Yoga is the science of living right and therefore it should be included in daily life. It works on all aspects of the person: Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Yoga means unity or bondage. The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” which means connected. At a spiritual level this kind of connection means combining personal consciousness with universal consciousness. At the practical level, yoga means balancing and coordinating the body, mind, and emotions. This yoga or unity is achieved through the practice of asana, pranayama, mudra, bond, shakarta, and meditation.
Yoga first benefits the outer body, which is a practical and familiar starting place for most people. When there is an imbalance at this level, the limbs, muscles, and nerves do not work together, but they work in the opposite direction of each other.
After the external body, yoga works on mental and emotional aspects. As a result of the stress and busyness of daily life, many people are suffering from many mental problems. Yoga probably does not provide treatment but it is a proven method for coping with these mental issues.
In the last century, Hatha Yoga (which is just one type of yoga) has become very popular. Now awareness of the true meaning of yoga is spreading and complete knowledge about it is definitely increasing.
Types of yoga
Raj yoga is the first branch of yoga. Raj means royal. This yoga is divided into eight parts, that’s why Patanjali named it ashtang yoga as asht means eight in Sanskrit. The eight parts are yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, Dharana, dhyana, and Samadhi. The most important part among the eight is dhyana which means concentration. Asana is the most popular part of raj yoga and most of the peoples even think that yoga means asana. However, asana is only a part of raj yoga.
Next branch is the karma yoga or the path of service and no one can escape from it. The principle of Karma Yoga is that what we are experiencing today is the result of our actions from the past. Being aware of this can make us a way to make a good future with the help of our present, which frees us from being bound by negativity and selfishness. Whenever we do our work, live in selfless form and serve others, then we do karma yoga.
Bhakti Yoga describes the path of devotion. Bhakti Yoga is a positive way of controlling emotions. The path of devotion gives us the opportunity to create acceptance and tolerance for all.
Gyan yoga is the yoga of wisdom. To walk on this path, serious study of yoga texts is required. Gyan Yoga is considered the most difficult and direct yoga. Gyan Yoga attracts those who are intellectually interested.
When to practice yoga
One to two hours before the sunrise is said to be the best time to practice yoga. But yoga can be done at the time of sunset also if someone is not able to wake up early in the morning. Yoga asanas should be done by using yoga mats or simple mats. Yoga should be done in an open environment like a park where there is fresh air available.