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Yoga part -2

Different types of yoga:

Bhakti yoga ("Yoga of Devotion") is the path of devotion (to the Divine). It is pure selfless love
from the heart. A bhakti yogi feels that whenever he thinks of God, God thinks more of him. A relationship between a Bhakta and God can never be described in words.

Karma yoga ("Yoga of Action") is the path of selfless service. For a karma yogi, the activities of human life is a God given opportunity to serve Him. He does not feel that the world is an illusion, does not encounter the ego given 'highs' of success or the 'lows' of failure. Thus a karma yogi is detached while carrying out his duties on the earth. Karma Yoga can also be summed up in a statement by Sri Bhagavan Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: "Worshipping Him with proper actions, a man attains realization". One key to Karma Yoga is the performance of right action and service for its own sake, without consideration of the immediate or apparent results.

Dnyana yoga ("Yoga of Wisdom") is the path of knowledge. A dnyana yogi wants to understand the
transcendental truth. He wants to solve the mystery of birth, death and the purpose of life. Hindu scriptures describe a Dnyan yogi as one who utters Neti, Neti meaning 'not this, not this' to differentiate between what is permanent and impermanent. He uses viveka (discernment) for moving on from avidya (ignorance) to vidya (knowledge). He discerns that the world as perceived by the senses is not real, but an illusion conjured up by the mind.
Dnyana Yoga is the yoga of the philosopher and thinker who wants to go beyond the visible, material reality. The Dnyan Yogi finds God through knowledge. Dnyana Yoga is summed up in the Upanishads by the following statement: "In the method of reintegration through knowledge, the mind is ever bound to the ultimate end of existence which is liberation This method leads to all attainments and is ever auspicious."

Ashtanga (eight step) yoga was developed by Patanjali. The eight steps that Would lead a seeker from ignorance to Truth are :

Yama Self control
Niyama Strict observance of character
Asanas Body postures
Pranayama Breathing exercises, and control of prana
Pratyahara Withdrawal from sense desires
Dharana Concentration on an object
Dhyana Meditation on the Divine
Samadhi Union with the Divine

Hatha Yoga ("ForcefulYoga"):
It is a yoga concerned with physical and energetic purification and training. Its goal is to bring the physical body into a perfect state of health so the soul has a fitting vehicle of expression to work through. It embraces many practices, including physical postures and breathing exercises (pranayama) which also act upon the physical nervous system and etheric body which is considered a corollary aspect of the physical body and brings the vital energies of the physical and etheric bodies under conscious control.

Raja yoga ("Royal Yoga") is a science. There is no unconditional faith required. It is similar to a person who would go to the doctor for illness, and take the medicine the doctor gives with a faith that it will cure him. If he followed all the doctor's orders but still wasn't cured then it is the fault of the doctor and not that of the patient.

Kundalini yoga :Most of the saints have agreed that the culmination of the Kundalini Shakti is essential for enlightenment. Various types of raja yogas (including siddha yoga, kriya yoga, laya yoga, sahaja yoga etc.) end with the activation and culmination of the kundalini shakti at the crown chakra. They may be referred to as Kundalini yoga. Kundalini is the dormant energy which lies at the base of spine.

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Maria Tomlin ,belleville, mi writes -- Great article with clear definitions and explanations. I liked the emphasis on Yoga as an comprehensive practice as opposed to a physical discipline.