hatha Yoga, raja (ashtanga) yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, kriya yoga,
karma yoga

Hatha
Yoga

Ha and tha, the sun and moon, refer to the two opposite currents
that regulate all processes in our body. There is nothing mysteries about it because any
thing in our universe exists because of a positive and negative charge. Hatha Yoga, Raja
Yoga, and Kriya Yoga are specifically dealing with the intention of gaining control over
the flow of these life-currents. Hatha Yoga is known for the asanas or postures. The first
effects felt are usually improved health and strengthened nervous system. Some Hatha Yogis
may even demonstrate control over internal organs, blood flow, and breathing. The ability
of some Yogis to even stop the breathing and heart beat completely for a period of time
has been demonstrated under laboratory settings. There are many good books available on
this subject and one is wise to have a copy handy that also include pictures of the
various asanas and mudras.


Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga means royal and is sometimes called the crown of Hatha
Yoga.
Raja adds concentration after body and mind are cleaned and trained to stay calm and
attentive.
The improvement in our power of concentration, as a result of Raja Yoga, moves all our
attention towards the source of our Being in order to become that Being. Raja Yoga is also
a complete system. It is also refered to as Ashtanga Yoga because of the eight limps the
system rests on.
The eight limbs are:
1. Restraints (yamas: harmlessness, truthfulness, non-stealing, control of senses)
2. Disciplines (niyamas: cleanliness, purification of body, mind and nervous system, study
of metaphysical principles, contemplation on God.
3. Postures (asanas)
4. Control of breathing and life-currents (pranayama)
5. Turning the attention within (pratyahara)
6. Concentration (dharana)
7. Meditation (dhyana: prolonged periods of perfect concentration and contemplation)
8. Holy Trance (Samadhi)

The following organizations are an excellent source of various
Yoga disciplines:

 
Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy

RR1, Box 400, Honesdale, PA 18431. Phone: 1-800-821-9642

 
Ma Yoga Shakti International Mission

114-23 Lefferts Blvd., South Ozone Park, NY 11420. Phone: 718-641-0402 E-mail: Yogashakti@aol.com

 
Shree Maa at Devi Mandir

5950 Highway 128, Napa, CA 94558  Phone/Fax: 707-966-2802


Bhakti Yoga (Union through
Devotion and Love)

Bhakti Yoga is nothing else than to follow the ‘First
Commandment’
which says:
"to love God with all your heart, mind and soul."
This is the Yoga of selfless love, compassion, humility, purity and the desire and serious
intention to merge with God.
The following persons are known as outstanding examples of Bhakti Yogis.

 
Daya
Mata

 Shree Maa
 Anandamayi
Ma
(1896 – 1982)
  Mother Teresa (1910 – 1997)
 Ma
Yoga Shakti

 Mata
Amritanandamayi (Ammachi)


Jnana Yoga (The Yoga of
Knowledge)

Jnana Yoga is practical Philosophy/Metaphysics. It is both theory
and practice. Jnana Yoga uses the intellect as a tool to understand that our true Self is
behind and beyond our mind. It is, however, a mistake to think the Source could be found
with the intellect alone. For the purpose of Self-discovery, Jnana Yoga probes the nature
of the Self through the question
"Who am I?" Thus
Jnana Yoga may be called the Quest for the Self or the Inquiry into "who we
are."

Shankara and, more
recently,
Ramana Maharshi
are the classic authorities concerning Jnana Yoga. Like Hatha- and Radja Yogis, Jnana
Yogis also acknowledge the relationship between breathing and thinking. However, they
found out that breathing slows automatically through the concentration on the
"I-AM." Through persistent probing, fixing our attention on the source of our
Being, we regain our real Self; we remember who we are. The inquiry, as the result of
practising Jnana Yoga, leads us towards clear Awareness by removing our attention from
that which we are not. Along with Bhakti Yoga (Devotion), Jnana is listed among the best
approaches for becoming aware of the eternal Self (God).

More more in-depth information on Jnana Yoga go to: Jnana
Yoga


Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga refers to actions designed to get rid of obstructions
involving body and mind. Kriya Yoga is a complete system covering a wide range of
techniques, including mantras and techniques of meditation for control of the life-force,
bringing calmness and control of both body and mind. The goal is to unite with pure
Awareness (God). Since pure Awareness is our original condition, it is also referred to as
Self-awareness.

The following organizations are known to be genuine sources for
the original techniques:

Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)
Center for Spiritual Awareness
(CSA)
Ananda World Brotherhood Village

For more in-depth information on Kriya Yoga go to: Kriya
Yoga


Karma Yoga

Self-less work for our fellow neighbour.


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  • Yoga Yoga means to yoke (to unite) with the source of our Being (pure Beingness is pure Awareness and not nothingness). Hatha Yoga While most Hatha Yoga classes concentrate on the physical aspects in order to increase flexibility, and improve one’s health, Hatha Yoga by itself can be the tool for Self-realization. To this end […]

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