6 Branches Of Yoga That You Must Know[Infographic]

Read to know what kind of yoga suits you the best

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Are you assuming yoga is nothing but poses (asanas) and pranayams?

Hold on…it’s way beyond.

You will understand better if you know the roots and branches of yoga.Yoga is not just about toning your body. It’s also about refreshing your mind.

Yoga has been around more than 10,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in Rig Veda(The sacred text). The Bhagavad-Gita, most renowned of the Yogic scriptures
was composed around 500 B.C.E which teaches the sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, wisdom (jnana yoga) and action (karma yoga).

The systematic presentation of yoga is given by Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutras. Today the modern yoga is strongly influenced by Patanjali’s  yoga sutras who is considered as the father of yoga.

What Yoga Can Do To You?

  • It helps in decreasing your stress levels.
  • It improves your immune system.
  • It helps you to get good sleep.
  • It enhances your body flexibility.
  • It changes your mood.
  • It gives you instantaneous relaxation.
  • It gives you enlightnement. It makes you realize who you are.
  • It helps in connecting ourselves with the universe
  • And much more……….

Every pose you perform focuses on particular thing. One pose improves flexibility while the other gives strength to sustain any pain.

There are several types of yoga and you should know which branch of yoga helps you with what. what branch of yoga meets your needs.

Here are the 6 branches of yoga that you must know to analyze and know what type of yoga suits you better.

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With a more detailed and important information……

#1 Hatha Yoga

It mainly deals with yoga asanas or postures and breathing exercises. This particular yoga prepares you for deeper spiritual practices.

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Every beginner starts with Hatha Yoga. You will learn relaxation techniques, pranayams, basic yoga postures

  • Focus of attention: Basic yoga poses, pranayamas or breathing techniques, relaxation techniques
  • For whom it is: For beginners who wants to learn the basics of yoga poses, who wants to get relief from stress, who wants to improve their breathing
  • Significance: It helps for the union of your body and soul

#2 Raja Yoga

It is the path of self-discipline. It is also known as Ashtanga yoga which means 8 steps of yoga. Those are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.

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  1. Yama means self-control which includes non-violence, truthfulness, not stealing others things, maintaining brahmacharya, not having possessions.
  2. Niyama means self-discipline which includes purity, contentment, devotion to god, firm determination, patience, perseverance.
  3. Asana means physical exercises. This is the basic for spiritual path
  4. Pranayama means breathing exercises. It is synchronizing body with breathings thus gaining control over mind.
  5. Pratyahara means withdrawing of senses from external objects. In the first stages of meditation, this is practiced.The whole attention is drawn inwards.
  6. Dharana means concentration of mind. It is focusing our thoughts and feelings on one thing. Of course, most of us struggle here.
  7. Dhyana means meditation.  No one can learn how to sleep. It’s automatic, just like that mediation too. It can happen only when mind becomes quiet. Yoga helps for this.
  8. Samadhi means enlightenment or complete realization. The one who experienced pain only knows what it is, the one who experienced break up knows what it is. Similarly the one who experienced Samadhi, only they know how it is. It is like one with supreme.

All these gives inner peace to the person.

  • Focus of attention: All those 8 steps discussed which are laid down by patanjali’s yoga sutras.
  • For whom it is: It is for all those who wants to progress their spiritual growth, who wants to attain inner peace, who wants to attain enlightenment.
  • Significance: Transforming one self into a noble soul.

#3 Bhakti Yoga

It is the personal relationship with GOD. It is nothing but seeing godliness and divine in every thing. It is the path of devotion. It is love, devotion and tolerance.

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  • Focus of attention: Using one’s emotions to reach the ultimate supreme power.
  • For whom it is: Who wants to become one with supreme power, who wants to get detached with this materialistic world.
  • Significance: Experiencing the unity of mind, body and soul

How can you attain?

Through the 9 limbs of devotion.

  1. Shravana: Listening to ancient scriptures.
  2. Kirtana: singing devotional songs.
  3. Smarana: Chanting god’s name constantly.
  4. Padasevana: Doing service to the feet of god mentally through devotion.
  5. Archana: The offerings to god like homa(fire offering) or puja to deity.
  6. Vandana: Prostration before the image of god.
  7. Dasya: Not questioning the god’s will.
  8. Sakhya: Friendship between devotee and god. Like sharing everything with God.
  9. Aatmanivedana: Surrendering one-self completely to divine.

#4 Karma Yoga

Without expecting any result, putting 100% effort on any work that you do. It is the path of action. Doing any work selflessly right from the simple ordinary tasks to the more challenging ones.

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  • Focus of attention: Selfless service.
  • For whom it is: For everyone. When an action is performed selflessly, it gives contentment and satisfaction of achievement.
  • Significance: It stresses on good deeds, good thoughts and good words.

#5 Jnana Yoga

If you are using your intellignece to reach the ultimate supreme power, it is Jnana Yoga. It is the path of wisdom, the path of intelligence.

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It can be obtained through the study of yogic and sacred scriptures.

  • Focus of attention: Focusing on nourishing one’s own intellect.
  • For whom it is: Well suited for those intellectually inclined.
  • Significance: Achieve union of inner self with Brahman(the oneness of all life)

#6  Iyengar Yoga

The world renowned yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar incorporated new techniques from the Ashtanga Yoga to help everyone more flexible with yoga styles. He used wooden blocks, ropes, curved tables and straps in his teaching method which all assist in strengthening the body.

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  • Focus of attention: The main focus is to bring the body into alignment.
  • For whom it is: Those who want to have speedy recovery from an injury and fractures, who wants to build up body strength, who want to have solution for chronic pains, who wants to correct alignment of yoga poses.
  • Significance: Gives recovery from injuries and enhances flexibility.

These are the main branches of yoga. All modern yoga is derived from these branches. Now, figure out which one suits your needs the best.

If any suggestions or anything,  you can contact me. I would love to hear from you. If you like this information, please spread your love through sharing.

Yoga For Wrist Pains-Elbow Stretch-Variation 3

This yoga asana, elbow stretch not only gives strength and pain relief to arm muscles and wrist pains but also benefits the upper part of the body(From head to spine).

This is third variation in Elbow Stretch. All these asanas should be done in sequence. Don’t ever do randomly.This yoga asana, elbow stretch not only gives strength and pain relief to arm muscles, wrist pains but also benefits the upper part of the body(From head to spine).

If you practice this daily then you will get strength in wrist joints which helps in working for long hours without any stress and pain.

Hope you are following from first asana  and this is 3rd variation in elbow stretch. All these should be done in sequence and also in proper timings that I discussed earlier.

 

Elbow Stretch Variation 3: Fist Circling

 

Process:

  1. Sit in padmasana pose or vajrasana pose which ever is comfortable to you. Usually vajrasana pose is not recommended especially who had spinal cord injuries or fracture. Don’t over strain which ever is comfortable, sit in that pose.
  2. Raise the arms forward to shoulder height.
  3. Take  a deep inhale .Close the fingers into fists with the thumbs inside.
  4. Breathing normally perform circling movements with the fists.
  5. During the entire exercise the arms remain stretched forward.
  6. Make 5 circling movements in each direction.
  7. Repeat the above step for 3 times.
  8. Relax.
  9. While doing so, do mental counting and keep your awareness on fingers.

Note:  If you feel any discomfort while doing so, lie down for few minutes. Don’t over strain. Do relaxly and peacefully

Caution: For those with spinal cord injuries or fractures, please wear spine belt and practice all these Asanas. If not, no need to wear. If you can sit on floor then do with yoga mat or else you can do in wheel chair too.

Get Relief From Wrist Pains Through This Yoga Pose

This yoga asana helps in eliminating wrist pains. You can do this yoga pose even in the office to relax your wrists and elbows

Here is another variation in Elbow stretching technique. Practice this after the first variation, that I shared previously.

 

Elbow Stretch Variation 2: Flexing and Extending the Wrists

 

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Process:

  1. Sit in padmasana pose or vajrasana pose which ever is comfortable to you. Usually vajrasana pose is not recommended especially who had spinal cord injuries or fracture. Don’t over strain which ever is comfortable, sit in that pose.
  2. Raise the arms forward to shoulder height.
  3. Take  a deep inhale and move palms facing up. Stay there for 2 to 3 seconds.
  4. Exhale while moving palms facing down.
  5. During the entire exercise the arms remain stretched forward.
  6. Breathing normally, alternately bend the hands up and down from the wrists, keeping the fingers straight.
  7. Repeat the above step for 10 times.
  8. Relax.
  9. While doing so, do mental counting and keep your awareness on fingers.

Breathing pattern: Inhale while moving palms facing UP.
                                     Exhale while moving palms facing DOWN.

Note:  If you feel any discomfort while doing so, lie down for few minutes. Don’t over strain. Do relaxly and peacefully.

If you had a spinal injury and if you have trouble in moving your legs then you can start from this Elbow stretch variation-1  asana and traverse through next post starting from this post.

Caution: For those with spinal cord injuries or fractures, please wear spine belt and practice all these Asanas. If not, no need to wear. If you can sit on floor then do with yoga mat or else you can do in wheel chair too.

If any doubts, while practicing, please leave a comment below or you can contact me

Yoga For Knee Joint Pains

Have knee pains? Try this yoga pose for knee joint pains

So far we have practiced 3 yoga poses for knee joint pains.

If you missed the previous, here is the sequence:

  1. Feet rotation
  2. Kneecap contraction
  3. Ankle rotation

This is the fourth one. This yoga pose is called forward knee bend variation. There are several variations under this technique especially in sitting posture.

This yoga pose gives relief from knee joint pains. Practice all these 4 yoga poses daily.

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For some people, knee cap bends automatically while walking. This yoga asana forward knee bend variation helps in increasing stamina or strength in knee region and thigh muscles.

Here you go..

Forward Knee Bending:

 

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Process:

  1. Sit with legs straight and Interlock your fingers like this.

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3. Place it Back of the knee,  inhaling, stretch the leg.

4. Exhaling, bring the knee closer to the chest.

5. Repeat this process for 10 times.

Breathing pattern: Inhaling stretch the leg
                                     Exhaling bring knee closer to the chest.

 

Keep your consciousness on knee cap and do mental counting.

Note:  If you feel any discomfort while doing so, lie down for few minutes. Don’t over strain. Do relaxly and peacefully.

If you have an unbearable pain in knee joints and ankle joints that lasts 24 hours, if you had any recent injuries avoid this pose.

If you had spinal injury and if you can’t move your legs then start from here.

If you are suffering from severe lower back pain and knee joints pain, start from this Ankle rotation asana and follow sequentially. You can practice this exerciseHope you are following with the previous posts.

If you have any doubts while performing any asana or any suggestions, you can contact me.

Yoga For Ankle And Arthritis Pain

Are you giving care to your ankles? If not try this yoga for ankle and arthritis pain.

Where ever the pain in the body part, it doesn’t allow to do work peacefully. In fact, it is highly impossible to concentrate on any thing if any body part is paining. So, it should be taken seriously and do necessary exercises to get rid of it. Yoga, no doubt it has miraculous power in healing any pain and almost most of the diseases.

Ankles bear the weight of the body. If ankles can’t bear the weight, it affects knee part of the body and then hips, slowly the pain spreads all over the body. After my ankle fracture, I experienced the same situation.

As I was bed-ridden for 1 year, I increased lot more weight and my ankles started spreading its pain love to all over my body.

The only one thing that gives me relief is yoga.

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I discussed the yoga sequences that I practiced to get relief from ankle pains previously.

One is Feet rotation and another one is kneecap contraction

This yoga pose for ankles is extension to it.

Benefits of Ankle rotation:

  • It strengthen ankle joints.
  • It helps in increasing blood flow through your legs and feet.
  • By daily practicing this ankle rotation yoga, your ankles will be less prone to injuries due to sprains.
  • It helps in giving relief from arthritis if properly done along with other yoga sequence I mentioned.

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Get the yoga mat and sit on it by resting your hands on back (like in previous asana)

Process:

  1. Sit with legs straight and the arms supporting the body behind the back. The fingers point backwards.
  2. Bend the left leg and place the left foot on top of the right thigh.
  3. With the left hand hold the left leg above the ankle and take hold of the toes of the left foot with the right hand.
  4. Breathing normally rotate the ankle for 10 times.
  5. Change the leg and repeat the exercise.

Breathing pattern: Inhale on the upward movement.
                                     Exhale on the downward movement.

keep your Consciousness on feet and do mental counting.

Note:  If you feel any discomfort while doing so, lie down for few minutes. Don’t over strain. Do relaxly and peacefully. If you had spinal injury and if you can’t move your legs then start from here. If you are suffering from severe lower back pain and knee joints pain, start from this Ankle rotation asana and follow sequentially.

If you have any doubts while performing any asana,  you can always contact me  

 

 

 

Yoga Poses For Ankle Joint Pains

Ankles bear the weight of the body. So, to give proper exercise to it, here are the yoga poses for ankle joint pains.

The one body part often neglected by most of the people is ankles. Yes, ankles need proper exercise just like for any other body part.

My personal story, “I had left ankle fracture 2 years ago. Just to land my feet on the floor it took me 6 months. It was so major that doctors said if we operate it will paralyze my legs forever so they kept plaster of paris to my left leg  I started yoga to recover my ankle and now I could walk with out support”.

Ankles are the ones which bear the weight of the body.

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It’s very important to take proper care about ankle joints. If you have ankle joint pains, it will affect knee joints too.

Some prefer walking as part of the exercise to get flexibility in ankle joints. Yes it is good but wait!! What if, if you had terrible pain on knee joints and ankles joints???Obviously you can’t go for walking.

So, what to do?

Here is the simple yoga poses that helps you to get rid of ankle joint pains. These yoga poses gives flexibility and strength to ankle joints.

Benefits of the Ankle rotation:

  • To strengthen joints, this ankle rotation helps a lot.
  • It helps in increasing blood flow through your legs and feet.
  • It improves flexibility and strength in ankles that you can walk longer distances.
  • By daily practicing this ankle rotation yoga, your ankles will be less prone to injuries due to sprains.
  • It helps in giving relief from arthritis if properly done along with other yoga sequence I mentioned.

Important Note:

If you are suffering from severe lower back pain and knee joints pain, start from this Ankle rotation asana and follow sequentially.

If you had a spinal cord injury then start from here.

Follow Proper Timings:

Before starting the yoga, it is highly advisable to fix the timings. I mean, at what time you want to do daily. The best time could be in early morning. I do from 7 to 8:15 daily. You can choose your convenient time.

If you want to start practicing in the morning, it is highly recommended to wash mouth and face.

Get the yoga mat and sit on it by resting your hands on back just like in the below image.

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I will discuss two variations.

  • one is feet flexing up and down and

  • second is Ankle rotation.

Let’see

1. Feet flexing up and down

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Process:

  1. Set the legs little apart and straight.like in the first image.
  2. Flex your leg foot up and down.Inhaling, flex leg foot up and exhaling foot down. Repeat this for 10 times.
  3. No, flex your right foot up and down. Inhaling, flex leg foot up and exhaling foot down. Repeat this for 10 times.
  4. Do with both foot. flex up and flex down.
  5. Relax.

2. Ankle Rotation

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Process:

  1. Sitting in the same position….
  2. Now, Rotate your feet clockwise and anti-clockwise, with the heels touching the floor.
  3. Concentrate on your ankle movement whether they are moving in a correct direction or not.
  4.  Rotate both your ankles ten times – first clockwise and then anti-clockwise.
  5.  Remain attentive of the ankles.
  6. Keep your body straight and erect.
  7. Do not allow the knees to be stirred.
  8. Breath easy and natural.
  9. Practice this for ten times. Count mentally while doing so. After  that..
  10. Relax, Take deep breathings.

Breathing pattern: Inhale on the upward movement.
                                     Exhale on the downward movement.

Note: If you feel any discomfort while doing so, lie down for few minutes. Don’t over strain. Do relaxly and peacefully.

If you have any doubts while performing any asana, please leave a comment below or you can always contact me. If you find it helpful please share with your friends. Stay healthy 🙂