The whole goal behind yoga is to take someone in their present state and help them move forward day by day into a state of well being and enlightenment. You will be amazed at the physical tension, stress and emotional turbulence you release even after one or two sessions. Because we are all individuals, with different natures and different goals, here are the eight kinds of yoga to consider.
1. Bhakti yoga
If you are looking emotional fulfillment and well being, this is by far the easiest and most natural path to take. This is the yoga of love and devotion which includes practices of heart-centered meditation that can focus on visualizing, thinking and feeling the Lord is beside you; mantrams and chanting.
2. Karma yoga
Karma refers to the universal principle of cause and effect. For every effect there is a cause. If you can establish new causes, you will be able to recognize more beneficial and successful effects occurring in your life. It is selfish motive that creates the negative causes in life. By practicing selfless service or Karma yoga, you let go of selfish motive and create new, positive causes.
3. Jnana yoga
Jnana means wisdom or discernment. The primary purpose of this yoga path is to withdraw your mind and emotions from viewing life in a deluded way. To someone who practices Jnana yoga, higher consciousness is the only reality. As a result of practicing Jnana yoga, you will be able to live in attunement with this reality. With this type of yoga you will patiently release and put aside all thoughts and feelings that are negative and gain peace of mind, greater intuition and discrimination.
4. Raja yoga
This means royal or kingly and the meditation technique is based on directing your life force to bring your mind and emotions to a balance. It works to help you balance the energy throughout the brain and body so that you can become calm and fall into a pleasant sense of well being. And most importantly have an experience of your inner self-that place inside you that is always peaceful, joyful, creative and powerful.
5. Mantra yoga
Mantras are words, phrases, or syllables that are chanted thoughtfully. The exercise is performed by you chanting a word or phrase until the mind and emotions are transcended and the super-conscious is experienced. You start out chanting loud until the body is calm and then whisper chanting and then mental chanting. You use the mantram to dissolve all distractions.
6. Laya yoga
There are five main energy centers in your spine and two in your head. Laya yoga will locate these centers with the help of a teacher. Each of these centers act as a doorway to different realms of higher consciousness. This form of yoga will help you let go of the old habits that are stored in the centers so you can let go of your fears and worries, gaining insight and strength.
7. Tantra yoga
Tantra means expansion and this form of yoga focuses on expanding all levels of your consciousness to unveil and realize the supreme reality. The goal of this form of yoga is to awaken and harmonize the presence of higher consciousness within you.
8. Hatha yoga
This is primarily focuses on releasing physical tension so that a student can meditate better. There are many benefits-better health, greater vitality, stress reduction, relaxation. The body-mind connection is important in Hatha yoga. This involves exercising, stretching and freeing your body so that it can be healthy and long-lived, flexible and relaxed.
As a teacher at Yoga Center of California, I've seen hundreds of people enjoy the many benefits of yoga--better health, vitality, peace of mind, stress reduction and spiritual centeredness. For more information, check out our website at http://www.yogacenter.org. Send any questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org