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Prana Gyana

Different Types of Yoga

Yogamaharishi Patanjali who is considered to be the Father of Yoga compiled a set of succinct aphorisms in the yoga sutras thousands of years ago, and it is interesting to see that they are applicable even in the 21st century!

There are many paths to choose from… and the choice of the path is based on the individual’s inclination,  but ultimately all paths lead to the same destination of freedom or liberation.

Hatha yoga- Hatha yoga is a type of yoga put forth by Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century. This type of yoga is one of the most popular types of yoga in the west. Hatha Yoga tries to achieve balance between body and mind, as well as attempts to free the more subtle spiritual elements of the mind through physical poses and breathing techniques or meditation. Hatha yoga is a holistic yoga path including discipline, physical postures, breathing and meditation.

Bhakti Yoga- Bhakti yoga, or devotional yoga, is the most natural path for those who are dominantly seeking emotional fulfillment and wellbeing. Bhakti yoga is one of the types of yoga located in the yoga sutras. Bhakti yoga signifies a persons’ connection with the Divine regardless of religious background and includes all human connections.

Gyana Yoga-   Gyana means wisdom or discernment and Gyana yoga is the path of wisdom.  The main purpose of gyana meditation is to withdraw the mind and emotions from perceiving life and oneself in a deluded way so that one may behold and live in attunement with Reality, or Spirit. Gyana yoga is the path of knowledge that is meant to lead to liberation and involves discrimination, dispassion, and control of the mind along with an intense desire for liberation.

Karma Yoga- Karma yoga means the discipline of action and basically consists of self service. This involves the ego being ready to give up personal desire for another human, animal or plant. Karma yoga is also the process of doing the right thing at the right time without putting an emphasis on the outcome of the actions.  Karma yoga is a form of yoga based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient scripture from the Vedic times and it is all about achieving perfection in action.

Raja Yoga- Raja yoga meditation is generally based on directing one’s life force to bring the mind and emotions into balance that the attention may be easily focused on the object of meditation, or the Divine. Raja Yoga deals with the cultivation of the mind through meditation. This type of yoga is important in becoming more in tune with reality and achieving liberation. Raja yoga is dealing with meditation and your mind. It also works to improve your psychological framework and improve your overall health.

Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning “expansion of the breath” or the “extension of a lifespan” that is based on breathing patterns and the exchange of energy, which helps to revitalize mind, body and spirit.  

Yoga is the science of conscious evolution which enables the a aspirant to accelerate the slow pace of natural spiritual unfolding. The word HATHA is composed of 2 syllables: “HA” refers to the solar, positive, warm, activating energies and “THA” refers to the lunar, cooling, negative, inhibitive energies.  The creative, intuitive, visionary right side of the brain is “yoked” or united harmoniously with the logical, rational left side of the brain. With the continued practice of Hatha yoga, humans can begin to evolve from animal like tendencies and gain human qualities, which can lead to transcendence into Divine realms of being.

Consciousness is the key to control and Hatha yoga allows the practitioner to become conscious beings.  It is important to be patient and non violent, to honor the mind and body, so there is a gentle, step by step growth and there is no force to being used to achieve a certain result.  As one begins to know their mind and body, there is an inherent desire to keep it healthy and it begins to influence the choices one makes in life.

Yoga brings an inner awareness and a deeper understanding,  and the conscious practice of yoga and meditation allows for the knowledge of the Self that is beyond the mind, body and emotions, and allows one to be free from external competition, only striving to better oneself internally in the pursuit of excellence…


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Prana Gyana
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