There are four fundamental types of Yoga: Karma, Jnana, Bhakti and Raja yoga. Any yoga that you do comes under one or more of these four essential paths. This is because a human being is a combination of these four aspects in life: body, mind, emotion, and energy.
🧘♀️ Karma Yoga- Path of Action
In the history of yoga, karma yoga was about renouncing all action. According to traditional ideas, every action leads to further entanglements in the world. However, action is part of man’s being. And so it is not possible for him to renounce the worldly.
Thus we create a certain dependence and bondage to the worldly, in order to then begin an inner process of release in the practice of karma yoga. The aim is to dissolve or restrain the power and motivation of action. In the end, it is about the action to be done, regardless of success or failure, punishment or reward. What counts is the Here and Now, the moment, not the achievement.
👉 How to practice Karma yoga in daily life?
- careful breathing and walking
- waiting at red lights or standing in traffic jams
🧘♀️Jnana Yoga- Path of Intelligence
Jnana means the path to knowledge, to wisdom, far from our rational knowledge, which we use in everyday life. Here, a distinction is made between the knowledge that is taught and a realization in the sense of a lived wisdom, our purpose. Jnana yoga practice seeks to awaken us through the means of reflection and thought so that we can unlock our true wisdom potential. It is about recognizing and living one’s inner purpose regardless of success or failure in action. As long as we strive for the positive but reject the negative, we will live in constant conflict. It is about letting go of striving and wanting and trying hard….
👉 How to practice Jnana yoga in daily life?
- practicing for its own sake
- doing something without the intention of success
- acting without expecting
🧘♀️Bhakti Yoga- Path of Devotion
Bhakti describes the path of loving devotion to the inner divine in every human being. The three steps of Bhakti Yoga: 1. the mind should no longer be directed towards commandments and dogmas, but in loving devotion towards a chosen deity itself. This outer devotion is unique and transforms into an inner devotion. The Bhakti Yogi focuses on his chosen deity as his personal ideal. He surrenders to him with everything. Now it is about recognizing the inner divine voice, also known as intuition. Followed by the 3rd step, the return to the world of action. In the lived devotion of bhakti to the inner divine, the human being attains a power through which the ties to the worldly begin to loosen. Common in bhakti yoga practice is meditation with the primordial mantra A-U-M, as well as reciting and listening to the Vedas (sacred scriptures) and chanting kirtans (religious songs). All practices are about becoming awake to the forgotten sound of our own inner divinity.
👉 How to practice Bhakti yoga in daily life?
- Breathe in and out consciously a few times. The vowels a-e-i-o-u are chanted in repetitive cycles. Try to tune into the sound and the sounding. Then remain silent when the last sound has faded away.
🧘♀️Raja Yoga- Path of Meditation
In the world of desires, it is easy to lose sight of what is important. The first step in raja yoga is to retreat from the daily grind in order to practice detachment from things and to curb our expectations and thinking. The senses, and with them the mind, are turned inwards like a tortoise. One embarks on the journey to the true self.
The mind retreats into the depths of the inner being and then, with the power of awareness, returns to the world to feel what is really important. It no longer derives self-esteem from its possessions, nor is it dependent on success or failure. It is possible to live the gained awareness of the inside also on the outside.
👉 How to practice Raja yoga (Meditation) in daily life?
- Choose a place where you won’t be disturbed and wear comfortable clothes
- Sit upright and relaxed.
- Consciously choose a specific time and plan to practice regularly. Start by sitting 5 minutes
🧘♀️ Uniting the 4 types of yoga
They are not really different paths of yoga. In fact, we address all of them at once. It is important that in a very balanced way all of them are given the same importance, as one unit. When you experience everything as one in your consciousness, then you are in yoga. Yoga is a union of all these.