How to Learn The Basics of Yoga

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  1. Yoga is about focusing your energy into constructive channels. And the name of an individual who follows the teachings of yoga is known as a “yogi.” There are actually several different types of yoga:

    Karma yoga focuses on giving of oneself without expecting any reward.

    Jnana yoga is a philosophical approach to unveiling the illusions of the world.

    Bhakti yoga focuses on channeling emotional energy into one’s spiritual practice.

    Rhaja yoga focuses on concentration and mind control. It is within rhaja yoga that we find Hatha yoga, the physical practice, which most people practice as a form of exercise. As there are many styles of dance, so are there many forms of Hatha yoga. Current popular styles include (but are not limited to):

    – Gentle yoga, which is sometimes also called by the generic name “hatha yoga.” This usage of “hatha” is debatable. Some believe the term should only be used to refer to the general idea for all physical yogas, while others use it colloquially to refer to the gentler style. In Gentle yoga, the focus is on long stretches and flexibility, with slow, deep breathing (yogic breathing is known as “Pranayama”). This can be very soothing for the mind. It is the kind of mellow style most people picture when they think of yoga.

    – Kundalini yoga works on the premise that the body has eight “chakras.” Through use of “breath of fire” (rapid breathing), one can heat up the body from the bottom up, eventually “raising kundalini” to achieve a feeling of high enlightenment.

    – Power yoga is also known by the Sanskrit term Vinyasa yoga (a “vinyasa” is a series of rapid movements which warm up the body all over). This is a very active form of yoga, in which a person moves quickly through the poses (called “Asanas”), not holding them as long as in other styles. It is virtually guaranteed that you will sweat a lot in this; it is not for the faint of heart and gives a real challenge to the muscles.


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