Yoga Paths

Yoga Paths

Since human beings began practicing yoga thousands of​ years ago,​ the​ symbol of​ a​ tree has often been linked with the​ discipline – and for good reason! Yoga has a​ multitude of​ branches when it​ comes to​ how you choose to​ practice and all of​ them are based on​ the​ same philosophy,​ or​ trunk,​ of​ spirituality. Hatha yoga is​ the​ one most well known to​ Westerners – the​ physical act of​ practicing poses. Here are a​ few other paths that you may choose to​ combine with your personal yoga practice.

Raja Yoga

In raja yoga,​ the​ main goal is​ a​ calm and spiritual,​ meditative state. There are eight principles that are followed strictly and in​ order in​ raja yoga and,​ though important,​ physical movement or​ poses is​ not the​ focus. the​ eight principles or​ stages are:

* Ethical standards or​ ‘yama’

* Self-discipline or​ ‘niyama’

* Posture or​ ‘asana’

* Breath control or​ ‘pranayama’

* Sensory withdrawal or​ ‘pratyahara’

* Concentration or​ ‘dharana’

* Meditation or​ ‘dhyana’

* Liberation or​ ‘samadhi’

Karma Yoga

The focus of​ karma yoga is​ on​ service and treatment of​ others. the​ basic idea is​ that our experiences today are a​ direct result of​ our past actions. Therefore,​ everything that those who practice karma yoga do today is​ in​ an​ effort to​ create a​ better future for themselves and those around them. They do this by eliminating the​ motivations of​ pessimism and egotism. This means living for others instead of​ ourselves.

Jnana Yoga

Those who practice jnana yoga are most concerned with the​ development of​ the​ mind. They are scholars interested in​ the​ philosophy behind yoga and they their yoga practice focuses on​ studying and understanding ancient and traditional texts. This is​ thought to​ be one of​ the​ most intense yoga disciplines as​ the​ learning is​ intense and difficult.

Unlike branches on​ a​ tree,​ the​ paths of​ yoga often intersect and overlap. Though it​ is​ difficult to​ hang from two or​ three tree branches at​ once,​ it​ is​ not difficult at​ all to​ practice more than one path of​ yoga. Try them all if​ you like and choose the​ ones that most appeal to​ you.

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