Posted by queenmadison

Yoga is an Indian practice or path towards spirituality discussed in the philosophies of Hinduism. There are many religious references in Yoga but one need not devote to Hinduism in order to practice. Yoga translates to have many meanings: to control to unite to join means mode or manner(Wikipedia 2008 July 12) The aim of the practice is to cleans and purify one’s body and mind, to control one’s inner impulses and to develop an understanding and appreciation in life in order to unite with a supreme consciousness, the attainment of enlightenment. For simplicity one may look at Yoga as a practice to realize the meaning of life and to find a peaceful journey to our next stage of existence.
Controlling our inner impulses is not an easy task for most everyone. Dogs are often required to be on leashes because they are easily distracted and attracted to stray away from their owners; dogs are easily drawn by the stimulation of sensual excitement. The developing brain of humans has similar effects on children. Even adults have difficulty focusing their concentration. People often need to seek external stimulation for pleasure. Sitting quietly in mediation without being disturbed by surrounding activities is a difficult task.
Astanga and Hatha Yoga teach practitioners to control theirs sense and to purify their mind and body in effort to achieve enlightenment. In doing so Yoga has health and therapeutic benefits to many ailments. This is particularly true today in our highly stimulated and engaged society. In the 1950’s Dr. Hans Selye researched and wrote extensively about the effects of diSTRESS. Today’s health issues are referred to as the “Diseases of Civilizations.” They were born with the onset of the industrial revolution and grew exponentially with technology. They have spread sparingly to the developing world hand-in-hand with idea of democracy.
Highly specialize and repetitive work has placed new strains on our body faster than we are able to adapt to the changing work environment. Biased food consumption and indulgence on simply sugar and fats contribute to food allergies, diabetes and heart disease. Increase economic demands, rampant population growth and social inequalities along with urbanization and environmental exploitation have created an explosion in mental illnesses and substance abuse. The insurgence of technology, the electrical, radiowaves, microwaves etc. have yet to present their share of ailments.
Yoga helps to improve the overall well-being and function of the person including the immune system, our body’s natural system for self maintenance and defence against foreign organisms. Yoga conditions our body to make us strong and supple to weather the storms of change. It counsels us on food consumption for balance and moderation. It trains us to control our senses to avoid impulsive behaviour and temptation. It teaches us to meditate, to achieve a state of nurturing relaxation to conserve, rebuild and rejuvenate. It gives us guidance and courage to look within ourselves and to understand.

Types of Yoga
As with religions there are many paths of Yoga, different philosophies toward the achievement of enlightenment or union with the supreme consciousness. Due to different conceptual usage of words, it is difficult to fully appreciate the philosophies behind different Yoga. The concept of a single word in the traditional Indian language may not be well described even by and entire sentence in English.
There are four classical paths of Yoga and many more novel paths in India. In the Western Culture the spread of Yoga has very much focus on the Asanas of Yoga, the postures, and have given rise to many more styles. These styles of Yoga present different applications and combinations of asanas. Some styles also practice breath control (pranayama) and meditation (dyan). But only a small percentage of participants actually partake in the full philosophical approach to life that is Yoga.
Four Classical Paths of Yoga (Wikipedia 2008 July 12)

Bhakti yoga is a path devotion to a deity.

Karma Yoga is a path of discipline action devoted towards duty while being detached from reward

Jnana Yoga is a path of knowledge

Raja Yoga is a path to discipline the body and mind, also known as Astanga Yoga.
Astanga Yoga include 8 principles:

1. Yama (Principles or moral code) Develop understanding of, and confidence and respect for oneself

* Ahimsa - A principle of non-violence* Satya - A principle of Truthfulness* Asteya - A principle of non stealing* Brahmacharya - Continence / celibacy* Aparigah - A principle of non-hoarding or non possessiveness
2. Niyama (Personal Disciplines) cultivate consciousness for and balance with our environment, the people and organisms within

* Shoucha - Purity* Santosh - Contentment* Tapa - Endurance* Swadhyaya- Self study* Eshwar Pranidhan- Dedication
3. Asana (postures) A stable and comfortable posture which helps attain mental equilibrium.
4. Pranayama - (Yoga Breathing) Extension and control of breath.
5. Pratyahara - (Withdrawal of Senses)
6. Dharana - (Concentration)
7. Dhyan - (Meditation) Internalizing awareness realizing the subconscious
8. Samadhi - (Enlightenment) preparedness for a peaceful passage to our next stage of existence

Novel Paths of Yoga

Hatha Yoga
Novel Paths of Yoga

Agni Yoga

Anahata Yoga


Vinyasa Yoga

Dream Yoga

Hatha yoga I

ntegral yoga Kriya yoga

Kundalini yoga

Natya Yoga

Six Yogas of Naropa (Tummo)

Sahaja Yoga

Surat Shabd Yoga

Viniyoga Yantra Yoga

Yoga Nidra
Styles of Yoga

Bikrham Yoga

Power Yoga

Iyengar YogaYin Yoga

Prana Yoga