Yoga started as an ancient practice, dating back to 2700 B.C. Apart from the physical benefits which yoga provides, one of its primary goals is to help the mind and body work in harmony by strengthening the mind-body connection.
It was not before the late 80’s when the yoga picked up in popularity in western societies. Since then, many iterations of the classic physical yoga have surfaced - one commonly known these days is power yoga.
The ancient studies of yoga are thought to have originated in India through Hinduism and Buddhism. In the older Books also there are mentions of 5 types of yoga, which are portrait as the key to Nirvana.
This is the first type of yoga. Jnana yoga focuses on meditation and self-realization. Patanjali was a yoga guru, who taught yoga to more than a thousand people in his time. His ideology was that if someone meditates with the question, “Who am I?” the person would be able to achieve Nirvana, through self-realization and enlightenment. Jnana Yoga is called the path of inquiry, where contemplate simple yet complex questions about ourselves. This path is said to also increase your intellectuality.
The second path to Nirvana is all about selfless service. The ideology behind this is, if you help people without being selfish, then good things would happen to you, and the universe will ensure that you receive your just reward. It is believed that when you are able to perform this act of kindness, you will be able to get rid of the feelings of pride, fear, anger, and greed. The understanding of bad karma and good karma was originated in this form of yoga and the poses performed in Karma yoga incorporate these values.
Bhakti is a Hindi word which means prayer and devotion and that’s what exactly what Bhakti yoga means. This path should be of love and devotion towards a higher spiritual being in hopes to be rid of feelings of jealousy, hate, and vengeance and gain the feelings of love, tolerance, and compassion.
Raja yoga teaches one to gain control over one’s mind. Just like the above-mentioned types of yoga, in this type of yoga, you have to practice deep meditation with controlled breathing (pranayama). This style of yoga also includes a moral code to believe in the teachings. The main motive is to break free from the trap of negative human feelings like being stressed and focusing on materialistic happiness because these things keep you away from positive human feelings such as contentment and happiness.
Hatha yoga focuses on the physical health of a human being and this is the most common form of yoga in today’s society. It is the most common style of yoga teacher training in India that interested yogis embark on. Hatha yoga practices all kinds of asanas (positions) that a person can perform in order to achieve optimal health and heal the body both externally and internally. Hatha yoga also acknowledges the seven energy chakras and how a proper yoga routine can balance the chakras as well as improve their overall functionality.
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