The Many Faces of Yoga

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The Many Faces of Yoga
The Many Faces of Yoga

Which Style of Yoga is Best for You?

Taking the mystery out of the numerous types of yoga practice

With so many sorts of yoga out there, it can be a little intimidating when you start your practice. Yoga is not just about physical movement; it can also be very spiritual. Here’s the rundown on a few different styles so you can find the one best suited to you.

Hatha

Hatha Yoga encompasses many different styles of physical yoga. It involves poses, called asanas, breathing and stretching. Here are three of the most famous forms of Hatha Yoga.

  • Ashtanga-Ashtanga is a vigorous yoga that is intense and fast-paced. There is continuous movement between poses. Power Yoga is based on Ashtanga.
  • Asura is a modern form of Hatha yoga with an underlying philosophy that emphasizes the importance of self-love, positivity, and the goodness found in all things.
  • Moksha-Moksha Yoga is performed in a heated room. The participant goes through a series of poses to help strengthen and detoxify the body. It is said to have many health gains, such as improved digestion and reduction of muscle pain.

The following styles represent the four pillars of yoga and are taken from the sacred scriptures of Hinduism.

Tantra Yoga

It is a spiritual form of yoga that uses astrology, numerology, and other sciences to examine better the universe’s nature from the individual’s point of view.

  • Kundalini-This practice releases Kundalini energy (found at the base of the spine). It is done through rapid and repetitive poses, chanting and intense breathing exercises.

Mantra Yoga

This style of yoga involves chanting sounds, words, or vibrations. It is to clear the mind so that you may transcend the world into a higher form of consciousness.

Karma Yoga

Loosely translated, it reads “Union through action”. Karma yoga follows the philosophy that a person should act and think according to his or her duties (dharma) without considering self in order to attain love of God (bhakti). It is outlined in one of the sacred texts of Hinduism.

Raja-Yoga

Raja yoga is known as the path of meditation. There are eight clearly defined aspects that one must follow to achieve liberation. These include self-restraint and religious study.

Bhakti-Yoga

This spiritual practice is known as the path of devotion. The devotee will offer prayers, meditate and perform services for and for God (bhakti)

Jnana-Yoga

Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom or knowledge. Devotees of this path must understand the difference between the body and the soul and follow four strict ways to salvation.

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