Branches of Yoga

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Branches of Yoga

Wai Lana yoga DVD's and suppliesEach specific branch of yogaTo some, yoga might be a new concept, but, most of us are aware that it is an ancient discipline with a history which stretches back over hundreds of years. As might be expected, over such a long history, it has changed in many ways, resulting in a variety of styles and yoga branches.

Each branch of yoga has evolved and developed to serve different needs and purposes. As a general rule, however, they all serve the general purpose of harmonizing and identifying the equilibrium between body and mind. In the discussion that follows, we are going to take a closer look at several different branches of yoga.

  • If you are interested in increasing your personal state of well-being, for example, you might want to direct your efforts to the practice of hatha yoga, which is considered to be one of the primary forms of modern physical therapy. Apart from meditation, which is a common goal for all yoga branches, hatha yoga teaches you a series of important postures (known in yoga terminology under the name of asanas) and breathing exercises (entitled pranayamas).


  • Another common and highly appreciated branch of yoga is karma yoga, which promotes the concept that everything that happens to us in our present existence is a direct consequence of our previous actions. As a result, karma yoga encourages its practitioners to try to eliminate all the negativism and the selfishness from their present, in order to avoid having to deal with them in the future. Actually, for optimum effect, karma yoga should be practiced everyday, including at work. Performing activities carried out with the goal of helping other people, as a Peace Corps volunteer, for example, can be easily aligned with the karma yoga path.


  • Another branch of yoga, which, this time, places a strong accent on meditation, is raja yoga. Known also as classical yoga, raja yoga is a more complex form of training, which is why it typically starts with hatha yoga, in order to prepare the body for more advanced training stages. Studies have demonstrated that the persons attracted by this form of yoga are, as in general, more introspective people, interested in profound meditation. Moreover, various religious groups devote themselves to this yoga path, which is close to a monastic or contemplative lifestyle.


  • Jnana yoga is a branch of yoga which is directed mainly at scholars. It provides a development of the intellect through the study of yoga tradition scripts and texts. It is also known to be the yoga of the heart and wisdom. Although it is described as the most difficult of all yoga practices, jnana yoga is also one of the most direct and challenging paths.


  • Another popular yoga branch, which promotes and sustains the idea of devotion, is bhakti yoga. The main philosophy within this yoga path is that there is something divine in any form of creation. Thus, it is important to tolerate, accept and respect any forms of life we come in close contact with.

Yoga supplies from GaiamiconThese are, without any doubt, only a few of the various yoga branches or paths, but, nevertheless, the important thing is that anyone can find a yoga practice, which is able to promptly suit his or her needs of finding the inner equilibrium and peace.

Branches of Yoga - Copyright 2016 by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 3:09 PM Friday 5/27/2016