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30 days of yoga with hipS-sister - DAY 2

DAY 2. (read to the end for your challenge today)

The 6 different paths of yoga

There are several different paths of yoga and each one approaches the ultimate goal of self-realization by a different route. Although different, all paths are based on the premise that human beings can, through their own actions, become one with the Absolute.

Below are the 6 main paths of yoga (all of which have separate branches you can certainly explore further).

Jnana yoga:
This is the path of wisdom and is most suited to people with an intellectual temperament. The practitioner seeks to find his or her true self by the pursuit of knowledge. The main practices of Jnana yoga are study and meditation.

This is the path of devotion and is most suited to people who are attracted to prayer. The principle of Bhakti yoga is that we become as the things we love and worship. By worshiping a god or guru who has achieved enlightenment we can achieve it ourselves.

Karma yoga:
This is the path in which the practitioner devotes his or her life to selfless action. The emphasis is not so much upon the magnitude of the action as on its motive. For example, someone who completes an action with love is practicing Karma yoga, whereas someone who is driven by reward is not.

Mantra yoga:
This is the path of sacred sound. Self-realization comes from repetition – silently or aloud – of sacred sounds, phrases or words known as mantras. The yogi focuses on the mantra to the exclusion of all else. The most sacred yoga mantra is the single syllable “OM”.

Raja yoga:
Raja means “Royal”. This is an 8 step path to enlightenment. The steps include practice of posture, breath control, meditation and withdrawal of the senses.

Hatha yoga:
This is the path of physical control and is regarded as a preparation for the pursuit of Raja yoga. Hatha yoga is the type of yoga that is most widely practiced in the West. This is the yoga we will be exploring in more detail for the remainder of the 30 days of yoga with hipS-sister.

Hatha yoga employs a combination of physical postures, breathing exercises, cleansing processes and mindful awareness of the physical and subtle bodies to prepare for contemplation and meditation.


Day 2 challenge:
Hatha is comprised of 2 syllables, “Ha” and “tha”; “Ha” meaning sun, and “tha” meaning moon.
Let us know, in the comment box below what the union of these two words signifies to you. Again, we will be putting all participants’ names in our “30 days of yoga with hipS-sister” draw which will be held Oct 1st.

Join us tomorrow for a closer look at the 8 limbs of Raya yoga (important to Hatha yoga).


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