Yoga-branches:Yoga is classified into five branches.
Karma yoga: This yoga mainly deals with people to act in right
direction. It says that one has to perform action without expecting ny reward.
Doing selfless activity is the main mantra of this yoga.
Bakti Yoga: It says complete surrender of oneself
to the supreme lord. This leads to purification of mind, body and soul. People
who practice bakti yoga become mentally very strong and emotionally very
Jnana Yoga: This path is of knowledge and
intelligence. This path is little difficult to follow as one has to do lot of
compromises on the very basic characteristics of human nature like dealing with
ego and to be more humble towards others.
Kriya Yoga: Kriya means any action
done by the person. This form of yoga helps to utilise the internal form of
energy to attain control on body and mind.
Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is another branch of yoga which gives
importance to physical exercise to gain control on body and mind. Hatha is a
Sanskrit word which means ‘force’. This yoga is mainly practised to bridge the
gap between body and the highest conscious state of mind. Most of the asanas
including surya namaskara starts with hatha yoga. This branch of yoga lays lot
of emphasis on proper diet, proper breathing and proper way of doing the
Patanjali sutras of Yoga
Classifications of yoga into 8 limbs:
Patanjali sutras of yoga described 8 sutras of yoga which
shows how to lead a meaningful life and remain happy throughout. Upon
practising each one sutra it brings completeness in individual as they make a
human directly connect to the divine.
Yama: ( Restraint and moral discipline) This is the first sutra of yoga and a
very important in human life. This sutra mainly deals with behavioural aspects
and how we need to conduct in day to day life. There are five yamas namely
Ahimsa (non violence)—it says be kind to all. And do not
hurt anyone either physically or mentally.
be honest and always speak truth.
Asteya( non stealing)—do not steal that does not belong to
you from others.
Brahmacharya (control on senses)—plasticising brahmacharya makes us responsible to reach our goal.
It suggests that we should not use our energy in hurting or harming others.
this yama ask all the human beings to let go the desires on the worldly
immaterial things. This suggests us to be more generous in spreading of wealth,
knowledge to all so as to keep world happy.
Niyama's of yoga
Niyama: The second sutra that patanjali describes are called as Niyama which
means ‘Rules’ or “laws”. Even this sutra like Yama contains 5 rules. These are
not any asanas but they are prescribed so that one can attain contentment in
life. The five niyamas are
this is the first niyama of the yoga sutra. It says cleansing oneself both
physically and mentally. The surroundings around us always reflects our mind.
If our house is neat and clean then even our mind is clean from hatred, and bad
thoughts. Bathing everyday keeps the outer part of the body clean. Practising
pranayam asana everyday keeps the internal organs like lungs, nervous neat and
clean. However it is very important to keep the mind clean from disturbing
emotions of hatred, lust, passion, anger, greed.
finding happiness and contentment with what one possess in life is the second
part of niyama. We should accept how life comes to us and understand that
whatever happens has some purpose in life.
Tapas (spiritual austerities): tapas is an act to keep body, mind
in discipline manner. To burn away the impurities from mind, body and soul,
tapas helps in cultivating strong self respect, discipline and confidence to
face the world. Tapas help in burning all the unwanted desires which acts as a barrier
in reaching our goal.
Svadhyaya (self reflection): This is the third part of niyama. IT
means self study. ‘Sva’ means ‘self’ and ‘adhyaya’ means ‘studying,
practising’. Practising anything that shows the path of self awareness and self
reflection is svadhyaya.
Isvarapranidha( surrender to supreme): having faith in the divine
and surrendering to him completely is Isvarapranidha. This sutra can be
considered as most easiest as well as most difficult path to follow. We let go
and surrender everything to the almighty and remain in peace. Having faith of
supreme lord is having trust, confidence and believing on own self. Praying to
God every day, thanking the almighty before having every meal are some method
to surrender to almighty.
Asanas of yoga
Asanas: The third sutra is the Asanas. Different postures that are followed in
yoga are Asanas. It helps one to have a disciplined life by controlling his
mind and body. These asanas help us to connect to the nature and enjoy the beauty
of the nature. Certain asanas poses
challenge to the practiner to have control on his emotions, feelings. The
meditation helps to increase the concentration of the person. There are various
asanas both for physical and mental. One who follows these Asanas regularly
will not only attains physical stamina and power but also increases the
concentration power and get good control on mind and body.
Other important sutras of yoga
Pranayama: (Breath Control) This is the most important sutra for
controlling breath. This is the fourth sutra in yoga which helps in breathing
disabilities and helps in respiratory problems. It can be said that the breath
and mind are closely related. If one have control on his breath then he can
have good control on his mind as well. This is the most important sutra which
can be practiced every day at the beginning of the day. This sutra further
leads to Pratyahara.
Prathyahara: (control of senses) Sense organs play a vital role in the
physical and mental development of any person. If one can get control on these
senses then he can achieve a good control on his mind. This sutra basically
deals with control of senses. This sutra is mainly withdrawal from these five
senses. Prathya means withdraw. It is not that we withdraw from these senses it
is the whole understanding on these five sense changes. It is just not taste,
hear, see, touch, hunger. We can easily start meditating without the fear of
feeling hunger. One who follows this and can get control on his senses, then it
is not difficult for them to achieve any difficult task in life. A person who
gets influenced by the external senses and sensations can never be satisfied or
happy in life.
Dharana: This is the sixth sutra of
yoga which deals with concentration. It says if one is able to concentrate
fully on what work they are doing then it is easy to have control on mind and
body. Pranayama, Prathyahara and Dharana are interlinked to each other and if
one is able to follow all three regularly then he can have good control on his
mind, body and senses.
Dhyana: (Meditation) The seventh limb is Dhyana or
meditating. This is the continuation of Dharana and commonly called as
meditation. Again this is the absorption of mind on any particular aspect. Best
way of practising is if one get distracted while doing Dhyana then starting
from the beginning is the best practice.
Samadhi: This is the last stage or sutra of yoga. As one can practise dhyana and
finally reaches the point of Samadhi, where one relinquishes from the word ‘I’.
this helps us to see everything in the society equally without any disturbance
and treat everyone equally.