There are so many techniques for Yoga, classical ones date back to 5,000 years ago. You should get to know a general idea about Yoga and its branches. Now, I am going to give you a summary about each branch, and trust me the more you know the more eager you will be to read more about it.
Yoga has six branches, and they are Hatha; Bhakti; Karma; Raja; Tantra; Jnana. Let us take a quick look at each, to know the difference between them, also to know what they can offer to us.
The most popular branch is Hatha, and it is the path of physical Yoga or Yoga of postures. It includes physical poses “Asana”, breathing techniques “Pranayama”, and Meditation. It unites the body and soul, and brings the body to be healthy, and the mind to be clear and free from any stress.
Bhakti is the path of heart and faith, or Yoga of devotion. It enables the yogis to discover the real humanity in everyone and to look to the things from every dimension, therefore, he will be able to love, accept and tolerate anything and everything easily. It teaches the person to appreciate love and life, persists to devote himself to God.
Karma considers your present state is a subsequence of your past state, or the events into which you had been. It is the path of service, which refers to action’s energy. It helps you to forget all the negatives in your life, by choosing and living a positive future while you are practicing this branch of Yoga. This makes you live a good life, by speaking good, thinking good, doing good; …….., and so on, a complete change of your life to the good side, which will definitely be in your favor and your surrounding’s favor, too.
Raja means “royal”, and known as “King of Yoga’s”. It focuses on meditation and contemplation, and it is based on the eight limbs of Yoga (will be discussed later). It provides self-respect; by concentrating on that, the universe exists for the self. On giving the self the centrality, you will have respect for the self, for others and for all the creatures surrounding you.
Tantra is ritual. Many people do not understand what Tantra Yoga is about; they think it is some sort of a magic spell for wizards. Moreover, most of the people categorize this branch as sexual, which is far away from the truth. It is the knowledge of Tattva (the truth), and Mantra (mystic syllables). It uses rituals to understand and concentrate in everything we do, including sex, that is why people get confused with this and being all about sex, but it is about all the actions in our life.
When you experience it, you will notice an improvement in your awareness all the time, whether you are awake or even asleep. However, it might be so interesting and appealing to you, but Yoga practitioners must be of certain category, they must be pure, devoted, courageous, dedicated to his Guru, faithful, dispassionate, truthful, and above all own humanity and cosmic love.
Jnana is the path of Yoga of the mind, as it concerns wisdom and knowledge. It ameliorates your intelligence and wisdom. In addition, it provides you with an open and bright mind to study your spirit.
Now, after knowing the main idea of each branch, you can decide what branch you are interested in the most. Read as much as you can about the one you chose. Register yourself in the class next door. You can also practice it at home; just get the exercise instructions from the net, a book or a videotape.