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yoga paths

I have always seen yoga as a way of life rather than just an exercise program.  There are also many benefits from spiritual connections to dealing with stress.  Yoga is considered one of the oldest forms of exercise dating back more than five thousand years.

There are four paths to follow that you can choose to follow in your yoga practice.  You can choose to do one or more.  Yoga is about exploring new opportunities within your mind and body.  The first path is raja, which is the practice of physical and mental control.  Raja yoga is considered to be the complete yoga practice.  The first part of it is the practice of meditation, which teaches you self-awareness, concentration and breathing.  The physical side is when yoga poses are performed through the movement of the breath.  This path is an example of the mind – body connection.

The second path of action is karma yoga.  Karma yoga is about taking the yoga practice off of the mat and practicing the principles in everyday life, such as giving to and helping people without the expectation of receiving something back.  The focus is on the cause and effect of our actions on individuals.  A true karma yogi like myself takes their yoga practice within their hearts and expresses their love to others.

The third path is the path of devotion, called bhakti.  This path involves opening your heart to a divine power through prayer, worship and ritual.  It also involves living your life through a divine power belief system.

The final path is jnana yoga, the path of knowledge.  This path is considered the most difficult path to follow because it integrates the lessons of all four paths to help you find the meaning of life within ourselves by meditation, questioning and contemplating experiences.  The student uses their mind and body to explore the spiritual self and it’s connection to the world.

The path the student will take in their yoga practice will depend on what the student wants from their yoga practice.  For example, some might want increased flexibility, a spiritual connection or want to practice compassion in their life.

To quote Robert Frost,

Two roads diverged in a wood, and

I took the one less traveled by.

And that has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken

Yoga is about seeing where life will take you filled with many exciting adventures to learn from.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2010 at 10:27 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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