The term “yoga” can be defined as the union of one’s consciousness and universal consciousness. The term “Yoga” literally means union, and the process of yoga is any method or pose that is used to reach your higher state of being and nature.
In the traditional documents, the word “yoga” is described or understood as referring to HATA YOGA (Yoga poses). Hata Yoga is the science and techniques of using bodily postures to purify one’s mind, body, and soul. Allowing us to reach and achieve the higher state of yoga or UNION.
This article explains what is yoga, and we also discuss the four different paths of yoga and why four paths of yoga.
(Also Read: How to Practice Mindfulness?)
I. Four Different Paths of Yoga:
1. Karma Yoga (BODY):
Karma yoga can be defined as using physical action or movements to achieve the ultimate union between oneself and the universe. This yoga cannot be defined as a service; it is just a pure bodily action without any intention. Working with such abandon that the body is no longer a limitation for action.
2. Jnana Yoga (MIND):
Jnana yoga can be defined as using one’s intellect to transcend the physical and reach ultimate union with oneself and the universe’s consciousness. The intellect must be uninfluenced by any external factors. A genuine jnana yogi does not believe or disbelieve anything. For instance: “What I know, I know, what I do not know, I do not know.” – this is true jnana.
Jnana is more than just philosophizing about the world of an ancient belief in the world. It usually requires a very sharp and curious mind and a constant state of deep focus to access the truth.
3. Bhakti Yoga (EMOTION):
Bhakti yoga can be defined as using one’s emotions to reach the ultimate union between oneself and the universe’s consciousness. Devotion is usually a way of transforming one’s deep emotions from negativity to pleasantness. Through and with the help of this sweetness, one grows both internally and externally. Devotion can be described as another dimension of intelligence.
4. Kriya Yoga (ENERGY):
Kriya yoga can be defined as the energy that is the core basis behind one’s body, mind, and deep emotions. Using the internal action and transforming your energies to reach the ultimate union. Working with Kriya yoga can deeply influence the other three aspects of a human being.
Kriya yoga often demands a lot of hard work and discipline. It also demands a lot of time investment, but it is up to each one of us like it depends on how diligently we pursue Kriya yoga depending on how quickly they wish to achieve the desired outcomes by achieving the ultimate union between themselves and the universe.
II. Why Four Paths of Yoga?
The term “Yoga’ as we have already discussed above in this article, is attached to a technique to indicate or show that it is a complete mindful path unto itself. The four realities for any sane human being are the BODY, MIND, EMOTION, AND ENERGY. We all are a combination of these four things. They are only different aspects.
So, which is why the combination of these four paths of yoga allows us to work on all these four different aspects of our being. We all are unique and different in our ways, but we all are a unique combination of these four aspects.
Although we all usually have one dominant aspect over the other. Every moment, every one of us is doing one of these four types of yoga, but in a completely unorganized and unrecognizable way.
(Related: Yoga 101: Yoga Poses for Beginners)