Yoga is an ancient art of unifying the mind, body, and spirit through physical and mental discipline. Yoga originated in India and was used for enlightenment. “Yoga” is Sanskrit and means “union” with the main belief being that health and well being are derived from physical, mental and spiritual harmony.
Though there many forms of yoga, there are Five Paths or the five main forms of yoga:
Hatha yoga: Yoga of Vitality- focusing on physical poses and breathing control.
Bhakti yoga: Yoga of Love- focusing on changing and meditation to bring connection with the divine.
Karma yoga: Yoga of Selfless Action- philosophical focus teaching to serve others without seeking reward purifies the mind and body
Jnana Yoga: Yoga of Knowledge- Has an intellectual approach and involves the study of ancient scriptures to lift the veil of illusion
Raja yoga: releases mental and psychic abilites, concentration and breathing control.
The western belief is that yoga has to be challenging physically and has to be more like fitness. However yoga includes exercise, pranayama (yogic breathing), relaxation, meditation and even a pure diet (the yogic diet).
It’s become more popular in the western world but there are people that still are led astray because their focus is on anything else other than their physical beings. We must remember it is all connected and with the assistance of yoga we can achieve balance and harmony in our minds, bodies, and spirits, as yoga leads us to the inner essence of our being.
You can research the best yoga style that will fit you based on your lifestyle and begin there. Yoga doesn’t have to be an hour long full of vigourous movements. Find what works for you.