types of yoga

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and it is known for its essential benefits to the mind and soul. It brings physical and mental satisfaction along with creating a spiritual connection. It creates a bond between the soul and the Divine with the practice. In order to deeply understand Yoga, one needs to know and understand the seven traditional Types of Yoga.

1.Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga is also popularly known as “Royal Yoga” which includes all yogas along with its philosophy which extends beyond different types of yoga. Raja Yoga stresses on the benefits and the positive impact of meditation for self-realization in a spiritual sense along with the purposeful evolution of our deep hidden consciousness.

It is also referred to as Mental Yoga or Yoga of the Mind, as it emphasizes awareness of the state of mind of an individual. It is through the skilled practice of deep concentration that an individual learns to calms the minds as well as bring it to one focal point. It is at this particular point that individual direct attention inwardly, towards the true nature which is essentially Divine. One can achieve this by means of following the popular Eight-fold path of Yoga which includes the following:

The 8 Limbs of Yoga

  • Yamas meaning Abstentions, Ahimsa meaning Non-Injury, Satya meaning Truth, Asteya meaning Non-stealing, Brahmacharya meaning Chastity, A paragraph meaning Non-greed.
  • Niyamas meaning moral observations, Sasha meaning purity, Santosha meaning contentment, Tapas meaning austerity, Svadhya meaning study of scriptures and Ishvara Pranidhana meaning surrender to God.
  • Asana: The steady posture or pose.
  • Pranayama: the control of essential energy through the work of breathing.
  • Pratyahara: withdrawal of our different sense.
  • Dharana: the impeccable concentration of the mind,
  • Dhyana: the meditation
  • Samadhi: the union of the individual with the Divine, the Enlightenment.

2.Karma Yoga

It is essentially the path of “action” or giving your entire effort to action without any attachment to the outcome. It can easily be applied to anything that you do: from the most common tasks to greater and challenging acts. When any action is done selflessly, with complete focus as well as attention, it brings a kind of fulfillment as well as freedom. Performing an action without being attracted to the results of one’s deeds, alone can lead to complete union with the Self, which essentially the goal of Yoga.

It is selfless giving of oneself via the medium of the work, and it stems from the love and affection which finds the fulfillment in pure giving without any particular thought of selfish goal or acknowledgment. It is closely linked to Bhakti Yoga as without any love and devotion, it could be quite impossible to help and serve others without any selfishness. Performing and acting on different duties as well as serving humanity without any type of selfish motives essentially purifies the heart and the soul and it brings satisfaction.

3.Jnana Yoga

Jnana, also known as wisdom or knowledge is essentially considered to be the most difficult one of the four major styles of Yoga, which requires the immense strength of both intellect and will. In this yoga, the minds are utilized to inquire into its very own nature and also transcend the identification of the mind with its ego and thoughts. Jana Yoga’s fundamental goal is to get liberated from this illusionary world of thoughts and perception, known as Maya, along with the achieving union with the Atman, or inner self, with the oneness of all life, called as Brahman. This can easily be achieved by consistent practice of different mental techniques of reflection, self-questioning as well as conscious illumination which are defined and mentioned in the Four Pullers of Knowledge. These are the prescribed steps to achieve liberation in Jnana Yoga. These different practices are essentially built upon each other and should always be practiced in sequential order. Even if one doesn’t want to achieve liberation, practicing these techniques would certainly lead to spiritual insight as well as understanding along with reducing the one’s suffering as well as the dissatisfaction with life.

It consists of Viveka meaning discrimination, Vairagya meaning detachment, Shatsampat, and Mumukshutva.

The Shatsampat is essentially size virtues or six mental methods to stabilize both the mind and the emotions. It consists of Shama meaning calmness, Dama meaning control, Uparati meaning withdrawal, Titiksha meaning endurance, Shraddha meaning faith, and Samadhana meaning concentration.

Mumukshutva is a passionate and intense desire to achieve liberation from suffering. To achieve this liberation, one has to be entirely committed to the path along with such longing that makes the other desires fade away.

4.Bhakti Yoga

It is considered to be among the four major styles of yoga that leads to enlightenment. It means “devotion” or also “love” and this particular path consists of different practices in order to unite the practitioner or Bhakt with the Divine. The Bhakti Yoga is also considered to be the easiest one of all yogic paths to master as well as considered as the most direct practice to experience the mind’s unity along with body and the spirit. While Hatha Yoga requires a flexible and strong body, Raja Yoga requiring a concentrated mind, Jnana Yoga requiring intellect, the only requirement of Bhakti Yoga is a loving and open heart. It also complements the other different paths of Yoga too, and it is considered that jnana will come by itself when one is engaged in devotional practices of this Bhakti Yoga.

Bhakti softens the heart and also removes all kind of jealousy, lust, hatred, anger, pride, egoism as well as arrogance. It infuses the divine ecstasy, joy, bliss, knowledge, and peace in one’s mind. It takes away all the worries and anxieties along with fear and tribulations. The Bhakt is freed from the Samsaric chakra or wheel of birth and death. The ultimate and final goal of practicing Bhakti yoga is to attain the state of rasa which is the essence, that is a feeling of pure bliss which is achieved through the devotional surrendering to the Divine.

5.Mantra Yoga

The Mantra word originates from the Sanskrit words of Mantrana which means suggestion. Mantras are essentially potent and sacred words which provide great results in the mental, physical and spiritual levels when they are chanted with immense devotion and concentration.

Manta types of Yoga is essentially a science where these mantras are considered to be the signposts of the turbulent and wandering mind, steering it to the right and ambient poise for concentration and meditation. Continuous repetition of mantras entirely engages the whole mind which offers different means of bringing it closer to the divinity. Mantra’s chanting also produces positive vibrations, which bring benefits to the individual who chants along the one who listens.

By means of consistent repetition of the mantra, the practitioner absorbs the power of Divine power in the mantra. Chanting of mantras also create potent divine vibrations. These mantras help in filling the cells of the practitioner with the divine energy.

Repetition of Mantras is also known as Japa. Every mantra is also a symbol of Divinity, and when they are chanted, they help in gaining access to the transcendental realms of complete and comprehensive reality.

Chanting of these mantras also brings the practitioner into union with the Divine which is blissful. It evokes the God-consciousness in the mind which is purified and also becomes the essential mean for union with God.

6.Tantra Yoga

The major goal of Tantra types of yoga is the awakening of Kundalini which is located at the spine’s base. It aims to achieve perfect unity between the crown chakra, also called as Shiva, and the energy center. A perfect harmony state can be attained via consistent practice which includes chanting the name of the almighty or the holy name along with offering prayers as well as engaging in different rituals.

The journey of Tantra is essentially to know both Shakthi and Shiva, all at once, as one. By means of the process of awakening of Kundalini, the two are essentially experienced in their union state. Tantra Yoga’s goal is the union of static Shiva and Shakti, aspects of one’s personality.

The essential essence of Tantra yoga is actually the saying which states that only when Shakti is united with Shiva, Shiva has the power to create. Tantra Yoga majorly focuses on spiritual healing. It also assists in better and efficient utilization of the energies which are locked in the different lower chakras. It essentially empowers the practitioner to lead an efficient life.

7.Hatha Yoga

It is the Yoga of Balance in the body of a practitioner, both subtle and gross. The “Ha” in Hath means the sun and the “Tha” means the moon. It consists of all physician practices and is also characterized by asanas which are essential poses and postures.

Hatha Yoga also consists of Yogic science and the purpose of Hatha Yoga is to bring harmony to the body’s chakras and the energy points which are present throughout the body.

5 Most Popular Types of Hath Yoga You Should Know:


It is a common Yoga form which consists of a seamless flow of different asana, also with Pranayama.


It is quite a powerful Hath Yoga types that awaken the energies of the Kundalini which lies dormant at the spine’s base and travels upward all the way to the chakras. It consists of intense breathing as well as energizing movements along with chanting.


It is quite an intense Yoga form, which consists of different postures. The different asanas are essentially combined with the breath, and the progress is made into differently advanced asana in order to tone as well as master the body.


It is a versatile Hatha Yoga which includes the utilization of props like cushions, blocks, along with straps and is hence considered suitable for different body types as well as capabilities.


It is popularly known as “Hot Yoga,” which is actually practices in a closed room which is heated to a considerably high temperature as well as humidity level. It is a completely new form of Yoga which is dedicated to sweating out the toxins in the body.

Final Word

All these traditional types of yoga are essentially the essence of thousands of years of practicing advanced exercises and asanas, along with different postures to enlighten the body, attain concentration, focus on mind and soul towards the Divine, and getting closer to Enlightenment. They are the methods to get in touch with the supreme Divinity and embody itself in one’s self.

You Can Also, Read – Vajrasana | Bakasana | Garudasana | Matsyasana | Ustrasana | Mayurasana


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