The Five Branches of Yoga

Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t posted in a bit, I’ve been really busy preparing for college next month. But I’m back and ready to blog!

I’m going to introduce you to the different kinds of yoga; Hatha, Bhakti, Karma, Raja, and Jnana.

Hatha Yoga is The Path of Energy. Hatha Yoga simply refers to the practice of physical yoga. This is the perfect branch of yoga to begin with because it’s slower paced. This type of yoga introduces you to the poses, breathing techniques, and meditation. The core belief of Hatha Yoga is that the body is the vehicle to the soul.

Bhakti Yoga is The Path of Heart and Devotion. This is “considered the easiest yogic path to master and the most direct method to experience the unity of mind, body and spirit.” The only requirement for this type of yoga is to have an open, loving heart because the focal point of this yoga is channeling one’s emotions and engendering love. The core belief of Bhakti Yoga is seeing the divine in all creation.

Karma Yoga is The Path of Action. “Karma yoga is the path of dedicated work: renouncing the results of our actions as a spiritual offering rather than hoarding the results for ourselves.” One practices this kind of yoga with the intention to focus on selfless service and consciously choosing a better future for oneself. This yoga significantly impacts the path of self-transcending action. Karma yoga also stresses on good thoughts, good deeds, and good words.

Raja Yoga is The Royal Path. It requires concentration and discipline. This is the branch of yoga that focuses on the 8 steps; Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi. The core belief is in the progress of this 8 step process of one’s yoga journey. The significance of this practice of yoga is the change that is made to an individual who refines him/herself.

Jnana Yoga is The Path of Wisdom. This is known as the most difficult of the five branches because it requires great strength of will and intellect. “In Jnana Yoga, the mind is used to inquire into its own nature and to transcend the mind’s identification with its thoughts and ego.” The core belief of this branch is that individuals should unveil the mysteries and illusions of life using their own intellect. This type of yoga helps with people’s intelligence, power of reasoning, and contemplation.

Depending on what kind of person you are and what your personality is, determines which type of yoga will be best for you. Like I said before, Hatha Yoga is the simplest one and the most common for beginners. This is the one I started with and am still practicing. Once I become more familiar with the practice of yoga, I will start experiencing other branches. However, it is different for everyone.

May your yoga journey be wonderful and self reflective! Namaste. 🙏🏼🌟

Resources:

YogaBasics

Vedanta.org

YogaBasics.com

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