Yoga is a form of exercise that offers myriad benefits. It is a practice that has a central focus in improving the mind, the body and the spirit. Further, the benefits derived from the different types of Yoga are numerous: not only does Yoga help individuals improve flexibility, focus, stamina and overall body health, but it also produces a feeling of connectedness to the entire universe.
Despite the common misconception that the different types of Yoga are based on religious practices, this simply is not the case. Rather, the different types of Yoga are based on a spiritual practice that can supplement any type of religious practice, and thus, Yoga is not a tool for one particular religious affiliation, but for all those who desire to benefit from its practices.
The different types of Yoga focus on a practice referred to as Sadhana and Sadhana is a practice that helps an individual to strive for self-knowledge and understanding. Moreover, through the different types of Yoga, one can achieve self-fulfillment, self-realization (as the translation of Sadhana means self-realization), and can continue their spiritual journey with a never-ending sense of self-discovery.
So, how many different types of Yoga are there? The practice of Yoga has many different divisions of Yogic practices, but there are seven typical classifications for the different types of Yoga. The 7 principle types of Yoga are Bhakti Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Tantric Yoga. Let's examine the different types of Yoga below.
Bhakti Yoga is a form of Yoga that focuses on unison between the individual and the divine. The practice of Bhatki Yoga is one that helps individuals escape the confines of the individual ego and allows them to become closer to the divine through a realization of the universe's intricacies.
Hatha Yoga which includes Inyengar Yoga is a form that focuses on readying the physical body for the spiritual journey that ends with self-realization and cosmic consciousness. Through various exercises, this type of Yoga primes the physical body so that it does not obstruct one's ability to transcend it.
Jnana Yoga focuses on the attainment of knowledge. With the attainment of knowledge, Jnana Yogic practitioners search their being for self-understanding and self-discovery. Thus, Jnana Yoga helps practitioners to discover themselves in new ways.
Karma Yoga allows practitioners to improve the world around them and thereby improve their internal world as well. Through the practice of Karma Yoga, individuals can devote their lives to serving as a tool for the divine and doing good works.
Kundalini Yoga allows individuals to work with and awaken their spiritual energies. Through such reawakening, the practitioner learns to transcend the illusions presented by everyday reality and to embrace a cosmic understanding of the universe.
Raja Yoga focuses on controlling one's mind through intense meditation. Through meditation, this Yoga allows practitioners to be in total command of their thoughts.
Tantric Yoga is eclectic in its formation, in other words, Tantric Yoga allows individuals to use multiple disciplines to derive an understanding of the universe and the meanings for spiritual existence. Thus, those practitioners of Tantric Yoga have unlimited avenues of knowledge to pursue in their search for universal oneness.