List of Traditional Schools of Yoga You should Know

Traditional schools of yoga overview

The different traditions and lineages of Yoga have led to the emergence of various types of traditional yoga schools. These schools of yoga include Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Patanjala Yoga, Hatha Yoga, BuddhaYoga, Jain Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Mantra Yoga, etc. Each school has its own approach and practices that lead to the ultimate aim and objectives of Yoga.

List of Different Traditional Schools of Yoga You should Know
Jnana Yoga

Know more about Jnana Yoga

Jnana Yoga is the pathway of intellect, knowledge and wisdom. According to Jnana Yoga, avidya (ignorance) is the most important cause of sufferings and diseases. The main attributes of this school are: featureless Brahman; Jnana as the means of realization; and liberation (moksha) through realization. The intuitive knowledge, which emerges from the deepest cores of personality. Viveka of Jnana Yoga differentiates the real from the unreal, and Vairagya, non-attachment, is a craving-free state of mind. “Brahma Sutras” is the main classical text on jnana yoga.


Top facts about Bhakti Yoga?

Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion to enlightenment. Bhakti means unconditional and selfless love and devotion towards God. Bhakti Yoga is synchronization the mind towards unconditional and selfless divine love. The main attributes of Bhakti Yoga are asanugraha (divine grace), dualism (distinction between ‘self’ and God), and complete surrender to the God (Ishawarpranidhana).

As per Bhagavata Purana, the various forms of devotion are:

  • Shravana (listening to the scriptural stories of personal deity)
  • Kirtana(singing devotional songs)
  • Smarana (constantly remembering the Divine)
  • Pada-sevana (rendering selfless karma with devotion)
  • Archana (worshiping an image)
  • Vandana (paying homage of one’s chosen deity)
  • Dasya(unquestioning’ devotion to the deity)
  • Sakhya(relationship between the Divine and the devotee)
  • Atma-nivedana (complete surrender of the self to the deity).


What is Karma Yoga?

Karma Yoga is the way of doing action. It is based on the principle of nishkama karma (action devoid of any selflessness), right attitude, and performing one’s duties, all lead to joy and happiness. Karma Yoga emphasizes on performing karma with a sense of duty without having any expectations in return. It revolves around the following attributes viz. skillfulness in action (karmasukaushlam); and selfless actions (nishkama karma).


Know all about Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga or Patanjala Yoga is the path of controlling the mental activities/modifications (chitta-vritti-nirodha) to attain kaivalya. Raja Yoga considers that life is full of sufferings caused by mental modifications, which can be control through mental modifications. Patanjala Yoga puts emphasis on Kriya Yoga and Ashatanga Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga comprises of Yama, Niyama, asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.


What is Hatha Yoga in brief?

In Hatha Yoga, Hatha is a combination of two syllables ha and tha. Ha represents mind or mental energy; while tha represents vital energy (prana). Thus, Hatha Yoga means union (Yoga) of the mental and pranic energy. It begins with body; creates harmonious balance between the prana and mind; leads to samadhi (self-realisation); and finally leads to moksha (the blissful and unbroken peace). Some of the authoritative texts on Hath Yoga are ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’, ‘Gheranda Samhita’, ‘Shiva Samhita’, and ‘Hatha Ratnavali’.


What is Jain Yoga?

Jain Yoga is the oldest school. It believes in separate identities of body and soul.  Jainism strongly upholds the individualistic nature of soul and personal responsibility for one’s decisions. It does not believe in the existence of a supreme divine as creator, owner, preserver or destroyer of the universe. Jain Yoga propounded the famous five mahavrata (great vows) viz. Right faith (samyakadarshana), right knowledge (samyaka jnana), right conduct (samyakacharita), Kayotsarga(a form of meditation), and Preksha meditation constitute the path to attain liberation in Jain Yoga.

Know everything about Buddha Yoga

Buddha Yoga is revolved around the very philosophy of Buddha. It taught the famous ‘Four Noble Truths’ and ‘Eight-fold Path’. The Four Noble Truths such as the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. Whereas the Eight-fold Path of Buddha Yoga are right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right Samadhi.


What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalin Shakti which lies dormant in the Muladhara Chakra, when awakened, the energy goes upwards, passes through Sushumna Nadi, activates chakras such as Muladhara Chakra, Swadhishthana Chakra, Manipur Chakra, Anahata Chakra, Vishuddhi Chakra, Ajna Chakra,and Sahasrara Chakra . All these Chakras are important as the energy flows through the chakras into the human body.


What is Mantra Yoga ?

Mantra Yoga or Japa Yoga uses mantras to awaken the Self. Mantra’s repetition aids in the concentration of the mind during meditation as it engages the mind with sound, its duration, and the number of repetitions. Mantra Yoga helps to neutralize agitation (rajas) and inertia (tamas) allowing the practitioner to move into a pure state of consciousness. Mantras can be practised in three ways: vaikhari (chanting loudly), upanshu (chanting in low voice), and manasjapa (chanting silently to one’s self).

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