Yoga has six major branches, each with a unique focus and approach to achieving a union of body, mind, and spirit. These six branches of yoga are:
- Hatha Yoga: This branch of yoga focuses on physical postures or asanas and breathing techniques or pranayama to balance and strengthen the body and mind.
- Raja Yoga: Also known as the “royal yoga,” Raja Yoga focuses on meditation and controlling the mind to achieve spiritual liberation.
- Jnana Yoga: Jnana Yoga is the path of wisdom and knowledge. It focuses on the study of scriptures and the contemplation of philosophical concepts to gain spiritual insight.
- Bhakti Yoga: Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion and love for a higher power. It involves devotion to a personal deity or divine figure and selfless service to others.
- Karma Yoga: Karma Yoga is the path of selfless action and service to others. It involves performing actions without attachment to the outcome and with the intention of benefiting others.
- Tantra Yoga: Tantra Yoga is a path of ritual and meditation that involves the use of physical and mental practices to awaken the spiritual energy or kundalini within the body.
Each of these six branches of yoga can lead to the ultimate goal of self-realization and union with the divine, but each approach may resonate differently with different individuals depending on their personal preferences and spiritual beliefs.