The Four Paths of Yoga to Unite Body and Spirit

The goal of yoga is the unification of our soul with the divinity. Each position is a step towards the perception of the spiritual, an opening that generates well-being for the body and mind. But, what are the four branches of yoga?
The Four Paths of Yoga to Unite Body and Spirit

Last update: 12 December, 2018

Although it’s a discipline that’s increasing in popularity, few people know the paths of yoga. The physical and mental aspects of yoga are more complex than most people realize. It’s not a group of disordered exercises for flexibility, rather it’s an ordered philosophy.

Jnana yoga: ideal for the thinkers of the world

It’s no secret that, when we start this practice, we go from less to more. Basically, we start with deep breathing exercises and the classic cross-leg with the back straight.

Investing time in this technique can be beneficial to relaxation, especially after a long day at work. But this modality is recommended for people with the soul of a philosopher. Creatives, artists, and writers, any age, can benefit from practicing Kundalini.

People sitting and doing Yoga.

Kundalini yoga: commonly used in classes

In general, beginners of this interesting discipline begin with Kundalini yoga. This is because the poses are quite easy and can be combined for greater efforts. Most of the poses here are symmetrical and are aimed at teaching us how to breathe correctly.

Actually, this is one of the most commercial branches of yoga that exist. Based on this, we can purify the body and also learn some mantras. This modality allows us to work with the chakras.

Ashtanga yoga: progressive flexibility

The Ashtanga is basically a compendium that we acquired when we enrolled in classes. Of all the branches of yoga, types, and poses, the Ashtanga is perhaps the most physical. With this method, you can work on flexibility, but also the resistance of the human body.

This branch of yoga is highly recommended to help in the recovery of physical and mental balance that we lose in our daily life. It’s a collection of poses that can be a complementary exercise for athletes of all kinds of disciplines.

As an anecdote, it’s necessary to mention that the soldiers of India practice these techniques to improve their physical performance!

Karma Yoga: love your neighbor

More than a routine, karma yoga is about moving from the verb to the action. When one already has an advanced knowledge of the poses and philosophy of yoga, then we begin to change. This is the path to liberation and transcendence.

Basically, this belief is based on the performance of disinterested acts. The idea is to awaken our altruistic self, connected with the divinity and the intangible. At this level, there are many yoga teachers, who simply extend their knowledge without charging a single dollar.

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We must remember that yoga is a way of life where we can learn from various types of actions. For example, Yama corresponds to the moral codes and Niyama is about our character. That is, reinforcing the individual personality.

Meanwhile, Asana embraces the movements and poses of yoga. As we can see, the exercises are only part of this discipline. This philosophy is learned at the same time as pranayama, (techniques for controlling the rhythms of breathing). With all this, we also apply the Dharana (concentration).

Woman doing Yoga indoors.

The concept of Pratyahara refers to our environment and external objects. Finally, Dhyana is concerned with the scope of meditation processes. Similarly, Samadhi is the state of altered consciousness induced by meditation. Of course, yoga is always about achieving peace and serenity.

In conclusion, yoga goes much deeper than physical exercises. The poses are the physical representation of the teachings of Indian culture, in search of personal development. The main goal of yoga is integral balance.



This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.