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UniversalLove
21 July 2011, 09:51 AM
Namaste,

I learned there are different types of yoga, but in the end they all lead to the same Goal. How do you choose which type is the best for you? Or does the type of Yoga choose you, in a way?

Thank you.

Sahasranama
21 July 2011, 10:29 AM
They are all interconnected, not seperate paths from each other. But karma yoga is the most basic, because most people are always performing some form of karma. Even the wise have to perform karma.

Onkara
21 July 2011, 10:31 AM
There is no limitation. :)You can pursue all ways. You can switch between them as the day or your desire requires.

In the morning you may engage in bhakti yoga. Later karma yoga whilst you work, and in the evening perhaps you study the scriptures in jñAna yoga.

Others may have different views, and I hope to learn with you :)

UniversalLove
21 July 2011, 10:37 AM
There is no limitation. :)You can pursue all ways. You can switch between them as the day or your desire requires.

In the morning you may engage in bhakti yoga. Later karma yoga whilst you work, and in the evening perhaps you study the scriptures in jñAna yoga.

Others may have different views, and I hope to learn with you :)

That is a very good way to think of it. I'll mark that down. :)
Yes, we are in this together; we will learn. :)
Thanks very much for your wisdom.

heather.s
15 August 2011, 09:03 AM
i hope to find a local yoga place that offers and focuses on karma yoga rather than a bunch of giggly girls who are only going to yoga cause they want an excuse to wear tight pants...lol

Eastern Mind
15 August 2011, 10:08 PM
i hope to find a local yoga place that offers and focuses on karma yoga rather than a bunch of giggly girls who are only going to yoga cause they want an excuse to wear tight pants...lol

Vannakkam: I'm really not sure if you'll find such a 'yoga' place. Karma yoga is usually thought of as 'service' so I can't see how within a western yoga studio you can do that. Volunteering at the food bank or local temple would seem a better fit. Others will have better ideas as to the definition of karma yoga. You might try searching the threads on here or elsewhere of how there is a debagte about yoga (read 'hatha yoga') is or is not essentially tied to Hinduism.

Aum Namasivaya

shantiseeker
15 August 2011, 10:55 PM
Eastern Mind raises a good point about western yoga studios. Yoga studios here in the US I would say 99% of the time overwhelmingly mean Hatha yoga. It depends where one attends in terms of how spiritual it is. If it's held at a fitness center type chain-I doubt it's anything but for the health benefit of it, and no spiritual element. The studio I go to is very spiritual and honoring of the Hindu roots of Hatha yoga, and many times the music accompanying our class is Kirtan and also other chanting. We open with OM, and say two sanskrit chants and OM at the close of class. My instructor went to a weeklong seminar on Kirtan where bhakti yoga was done. We work on proper breathing too.
I chose Hatha because my aim is to learn to meditate and center myself but also start to address my physical body. Hatha also of course is accessible, but I wanted it to be a studio that was just right. In the process, it has brought me to Hinduism and I count myself fortunate

Kismet
16 August 2011, 01:55 AM
Namaste,

I learned there are different types of yoga, but in the end they all lead to the same Goal. How do you choose which type is the best for you? Or does the type of Yoga choose you, in a way?

Thank you.

I think that it all depends on a careful examination of your own self, your own inner sense of what 'fits' or feels right for you.

For instance, to give you a concrete example, I don't think it would be a good idea for me to just give everything up and sit down to meditate all the hours of my day. I feel that it is, not only a waste of time, but counter to my own set of circumstances, having a family and being a part of something that transcends simply my own individual intellectual or contemplative pursuits.

So, I accomplish that in my life which needs accomplishing, and should be had by acting. However, the key is that when I do indeed act (as in, for instance, doing the smallest act of kindness or duty, it doesn't have to be so big) I feel as though I am not doing it for any possible outcome, but simply to burn and purify my own mind, and also, as a whole, the well-being of the entire universe. This sense of 'doing' then becomes not doing at all, but an abidance in God. Knowing this, I can know that I am fulfilling the requirements of Dharma.

That is, in any case, how I understand things in my own life as of now.

Ekoham
16 August 2011, 01:39 PM
Namaste,

I learned there are different types of yoga, but in the end they all lead to the same Goal. How do you choose which type is the best for you? Or does the type of Yoga choose you, in a way?

Thank you.

Namaste ILoveGod,

You are correct, all yoga lead to the same goal.

Coming back to your questions, just be sure, what is best suited will come to you eventually.
Now one may ask when & I would say when the time is right.

And what does one do, till then?
Just continue with what you were doing, keeping your eyes and ear open like a good disciple and learn.

Remember the most important aspect of spirituality, as you begin to tread the path, is Faith.

Always have the faith in your Guru and almighty (whatever you may wish to call him/her.. Krishna/ Allah/ Jesus or Ram). This almighty knows exactly what is going on in your mind, otherwise he wouldn't be the Lord we worship, so just have faith and sincere love for him and he would take care of everything.

Even if you start with a wrong yoga things will change with time and your loving lord will bring you to the path meant for you/ best suited for you.

Let me explain how.........
Any good teacher would always allow his/her disciple to try for himself first before helping out, if need be.

A child when starts taking first step, mother comes for help only when needed, till then she stands at a distance enjoying the first baby steps of her child.

Similarly almighty would like to see his devotee making sincere efforts first, taking his/her baby steps on the path of spirituality, before providing help, if & when needed.

I hope that clarifies your doubt.

I could sense the sincerity of your query, just hope you continue with your sincere efforts.

Blessings

Ekoham

shantiseeker
16 August 2011, 11:44 PM
I think that it all depends on a careful examination of your own self, your own inner sense of what 'fits' or feels right for you.

For instance, to give you a concrete example, I don't think it would be a good idea for me to just give everything up and sit down to meditate all the hours of my day. I feel that it is, not only a waste of time, but counter to my own set of circumstances, having a family and being a part of something that transcends simply my own individual intellectual or contemplative pursuits.

So, I accomplish that in my life which needs accomplishing, and should be had by acting. However, the key is that when I do indeed act (as in, for instance, doing the smallest act of kindness or duty, it doesn't have to be so big) I feel as though I am not doing it for any possible outcome, but simply to burn and purify my own mind, and also, as a whole, the well-being of the entire universe. This sense of 'doing' then becomes not doing at all, but an abidance in God. Knowing this, I can know that I am fulfilling the requirements of Dharma.

That is, in any case, how I understand things in my own life as of now.

Indeed! I too have a family, and a full-time job (a profession which provides meaning to me and gives meaning to others). I absolutely could not spend all day meditating. I'm just looking for a brief daily period before bed. I do my yoga poses before bed too. And acting for others is a big thing. I have a duty as well, certainly to my own family and my role in upkeep of our home. I chant quietly to myself at times, but not for a twenty minute set multiple times a day every day because I have honorable obligations to do, but especially with my daily yoga poses at home, I still will usually say a mantra or chant several times in a row but other times too, and in the car, yes sometimes 10-15 minutes or so. God's ears hear even one chant is my feeling.

heather.s
18 September 2011, 11:20 AM
Vannakkam: I'm really not sure if you'll find such a 'yoga' place. Karma yoga is usually thought of as 'service' so I can't see how within a western yoga studio you can do that. Volunteering at the food bank or local temple would seem a better fit. Others will have better ideas as to the definition of karma yoga. You might try searching the threads on here or elsewhere of how there is a debagte about yoga (read 'hatha yoga') is or is not essentially tied to Hinduism.

Aum Namasivaya


so what you're saying is, kharmic yoga doesn't HAVE to be actual yoga? it can be more charity kind of work? i thought yoga in Hinduism was literal yoga...i learn something new here every day :)

Adhvagat
18 September 2011, 10:20 PM
so what you're saying is, kharmic yoga doesn't HAVE to be actual yoga? it can be more charity kind of work? i thought yoga in Hinduism was literal yoga...i learn something new here every day :)

This comes from the western misconception that Yoga is just a bodily practice or just simple meditation.

Yoga in its etymology means connection, union, it's not just a philosophy or an aspect of spiritual life, yoga is the wholeness of spiritual life itself and its perfection is pure bliss attained from the intersection of knowledge (provided by masters) and direct perception.

Eastern Mind
19 September 2011, 07:59 AM
so what you're saying is, kharmic yoga doesn't HAVE to be actual yoga? it can be more charity kind of work? i thought yoga in Hinduism was literal yoga...i learn something new here every day :)

Vannakkam Heather: These days there are no simple definitions of 'yoga'. As Pietro said, in the west it has become practically synonymous with hatha yoga, or doing asanas. From that, really modern non-Hindu terms have branched out such as hot yoga, of after the names of famoust teachers like Iyengar Yoga.

But if you google 'karma yoga', bhakti yoga' or 'jnana yoga' you will get a sense of how complicated it is.

Karma is translated as 'action' so karma yoga would be any action that helps ease your karma, and more. Its often translated as 'service' so even service to giving souls a place to continue (raising a family) their evolution would be considered karma yoga.

I recognise all this sounds complicated, but its only complicated if you think about it too much and overanalyse it.

Aum Namasivaya

heather.s
19 September 2011, 08:35 AM
it's not that confusing. actually when you put it that way, it makes more sense to me. i remember studying hinduism in college and thinking "how many different ways CAN you do a sun salutation?" lol...so this actually clears it up

Eastern Mind
19 September 2011, 08:37 AM
it's not that confusing. actually when you put it that way, it makes more sense to me. i remember studying hinduism in college and thinking "how many different ways CAN you do a sun salutation?" lol...so this actually clears it up

Vannakkam: Your signature line is one of my all time favorite quotes. ;)

Aum Namasivaya

Believer
19 September 2011, 03:40 PM
ISKCON's Definition:

'Lord Krishna summarizes the various forms of yoga in the Bhagwad Gita's eighteen chapters. In essence there are four kinds: Raja-yoga involves sitting postures, breath control, and meditation and is popular today in the form of Hath-yoga. Bhakti-yoga is the yoga of devotion, Karma-yoga the yoga of selfless action, and Dhayan-yoga the yoga of knowledge.

While the paths differ, their fundamental goal is the same: to realize, that God is the core of our being and that life is meant for dedicating ourselves to His service. Yoga, in all its varieties, seeks to bring its practitioners beyond the usual identification with the body and the mind, situating one in transcendence. Thus pandit Patanjali codified a means by which one could master one's senses, ultimately leading to the goal of yoga. His method is a type of Raja-yoga. But the other yoga systems are more direct, fostering relationship and even intimacy with God. And of all the yogas, Bhakti is the best, because it puts its practitioners in an immediate relationship with God in His topmost personal form, as Shri Krishna, thus achieving the goal of yoga in an easy and natural way.'

Jainarayan
19 September 2011, 04:51 PM
And of all the yogas, Bhakti is the best, because it puts its practitioners in an immediate relationship with God in His topmost personal form, as Shri Krishna, thus achieving the goal of yoga in an easy and natural way.'


Bhakti yoga for the win.

I think bhakti yoga generates karma yoga which generates jnana yoga.

Devotion to Sri Krishna and keeping Him uppermost in your mind causes you do do everything in His service which allows knowledge to come.

Just my view.

Sahasranama
19 September 2011, 04:58 PM
I agree, bhakti is no doubt the highest form of yoga, as is easily concluded from the Bhagavad Gita.

Eastern Mind
19 September 2011, 07:31 PM
Vannakkam: I love my bhakti, but eventually I recognise that it all has to be turned inward, and taken to Raja Yoga. It's not called the king of Yogas for nothing. But then I'm a monist, not a dualist. Not looking for an argument, just expressing another POV. And I certainly don't consider myself anywhere close to it, but still it's nice to sit and attempt some sort of meditation after an nice puja once in a while. The force of the puja helps drive me inward.

Aum Namasivaya

yajvan
19 September 2011, 09:51 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté



so what you're saying is, kharmic yoga doesn't HAVE to be actual yoga? it can be more charity kind of work?
For those talking of and having the conversation on karma yoga a better understanding is needed.

Karma is correctly called karman कर्मन् - it is action. Yoga is union, it is also some times called yukti. This union is the union with the Self, with ātma or notably with the Supreme ( which is brahman).

So, now the note of karma yoga - it is action one performs while united with their own Self (ātman). This is the view of many schools, most notably kaśmir śaivism, which I believe holds true to the notion of karma yoga.

Now there is some thought in vedānta that this karma yoga is actions with the notion of giving all actions and its fruits to the Supreme. This is a noble effort, because it is on the level of effort, thinking, etc. and is done before one is a realized person ( knowing the Self or ātman); tapas no doubt and a substantial discipline.


One must ask - what are the differences here ?

In the 1st definition above one is actually united with ātman. No effort is then needed to fulfill the
~formula ~ for karma yoga. Why so ? If one is possessed of the Self (ātman) then all actions are done by
prakṛti ( nature - the intelligence naturally found in the Universe). This occurs 7 days a week, 24 hours a day with no effort.

In the 2nd definition the person is mentally active , making choices to 'give up' one's actions. This is active work ~ trying~ to abide to this code of giving all and divorcing one's self from the fruit of action. This occurs only during waking hours and the mindful state of the doer.

Hence , a better appreciation of karma yoga helps one understand the obligations and effort at hand. The implications are substantial.

praṇām

sbglobal
20 September 2011, 02:03 AM
we have to do yoga daily in morning.This will be very helpful for our body.

yajvan
20 September 2011, 04:17 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté


we have to do yoga daily in morning.This will be very helpful for our body.
The term yoga is far reaching... let me explain using a previous HDF post.

One may think of the various yoga's. We can look at the definition of yoga from two angles… one is how its defined classically by its roots and the other is how Patañjali defines it in his yogadarśana (the yoga sūtras of Patañjali) - this can be addressed if there is interest.

Yoga योग is rooted in yuj the act of yoking , joining , attaching , harnessing. But to what? To the Supreme, to bind one back to the source, to yoke one back to anuttara ( the Supreme).
Yoga is also defined as a means , expedient , device , way , manner , a method. Hence with 'method' we get various yoga-s, here are some of the names of the major approaches:

rāja ( some write rāj ) राज - a king , sovereign , chief or best of its kind
karma (some write it properly as karman) कर्मन् - action consisting in motion ; act, special duty, skill in action
jñāna ज्ञान - knowing , becoming acquainted with , knowledge , (esp.) the higher knowledge of SELF, Supreme.
bhākti or bhākta भाक्त - ' the faithful ones'
hatha हठ - 'by force' ; ' necessarily , inevitably , by all means ' ( we will review this one on this post)
kriyā क्रिया - action; doing , performing , performance , occupation. For me this looks much like a definition for karma yogaAre there others? Yes. Some may add kuṇdalinī yoga to this list, which is fine. This is also tightly coupled with kriyā yoga practices. Then there are yoga practices that are offered, that the guru may coin his/her self.

hatha yoga
In the West when one mentions yoga, it is implied that hatha yoga is being discussed - that of āsana postures or specific ways of sitting and/or breathing.

The etymology of this word is interesting... If one were talking to a hatha yoga sādhu and asked what he/she was doing, they would most likely answer 'finding balance' or 'working with and balancing the sun and moon forces'. Now how can we get to this notion offered by the sadhu from this word hatha? We know if we look at some of the roots it may help us:

ham हम् - an exclamation expressive of anger or courtesy or respect. We then can see where some of this force & obstinacy may come from, from this root; yet lets also consider the following:
haṭ हट्- to shine , to be bright
ṭha ठ- the moon's disk, a disk ; also a loud noise.We can see where this notion of sun ( bright) and moon (disk) may have its origin. Why sun and moon? From a jyotiṣh perspective, sun is ātman, moon is mind, home of the senses. It is the notion of the co-operation of the mind-body-ātma working in concert that brings harmony and health to ones body.
Sun and moon are sometimes viewed as day and night, opposites. Hatha is designed to integrate night and dark (opposites) to the benefit of the practitioner.

Just a bit more on this
The sun and moon divide time into day and night and only meet during the twilight known as saṁdhyā (the gap, twilight ),where we are able to take advantage of not-sun , not-moon , but that wonderful gap in time. The harmonizing time for meditation.
Yet when one does hatha yoga, each pose is held for a few moments, some for minutes... that is the grooming of sandhya (saṁdhyā) in that pose; to bring balance to the mind-body-ātman and perhaps to easily allow haṭha "violence, force, obstinacy, pertinacity or persistency" to dissipate.
As we are influenced by the sun-moon's movements (they are considered the creative principle in jyotiṣh) this stimulates the human biological system to the cycles of the sun and moon. Hatha is designed to harmonize these influences for the benefit of the practitioner.

praṇām

yajvan
20 September 2011, 09:00 PM
hariḥ oṁ
~~~~~~

namasté


So, now the note of karma yoga - it is action one performs while united with their own Self (ātman). This is the view of many schools, most notably kaśmir śaivism, which I believe holds true to the notion of karma yoga.


Now one may be thinking, I can never accomplish this. The way this occurs is no different then dyeing a sheet to a different color.

We take a white sheet and dip it into a color say yellow, then we hang it in the sun to dry. The sun fades the color and it goes closer back to white. We do it again, and more of the yellow stays and becomes ~fast~ as they say in the clothing business.

We too can do the same - we face inwards to experience Self; We immerse ourselves in Being. We come out into activity and begin to stabilize this in our daily activities. We then fad back to white somewhat, but then we dip again into Being, over and over until this Being is ~fast~ in our nature.
We then become aṇupaśyata¹ - face inwards and enjoy the silence of the Self. We then act - this is the nature of karma yoga

praṇām

words
aṇupaśyata = aṇu+ paśyata

aṇu = atomic, fine, subtle, a name of siva; the ātman
paśyata = visible, conspicious of

heather.s
29 September 2011, 11:16 PM
Vannakkam: Your signature line is one of my all time favorite quotes. ;)

Aum Namasivaya


ever since i came across it while reading some Shiva notes, it's been a mantra for me. life has been hard lately so this is something i regularly chant to keep myself from going crazy lol.