Yoga has been around for over 5000 years, but has only recently become the buzz word of the millennium. Now it seems that everyone from actors to sports athletes to the average Joe has dabbled in it.
Yoga word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning ‘to unite or integrate’ so pretty much yoga is all about uniting both our consciousness with the collective consciousness.
Some believe that the path to happiness must be through uniting mind, body, and spirit. In other words, it puts into balance intelligence, emotion, and actions. This is done through a blending of meditation, breathing, and exercise.
Yoga was designed to improve circulation, stimulate the abdominal organs, and put pressure on the glandular system resulting in a general well being.
The breathing techniques were established because of their connection with life. Through the exercise of concentrating on ones breath we increase our breathing capacity as well as prepare ourselves for the next step in yoga which is meditation. This is not the type of meditation that makes you go blank. On the contrary, through yoga meditation you will be focusing your mind like a laser beam on your movements allowing you to become one with your body, thus relieving stress coupled with the calmed breathing.
There are six different branches of yoga:
Hatha Yoga – Yoga of Postures
This is the most popular form of yoga know primarily throughout the West. It is yoga through physical poses and breathing techniques.
Bhakti Yoga – Yoga of Devotion
This is the most popular in India where the focus is on the heart. It practices the path of the “One” or the Devine in everyone and everything. It teaches devotion, love, and acceptance.
Raja Yoga – Yoga of Self Control
This is the path of the “Eight Limbs of Yoga” found in the Yoga Sutras, the word raja translates to royal and is considered the King of Yoga. Ultimately you learn to be a master of yourself.
Jnana Yoga – Yoga of the Mind
This is the path of the mind specifically a man’s intelligence. Yogis in the focus consider wisdom and intellect as equals and seek to unify the two to surpass limitations. With the aim being rooting in intellect they are open to all philosophies and religions because an open mind is crucial in knowing the spirit..
Karma Yoga – Yoga of Service
This is the path of service. It is believed that the current conditions of a person’s life is brought about through past actions thereby living a life of selflessness would bring you a life free of negativity and selfishness.
Tantra Yoga – Yoga of Rituals
This is the yoga of rituals, mostly popularly known for its link with s–, however that is not all there is to it. The practice is deeply seated in trust, honesty, purity, devotion and dedication. Ultimately the path is to find what is sacred in everything we do.
At this point you may be asking yourself is yoga right for me. Only you can answer that question, but I believe that yoga in whatever form you wish to take can be for everyone who seeks an inner calm coupled with an increase of well being.