Forms of Yoga in Indian Tradition

Forms of Yoga in Indian Tradition

Yoga is explained truly in the spiritual sense. This word has an inner meaning that as to join the human consciousness to the divine consciousness in the spiritual sense. There are various forms of yoga that are practiced all over the world. The ultimate aim of all these yogic practices is to attain the absolute consciousness.

There are four main various forms of yoga as per the ancient texts. The various forms are only being the psycho-physical-spiritual wellness which can be applied to it. They are mantra yoga, hatha yoga, raja yoga and laya yoga. According to the five aspects of spiritual life, it is classified as

1. Mantra

2. Hatha

3. Raja 

4. Laya

5. Jnana

Here the laya yoga is known as the kundalini yoga. These forms of yoga have a different role for the spiritual progress. The mantra is of chants, the hatha is of exertion, laya is of deep concentration and raja is of simple meditation. The other form of yoga the Jnana yoga is also added with this forms which are of the divine wisdom. ( see What is Kundalini? )

The Bhagavat-Gita mostly mentions the forms of yoga as that comes under three forms of discipline. These three basic forms are

1. Jnana

2. Bhakti

3. Karma

Here bhakti is real devotion and karma is of action as suits for people with different temperaments. All forms of yoga become inseparable and are interrelated having the existence of all these forms in the path of spiritual progression.

Four stages of yoga

Yoga is spiritual practices that connect and controls the three forms of body viz. gross, astral and the subtle body. This practice experiments through the mind 'a psychic entity' and the body 'a physical entity’. During such practices, the mental alterations, and the vital breath is brought under control. It is emphasized that the purity of the mind cannot be attained without the purity of the body. Yoga practices give much importance to the bodily activities and its perfect health, where the hatha yoga is concerned with attaining perfect health through various postures ( asanas). ( See The Psychology of Kundalini Meditation )

The process of yoga is divided into four different stages as follows,

1. The initial stage is to train the gross body with postures (asana). The body’s biomagnetism is strengthened by practicing the mudras and bandhas which are similar to the postures. By doing such practices, regularly purity of the body can be attained.

2. The second stage is meant with controlling the astral body. The vital breath ‘prana’ is involved in this process. The other processes involved in this stage are stilling the mind from wandering, controlling the vital breath through yogic practices and attaining the concentration.

3. This stage involves both the physical and astral body. Here deep meditation is the process that can be achieved through the disciplined practice. Here the aspirant can acquire the one point concentration. This stage is bestowed with powers and potentials.

4. The final stage is the evolution of the soul as the pure consciousness. In this state, a unity can be seen where the individual soul unites with the absolute soul. This is the stage of enlightenment. ( see 10 Benefits of Practicing Kundalini Yoga and Meditation )

The articles on this website are based on the psychological, philosophical and scientific research. This website is presented with the articles related to the various aspects of Yoga and meditation practices, health and wellness, self-help and spirituality.

The book “Why Kundalini Meditation So Special?” gives a clear understanding of such practices and more over a guide for those who seek the path in this field.