, freeing himself from all possible ailments.
Pratyahara, Dharana, dhyana, and samadhi (the last four stages) are called raja yoga. Each of these stages is a stage of mastering the ability to control your attention and consciousness.
Bhakti yoga is the path of love, devotion, and religious worship. It is expressed in the constant manifestation of love for the Absolute. Bhakti yoga is closely related to karma yoga because dedicating every action to God creates the prerequisites for the development of good karma. All human life turns into a ritual of love and worship. In the Bhagavad-gita, it is said: “Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you donate, do it for Me, and I will give you well-being.”
Karma yoga is the performance of one’s duties without selfish goals, without gaining personal gain. The main thing is to benefit others, not personal selfish desires. All attention is concentrated on the actions performed. The goal is the highest quality and most efficient work, and responsibility is the measure of this work. Karma yoga is meditation in action.
This type of yoga is very effective and suits almost everyone. A calm and balanced attitude to work, concentration on it, a meditative state in the process of performing daily duties lead to a harmonious state of the psyche.
Jnana Yoga (translated from Sanskrit as “the path of knowledge”) is one of the types of yoga that involves a person’s awareness of the unity of his individual soul with the Absolute. This direction of yoga is an independent practice of improving the Higher Mind in oneself. This ability is widely used by scientists, politicians, inventors.
The first stage of jnana yoga is the process of purification and improvement of the logical mind. The purpose of this stage is to develop memory and clear construction of logical reasoning.
The development of intuition is practiced in the second stage. The main goal of this stage is to master the state of inspiration and creativity, which is later used as a tool for understanding the world. At the level of intuition, you can solve those problems that are not subject to logic.
Yantra and Mantra Yoga
Yantra and mantra yoga are based on human sensory capabilities. Concentration on shapes, colors, and sounds affects consciousness. Yantra yoga works with graphic images (yantras), mantra yoga – with sounds (mantras).
Laya yoga (kundalini yoga) is based on the tantric tradition of the chakras and the rise of kundalini energy. Gradually rising from the lowest center, the kundalini energy consistently passes through all the chakras to the highest, where the consciousness of the practicing yogi dissolves and merges with the Absolute.
Types of yoga and choice of practice for the student
Over the past few years, the popularity of yoga has grown several times. She is chosen by famous stars of show business and chosen by those who wish to rise to a new energy and sports level.
In general, yoga is a complex multifaceted structure that helps to strengthen the spirit by strengthening the body. It has a lot of definitions and concepts, and it is impossible to list all the existing types of yoga. But it is quite possible to characterize its most popular varieties.
The history of yoga
Yoga is a widespread concept in the field of Indian culture and encompasses a whole range of diverse physical practices, spiritual and mental.
They were developed in conjunction with the directions of Buddhism and Hinduism and were aimed at the processes of controlling the body in the mental plane and physiological in order to achieve the highest measure of the spiritual state.
The main directions of yoga today are the following: Raja, Karma, Jnana, Bhakti and Hatha.
Yoga is discussed in detail in popular Hindu scriptures: Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Shiva Samhita, and others. In the context of philosophy, yoga must be understood as the Raja Yoga system, which is presented in detail in the Patanjali sutras and is closely related to the basic principles of Samkhya.
Regardless of the direction of yoga, the ultimate goal of classes can vary, ranging from gaining strong physical health and ending with the achievement of the most sublime heavenly state of consciousness.
The direct transfer of knowledge from teacher to student made it possible to keep the teachings of yoga intact. This is an incredibly long and painstaking path, in which the physical ability to improve health was closely intertwined with the moral and ethical type of education for spiritual purity.
The most diverse types of yoga have survived to this day, with thousands of years of experience, various methodological and traditional principles, as well as a physiological rationale.
What are the benefits of yoga
Today, millions of people around the world practice yoga. And this is not surprising, since the benefits of yoga have been proven by thousands of years of practice.
Among its main advantages, the most obvious ones can be easily identified:
- allows you to improve the general condition of the body;
- helps to normalize weight;
- well tightens and rejuvenates the body;
- helps to calm down and normalize the nervous system;
- increases internal energy manifold;
- opens up opportunities for a new perception of life;
- significantly improves health.
In addition to all of the above, yoga serves as an excellent source of inspiration, helps to believe in your own strengths, allows you to relieve nervous tension, and solves most of life’s problems.
With the help of yoga, you can significantly slow down the aging process in the body, strengthen the immune system, restore the work of all internal organs, and get rid of the unpleasant symptoms of most diseases.