What are the six branches of Yoga ?
Following are the six branches of Yoga :
- Raja Yoga : Raja Yoga is also referred to as the King of Yogas. Raja means "royal". Raja Yoga is the path of Yoga that focuses on meditation and contemplation. It is based on the Eight Limbs of Yoga which was discussed in the Yoga Sutra. This Yoga path teaches deep self respect through self mastery. The eight limbs of yoga include:
- "Yamas" — Sanskrit for "ethical standards"
- "Niyamas" — Sanskrit for "self-discipline"
- "Asana" — Sanskrit for "physical postures"
- "Pranayama" — Sanskrit for "breathing exercises"
- "Pratyahra" — Sanskrit for "sensory withdrawal"
- "Dharana" — Sanskrit for "concentration"
- "Dyana"— Sanskrit for "meditation"
- "Samadhi" — Sanskrit for "the supreme state of bliss"
2. Bhakti Yoga : Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion, emphasizing devotional love for and surrender to God.This method of yoga centers around love and dedication to the divine, with the aim of connecting with one’s "personal God." The practice may include devotional disciplines, worship, prayer, chanting, and singing.Yogis who practice Bhakti Yoga sees the Divine in everyone and everything he encounters. This lead him to develop love, acceptance and tolerance for all.
3. Jnana Yoga : Often called the yoga of the mind, Jnana yoga is the path of Yoga that deals with wisdom and knowledge self-inquiry, questioning, meditation, and contemplation to gain enlightenment through knowledge of the body and soul. This path emphasizes serious study of yogic scriptures and texts to develop intellect and wisdom. It is a direct means to insight, but is also considered the most difficult of the yogic paths.
4. Karma Yoga : The yoga of doing,it is the path of selfless action. Karma Yoga believes that your present situation is based on your past actions. Karma Yoga is the path of service; it refers to the energy of action. This path requires you to be selfless. Performing a selfless service is the essence of Karma Yoga or consciously choosing a future that is free from negativity and selfishness knowing that your life is a consequence of your past actions.
5. Tantra Yoga : Tantra yoga is the yoga of sound.Tantra Yoga is the path of ritual and perhaps the most misunderstood path. Some may think of Tantra Yoga as sorcery, witchcraft, magic spell or some mysterious formula. Tantra is the knowledge concerning Tattva (Truth or Brahman) and Mantra (mystic syllables). It utilizes rituals to respectfully experience the sacred in everything we do. It aims to expand our awareness in all states - whether awake or asleep.
6. Hatha Yoga : is the path of physical Yoga or Yoga of postures is the most popular branch of Yoga. Hatha Yoga considered the body as the vehicle for the soul. It uses physical poses or asanas, breathing techniques or pranayama, and meditation in order to bring the body in perfect health