Types of Yoga and their benefits
Yoga is a holistic therapy originated in India over 5000 years ago. Yoga contributes to physical, mental and spiritual well being. Physical benefits lie in creating a toned, flexible and sturdy body. It facilitate in improving blood circulation and significantly aid to relieve pain. Mental benefits rely on relaxing mind in stressful situations. It encourages positive consideration and focus the intellect. Spiritual benefits depend on creating the awareness of oneself and understanding the interdependence between mind, body and spiritual infinity.
Types of Yoga and their benefits:
Yoga can be classified into Hatha, Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, Raja, Tandra, Mandra and Purna. They are discussed in detail below
Hatha yoga works to achieve balance between body and mind through asanas (postures), breathing techniques and meditation. The postures, followed in Hatha yoga improves flexibility and opens all energy channels. Breath control is believed to control one’s mind in this form of yoga. It is also practical to prevent diseases like diabetes, arthritis and hypertension. The yoga is principally beneficiary for relieving stress, anxiety and depression.
2. Bhakti Yoga:
Bhakti signifies attachment to God. Bhakti Yoga is based on the principle -Love is God and God is Love-. It is one of the oldest forms of yoga which is believed to have its root in the Vedas of Hindu Culture. Nine types of practices are implicated namely Sravana(listening to God’s stories), kirtana (singing God’s praises), smarana(remembering God at all times), padasevena(service to others to reach God), archana(worship of god with images), vandana(self absorption), dasya(meditating and servicing), sakha bhava(delight to be a companion of God) and atma nivedana(self surrender to God). Bhakti Yoga helps the devotee to attain the highest level of spiritual achievement.
3. Karma Yoga:
Karma means deed or action. Karma Yoga insists a person to be ego free and selfless. One develops maturity to service others and carry out God’s commandments happily. It encourages a hopeless man and puts him to think and speak right. The yoga involves remembering God in all activities and service for humankind. It teaches how to work unselfishly and enjoy peace still in suffering. 4. Jnana Yoga:
It is the yoga that leads to path of wisdom. The second part of Bhagavad Gita called Jnana Yoga is taught to the practitioner. The four components of Jnana Yoga are Viveka (ability to differentiate real and unreal), vairagiya (detachment to purify mind and improve one’s concentration), shad samphat which itself involves six virtues and mumukshutva (liberation). The yoga is purely based on the preaching’s of Vedic literature and helps in attaining knowledge. 5. Raja Yoga or Astangha Yoga:
This branch of yoga aims in synchronizing the breath by following a progressive chain of postures. The word Astanga means -Eight Limbed Yoga-. It engross eight spiritual practices namely yama(moral codes), niyama(self study), asana(postures), prnayama(breath control), pratyahara(sense control), dharana(concentration), dhyana(meditation) and Samadhi(dissolve into universe). Through Astanga Yoga, Blood circulation increases throughout the body which relieves from joint pain, removes toxins and diseases from internal organs. It makes the body light, strong and healthy.
6. Tantra or Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini Yoga is a meditative practice for promoting mental and spiritual wellness. It is an unusual form of yoga based on the fact that energy coiled on the base of the spine like a serpent can be tapped to flow from spine to brain and viz., and bring positive effect for the practitioner. It involves postures, breathing exercises and utterance of mantras. Unlike other yoga, Kundalini helps to develop strengthened nervous system.
7. Mantra Yoga:
In Mantra yoga, one needs to utter words called as Mantras. The rhythmic repetitions of mantras or syllable develop concentration leading to union of mind with the universe. It makes to focus on a single thought and creates vibrating power by certain pitches and pronunciation concealed in the mantras.
8. Purna or Integral Yoga:
Purna yoga leads to wisdom and union of body and mind with spirit. It involves meditation, Asana (postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), applied philosophy and change in lifestyle. Meditation comprises of moment to moment techniques which could make you to listen to your heart. Besides postures and meditation, Purna yoga teaches one to follow a good nutritional diet and also protect from environmental toxins to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Yoga gained significant importance worldwide and nowadays in the faster world, it is a remedy to relieve from stress. Apart from the above discussed yoga, there also exists a unique yoga called laughter yoga introduced in the year 1995 in which people laugh with no reason without depending on jokes or humor. It is based on the scientific fact that the body gets both physiological and psychological benefits. To conclude, Yoga is a tool to repair and recondition your life. Only in Yoga, one could attain the awareness of life and the universe. It is pure and truly a spiritual practice that makes a person to think and act globally.