Types of Yoga

The Logo of 3 Yoga Shala explains the 4 Paths of Yoga on the 4 Entrances.

The word Yoga in Sanskrit ‘Yug’ means to unite the body and mind to reach the soul. The 4 paths of Yoga helps mankind to understand the two faculties which are the mind and body using prana as a bridge allowing the  practioner to live in the moment  thus experiencing the Oneness.

Karma Yoga                                                                                                                                                   

Karma comes from the Sanskrit term meaning “action or deed”. Therefore, it is the path of action or selfless service towards  the  world wellbeing “Lokha  Samasta Sukhino Bhavnatu” with zero expectation. Karma Yoga does not only happen with physical movement but also with the mind, things you say, hear, taste and see which results into a  level of non judgmental and zero attachments. Such practices lead to purity of mind. E.g. blood donations to blood banks , planting trees and boring wells, promoting a happy community.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga or Bhakti Marga comes from the root word bhaj, which means “to adore or observe inner qualities and  is  also practised by  love and devotion”. It  also a Tantric aspect of Yoga. E.g. Pranayama ( types of  breathing ), Mantra japa (repetition of mantras), different kinds of Pooja (worship or rituals), Tarpanam (water rituals), Homa (fire rituals) and Bhojanam (offering food to living beings).

Jnana Yoga

This is the stage of Yoga when the practices of SHASTRAM comes into place, SHAS means to save and TRAM is to teach.  At this point practitioners start to approach and contemplate their mind on “WHO AM I” and “what is the purpose of life”. The journey  of this yoga starts from intellectual steps.  E.g. Vedas (seen literature), Sutras (Aphoristic), Varna Dharmas (Social Schemes), Varna Vyavasta (Sociological Scheme), Guna Vibhagaha (Personality Traits & Spiritual Traits). Here the practice of Duality (Dwaita) to ONENESS (Adaivata) is done. It is extremely important to have a teacher, master or a guru to pursue in this path.

Raja Yoga 

Raja means “KING ” in Sanskrit and it is considered as a “royal path”  to reach Oneness. It uses the 5 senses of the body from a gross (physical level) to a subtle (mental level) in order to prepare the mind to be stable and calm. The physical process starts from the “gross level” Kriyas and Asanas using Pranayama as a bridge to the “subtle level” which are Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhayana which eventually leads to the Oneness  state  (Samadhi). E.g. Withdrawing from the 5 senses  to control the MIND