Yoga means union, union of man's individual spirit with the spirit of the universe, or God. However, there is more than one method of achieving this union. but all the methods lead to the same goal. Though each of these yogic diff-paths is distinguished by its particular practices, they cannot be rigidly classified or put into watertight compartments. They overlap, merge and become diffused at certain points of training.
Spiritual enlightenment is not dependent on intellect or education. Although scholars and men of great mental gifts are more drawn to yoga, there is something above intellect, a direct channel to divinity, which makes a person suitable for yoga practice. By understanding that all systems of yoga lead to the same final goal, we can go deep into any of the systems depending on our capabilities and inclinations.
Various Types of Yoga
- Bhakti Yoga
- Jnana Yoga
- Raja Yoga
- Kundalini Yoga
Hathayoga is the path of bodily strength and control. Liberation through Hathayoga involves bringing the body to its highest state of development and under complete control of the mind. For Hathayoga, concentration and identification are a must. Concentration is the total attention kept focused upon one point. It brings power to still the mind. identification is the state of extreme concentration that the personality becomes merged with the object of contemplation. identification leads to the liberation of the spirit.
Karmayoga is the path of right action. This is a practical path for men and women who must lead an active life as householders in a materialistic society. It does not require withdrawal from the world nor impose any rigid training. It is the path of duty and right action. The Karmayogi works as hard as he can and enjoys the material fruits of his work but at heart, he remains unattached and free.
3. Bhakti yoga:
Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion, the yoga of love and devotion, which appeals to those who live more by emotion than intellect. This the most popular yoga among the people of India, for it makes no great intellectual demands and requires no special training. Bhakti yoga appeals to man's instinctive nature and recognizes the love of all kinds as a form of worship, whether between lovers, parents, children or friends.
4. Jnana yoga:
Jnana yoga, the path of knowledge, attracts intellectuals and philosophers, those who must know the reason behind everything, the secrets of creation, it is a difficult and lonely path for its demands are too great for the average man. The Jnana Yogi steps aside from life and dedicates himself to finding truth through the highest form of thought. He is withdrawn and detached from society and has his own personality.
5. Raja yoga:
Raja yoga brings complete mastery of the mind. It is connected with the attainment of full power and control of the mind. Raja yoga, the highest or the king of Yogas is often described as the last stage of development, and like the Jnana yoga, it is for the few rather than the majority. Raja Yoga is concerned with the attainment of full power and control of the mind. it is the yoga of wisdom, balance, control, and mergence.
6. Kundalini Yoga:
Kundalini Yoga is the development of mysterious energies of the body. Kundalini is stated to be a "coiled serpent lying dormant at the base of the spine" and when it is aroused through appropriate practices, it uncoils and springs up hissing through the spine to the top of the brain. The ultimate purpose of the yoga is to awaken the Kundalini which has been defined as the cosmic power underlying all organic and inorganic matters with us. A yogi who has controlled Kundalini can achieve samadhi at will.
Whatever path a true yogi follows, he is always striving for an objective where barriers of mind and body fall away and permit him to liberate his spirit.
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