If yoga were a tree…

It is said that if yoga were a tree, the below forms of yoga would be its branches.  As a Beginner Yogi, you may think that yoga consists of a daily or weekly class where you are led through a series of poses and end with some deep relaxation, which in theory is true if you are practicing that form of yoga…

But there different branches of yoga that can be explored, and often a yogi will overlap different practices on their yoga adventure.  Read the below explanations of the various branches of yoga and you may find that you already practice one or more of these, in which case, high five!

6 branches of yogaRAJA YOGA: The main focus of Raja Yoga is meditation, contemplation and self mastery, which is achieved by following the 8 limbs of yoga.

HATHA YOGA: Being the most popular form of yoga in the modern world, Hatha Yoga is the practice of yoga postures (asanas), breath (pranayama) and meditation.  Regular practice of Hatha Yoga creates a union between the body, mind and spirit.

KARMA YOGA: Focusing on being of service and selflessness, Karma Yogis believe that your experiences today are a consequence of your past actions.

BHAKTI YOGA: Yogis follow the path of devotion when practicing Bhakti Yoga, it is all about kindness, acceptance, tolerance and love.

JNANA YOGA: Intellectual yogis are drawn to Jnana Yoga as it is the yoga of the mind.  If reading scripture and traditional yogic texts appeals to you then this is your yoga.

TANTRA YOGA: Be honest, when you read this your mind instantly offered up an image of a sex, probably including some type sensual massage.  Tantra Yoga is actually the practice of ritual.  The belief is that by performing rituals, everything we experience is sacred.

SWING FROM BRANCH TO BRANCH: It is natural to take a leaf here and there from the different branches of yoga. As you learn and grow, your focus may switch to a branch that didn’t interest you at all in the past.  Let yourself be guided and explore with an open mind and heart. It’s all about the journey after all!

So, which branch do you see yourself swinging from?  Have you discovered that you already practice a branch of yoga, what is it?