Branches of Yoga
The different schools of Yoga
Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Tantra Yoga are the Yogas practiced today.
Hatha Yoga is the most popular among the yogas. Hatha Yoga is known as yoga of postures or as the path of physical yoga. It employs physical poses (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and meditation. Hatha Yoga moulds the body with excellent health and spiritual value result in the union of body and the soul.
Bhakti Yoga is known as yoga of devotion. Bhakti Yoga finds divine power in every object and teaches to uphold devotion to God and respect and love all.
Raja Yoga is focused on meditation and contemplation. Raja Yoga is founded on Eight Limbs of Yoga as described in Raja Sutra. Most of the practitioners of Raja Yoga are of spiritual or religious order. Self-respect through self-mastery is the goal. Universe exists for the self, the Raja Yoga asserts.
Jnana Yoga is the yoga of mind (wisdom and knowledge). It gives more importance to intelligence. It studies the spirit with curious, rational and open mind.
Karma Yoga is the path of service and believes one’s present situation is based on his past actions. In this one has to be self-less in service and attach no motivation. Karma Yoga – selfless service – is directed towards goodness in thoughts, words and deeds alike which ultimately changes one’s destiny.
Tantra Yoga is known as the path of rituals. It is the knowledge of Tattva (truth) and Mandra (mystic syllable). Tantra Yoga rituals pave ways to feel or experience sacredness in the matters and expands awareness in awake and asleep states. Alike other branches of Yogas, Tantra Yoga practitioners should have dedication to Guru (teacher), cosmic love, courage, devotion, humility, contentment, faithfulness, truthfulness, dispassion etc in words and deeds.