1. Karma Yoga – Yoga of Service
2. Bhakti Yoga – Yoga of Devotion
3. Jnana Yoga – Yoga of Mind
4. Raja Yoga – Yoga of Self-Control
5. Tantra Yoga – Yoga of Rituals
6. Hatha Yoga – Yoga of Postures. This branch of Yoga is most commonly used and includes physical poses or Asana, Breathing Techniques or Pranayama, and Meditation to achieve better health, as well as spirituality. There are many styles within this path – Iyengar, Integral, Ashtanga, Kripalu, and Jiva Mukti to name a few.
Maharshi Patanjali in Yogasutra has recommended eight stages for the purification of body, mind and breath. This is called ‘Ashtanga Yoga’. This includes self control, postures, regulation of breath, religious observance, steadiness of the mind, meditation, restraint of senses and profound contemplation:
1. Yama – Yama is the first limb of Ashtanga Yoga and comprises of the behavioral norms that need to be followed, to attain tranquility of the mind.
2. Niyama – Niyama is the second limb of Yoga, which means laws or rules. It contains the internal practices/rules that need to be observed by individuals, at the personal level.
3. Asanas – Asanas means postural exercises. There are many postures developed for Yoga. Asana or posture is a means to attain integration of mind and body, by means of physical activity.
4. Pranayama – These are breathing exercises along with scientific restraint, constraint and release of breath after purification of joints, ligaments etc. with help of Asanas. Pranayama is a way by which one can attain life force energy control, through breathing.
5. Pratyahar – It is practice of inner watching by all the senses, organs and mind. This leads to cleanliness of mind, senses and emotions. Pratyahara literally means “to withdraw oneself from that which nourishes the senses.” In yoga, the term pratyahara implies withdrawal of the senses from getting attached to external objects.
6. Dharana – It identifies the goal and direction of life. The main idea underlying Dharana, is the ability to focus on something (uninterrupted both by external or internal distractions).
7. Dhyana – It is state of oneness to wholeness – meditation. While practicing Dhyana Yoga, we meditate on a single flow of idea. The purpose is to withdraw all senses from various objects of interest. The focus is laid upon on one object.
8. Samadhi – With this you are able to merge with totality and you are omnipresent. Samadhi is a physical and mental state of body which denotes higher levels of concentrated meditation, or dhyana. When one becomes absorbed in it, personal identity vanishes. In the moment of Samadhi nothing mundane exists.
For the purposes of our further discussions we would limit ourselves to the Yogasanas, Pranayamas and Kriyas used for the treatment of various diseases in Naturopathy.
To book an appointment, click here.