Types of Yoga. Everything You should know

Los tipos de yoga existentes son muchos y cada uno ofrecer distintos tipos de herramientas para ayudar a cada individuo.

Yoga is a practice, with thousands of years behind it, that has transcended cultural and geographical boundaries, has evolved over the centuries, giving rise to a diversity of approaches and styles that can be adapted to the needs and preferences of each individual.

It is a gigantic tree from which many different branches sprout, each with its own characteristics. In this article we will deal with the different branches or types of yoga, but only those that have their origins hundreds or thousands of years ago, since nowadays a large number of practices have proliferated under the name of yoga that are far removed from what is the genuine philosophy of yoga.

What types of Yoga are there?

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga is one of the four main paths of yoga, the other three being Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion), Jnana Yoga (the path of knowledge) and Raja Yoga (the path of meditation and control of the mind). The term “karma” is derived from Sanskrit and means “action” or “work”. It is the path of action and selfless service.

The concept of Karma Yoga is based on the fundamental teaching of the Bhagavad Gita, one of the most sacred scriptures of Hinduism. The practice of Karma Yoga teaches practitioners to perform actions without concern for the results or fruits of those actions. In this way, a state of balance and harmony in life is achieved, where one can free oneself from the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, known as Samsara.

The purpose of Karma Yoga is to achieve self-realization and liberation (Moksha) through selfless work. The idea is to transcend the ego and attachment to results, leading to a state of purity and inner peace. Instead of focusing on personal results, Karma Yoga practitioners seek the welfare of others and the betterment of society as a whole.

Basic principles of Karma Yoga

  • Nishkama Karma: This principle refers to performing actions without expecting any benefit or result. By practicing Nishkama Karma, one learns to become detached from the results of one’s actions and to focus on the act itself. The goal is to free oneself from material desires and attachments and ultimately achieve self-realization.
  • Dedication to the Divine: Karma Yoga teaches that all actions should be performed as an offering to the Divine or the Supreme Being. By dedicating our actions to the Divine, we cultivate humility and devotion, which helps us transcend the ego and purify our intentions.
  • Selfless Service: The practice of Karma Yoga involves serving others without seeking recognition or reward. By helping others and acting for the benefit of society, we cultivate compassion and love, and free ourselves from the bonds of ego and attachment.
  • Balance in action and inaction: Karma Yoga teaches practitioners to find a balance between action and inaction. One should be aware of one’s duties and responsibilities and act accordingly, but also know when it is appropriate not to act or interfere.
  • Discernment: Karma Yoga requires discernment and wisdom to distinguish between right and wrong actions, and to understand the consequences of our actions. Practitioners must develop the ability to reflect on their actions and learn from their mistakes.

Bhakti Yoga

The word “Bhakti” has its origin in Sanskrit and means “devotion” or “love“. Bhakti Yoga is the path of yoga that focuses on love and devotion to the Divine or the Supreme Self.

Bhakti Yoga is a spiritual practice that has its roots in the ancient tradition of Hinduism, but is also found in other religious and spiritual traditions, such as Christianity, Sufism and Sikhism. The goal of Bhakti Yoga is to develop unconditional love and total devotion to the Divine, leading to union with the Supreme Self and ultimately to self-realization and liberation (Moksha).

Fundamental principles of Bhakti Yoga

  • Unconditional love and devotion: The main objective of Bhakti Yoga is to cultivate unconditional love and devotion to the Divine. This involves surrendering completely to the Supreme Self and renouncing ego and material desires.
  • Faith and Trust in the Divine: Bhakti Yoga practitioners develop a deep faith and trust in the Divine, believing that the Supreme Being is always present and protecting its devotees.
  • Use of Mantras: Bhakti Yoga often involves chanting and repeating mantras or sacred names of the Divine. This practice helps to purify the mind and focus on the presence of the Divine in the practitioner’s heart.
  • Selfless Service: As in Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga also emphasizes selfless service to others and the Divine. Devotees seek to serve others as a way of expressing their love and devotion to the Divine.
  • Study and contemplation of scriptures: Bhakti Yoga practitioners study and contemplate the sacred scriptures, such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Puranas, to deepen their understanding of the Divine and strengthen their devotion.
  • Practice of rituals and ceremonies: Rituals and ceremonies, such as deity worship, chanting of mantras and offering of flowers and food, are an integral part of Bhakti Yoga. These practices help connect devotees to the Divine and express their love and devotion.

Jnana Yoga

Jnana” is a Sanskrit word meaning “knowledge” or “wisdom“. It is the path of knowledge and wisdom as the means to attain self-realization and liberation (Moksha).

Jnana Yoga is a spiritual practice rooted in the philosophical tradition of Hinduism, especially in the Vedanta philosophy. The goal of Jnana Yoga is to understand the true nature of being and reality, transcending the illusion of material existence and achieving oneness with the Supreme Self.

Fundamental principles of Jnana Yoga

  • Self-Knowledge: Jnana Yoga emphasizes the importance of self-knowledge as a means to achieve self-realization. Practitioners of Jnana Yoga seek to understand their true nature and the nature of reality, beyond the superficial appearances and illusions of the material world.
  • Discrimination: Jnana Yoga teaches practitioners to discern between the real and the unreal, the eternal and the temporal. Discrimination is an essential skill on the path of Jnana Yoga, as it enables practitioners to transcend the illusions of the material world and recognize ultimate truth.
  • Detachment: Jnana Yoga practitioners cultivate detachment from material desires and attachments, which allows them to focus on the pursuit of truth and self-realization. Detachment is an essential tool for transcending the ego and freeing oneself from the illusion of Samsara, the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
  • Meditation and contemplation: Jnana Yoga involves the practice of meditation and contemplation as a means to deepen self-knowledge and understanding of reality. Through meditation, practitioners can still the mind and experience ultimate reality directly.
  • Scripture study: Jnana Yoga practitioners study and reflect on sacred scriptures, such as the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, to gain knowledge and wisdom about the nature of being and reality.
  • Spiritual guidance: On the path of Jnana Yoga, it is often helpful to seek the guidance of a spiritual teacher or guru who has achieved self-realization and can provide guidance and support in the search for truth.

Raja Yoga

Raja” means “real” or “supreme“. It is the path centered on meditation and control of the mind to achieve self-realization.

Raja Yoga is also known as “Real Yoga” or “Classical Yoga” and has its roots in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, an ancient and fundamental text that expounds the philosophy and practice of yoga. Raja Yoga is a systematic and disciplined approach to spiritual development and self-realization, involving mastery of the mind and senses.

Fundamental principles of Raja Yoga

  • The eight limbs of yoga (Ashtanga Yoga): Raja Yoga is based on the practice of the eight limbs of yoga, also known as Ashtanga Yoga, which were described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. These eight limbs are Yama (moral restraints), Niyama (personal observances), Asana (physical postures), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption in the Divine).
  • Control of the mind: The main objective of Raja Yoga is to control and purify the mind, which enables the practitioner to experience ultimate reality and attain self-realization. Meditation and other Raja Yoga practices help to calm and focus the mind, leading to greater self-knowledge and inner peace.
  • Meditation: Meditation is an essential practice in Raja Yoga, as it allows the practitioner to quiet the mind and focus on ultimate reality. Meditation in Raja Yoga can involve concentration on an object, a mantra or simply on one’s own consciousness.
  • Balance and moderation: Raja Yoga teaches the importance of balance and moderation in all aspects of life, including eating, sleeping and daily activities. By maintaining a balanced lifestyle, practitioners can achieve greater mental clarity and emotional stability.
  • Detachment: As in Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga emphasizes detachment from material desires and attachments. By cultivating detachment, practitioners can free themselves from the bondage of ego and Samsara, the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is one of the most widely known and practiced branches of yoga worldwide. It focuses on balance and harmony between body, mind and spirit through a combination of physical postures (asanas), breath control techniques (pranayama) and meditation. Hatha means “strength” in Sanskrit and represents the union of the solar (Ha) and lunar (Tha) aspects of the human being, symbolizing the balance between opposing and complementary energies.

The objective of Hatha Yoga is to purify and strengthen the body and mind, preparing them for spiritual realization and union with the Divine.

The most important characteristics of Hatha Yoga

  • Asanas (physical postures): Asanas are physical postures designed to stretch, strengthen and balance the body. The practice of asanas in Hatha Yoga helps to improve flexibility, muscle strength, posture and body awareness. Asanas also stimulate the circulatory, digestive, lymphatic and nervous systems, improving overall health and well-being. Some common postures in Hatha Yoga include downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana), warrior (Virabhadrasana) and tree (Vrksasana).
  • Pranayama (breath control): Pranayama is an essential practice in Hatha Yoga that teaches how to control and regulate the breath to balance and purify the vital energies (prana) in the body. Some pranayama techniques in Hatha Yoga include alternate nostril breathing (Anulom Vilom) and “Ujjayi” breathing. Regular practice of pranayama helps to calm the mind, reduce stress and improve concentration.
  • Meditation: Meditation in Hatha Yoga is used to calm the mind and cultivate mindfulness and awareness. Meditation can include concentrating on the breath, an object, a mantra, or simply observing thoughts and sensations without judgment. Regular meditation practice can improve mental clarity, concentration and inner peace.
  • Relaxation and self-awareness: Hatha Yoga emphasizes the importance of relaxation and self-awareness to reduce stress and promote mental and emotional well-being. Deep relaxation can be achieved through practices such as mindful relaxation and yoga nidra, which help release tension and cultivate an attitude of acceptance and detachment.
  • Purification and detoxification: Hatha Yoga includes purification and detoxification practices, such as kriyas (cleansing exercises) and fasting, which help eliminate impurities and toxins from the body and mind. These practices can improve overall health, increase energy and vitality, and support spiritual growth.
  • Mudras (gestures) and bandhas (energetic closures): Hatha Yoga also employs mudras and bandhas to control and direct vital energy (prana) in the body. Mudras are gestures performed with the hands, eyes or body, while bandhas are internal contractions of certain muscles or areas of the body. These techniques can help balance and purify the energy channels (nadis) and energy centers (chakras), thus supporting physical and spiritual health.
  • Philosophy and ethics: Hatha Yoga is based on the classical yoga philosophy, which includes the eight limbs of yoga described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. The practice of Hatha Yoga can help cultivate an ethical and conscious attitude towards life, thus supporting personal and spiritual growth.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is a powerful and unique form of yoga that focuses on the awakening and elevation of Kundalini energy. The term“Kundalini” comes from Sanskrit and means “coiled“, referring to the representation of this energy as a coiled serpent at the base of the spine.

Kundalini Yoga is an integral approach that combines physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation, mantras and mudras to awaken and elevate this vital energy, leading to spiritual transformation and self-realization.

Main characteristics of Kundalini Yoga

  • Awakening of Kundalini energy: The main objective of Kundalini Yoga is to awaken and raise the Kundalini energy from the base of the spine to the crown chakra at the top of the head. When this energy is awakened and raised through the chakras, one experiences greater awareness, intuition and a deep sense of spiritual well-being.
  • Chakras and energy channels: Kundalini Yoga recognizes the existence of seven main chakras (energy centers) in the body, as well as three main energy channels (ida, pingala and sushumna) that connect these chakras. The practice of Kundalini Yoga aims to balance and purify these chakras and energy channels, allowing Kundalini energy to flow freely through the body and promoting physical, mental and spiritual health.
  • Asanas (physical postures): Kundalini Yoga incorporates a variety of physical postures that are designed to strengthen and stretch the body, as well as stimulate and balance the chakras and Kundalini energy. The asanas in Kundalini Yoga are often performed in combination with breathing techniques and mantras.
  • Pranayama (breathing techniques): Kundalini Yoga uses a wide range of breathing techniques to help control and direct Kundalini energy, as well as to calm and focus the mind. Some of the most common breathing techniques in Kundalini Yoga include fire breathing, alternate nostril breathing, and suspended breathing.
  • Meditation: Meditation is an integral part of Kundalini Yoga and is used to calm the mind, improve concentration, and develop intuition and inner perception. Meditations in Kundalini Yoga often include the use of mantras, mudras and visualization techniques to focus and raise awareness.
  • Mantras: Mantras are sacred words or phrases that are repeated aloud or mentally during Kundalini Yoga practice. Mantras help to purify and focus the mind, as well as tune the consciousness to specific energetic frequencies that support the awakening and elevation of Kundalini energy.
  • Mudras: Mudras are hand gestures used in Kundalini Yoga to channel and direct Kundalini energy and to focus the mind. Some of the most common mudras in Kundalini Yoga include the Gyan mudra (joining of the thumb and index finger), the Shuni mudra (joining of the thumb and middle finger) and the Buddhi mudra (joining of the thumb and little finger). These mudras have different purposes and energetic effects in the practice of Kundalini Yoga.
  • Kriyas: In Kundalini Yoga, kriyas are specific sequences of postures, breaths, mantras and mudras that are performed together to achieve a specific purpose, such as awakening Kundalini energy, purification of the chakras or expansion of consciousness. These sequences may vary in length and complexity, but all aim to stimulate and transform the Kundalini energy in the practitioner.

Tantra Yoga

Tantra Yoga focuses on the expansion of consciousness and spiritual transformation through the integration of all aspects of life, including the body, mind, emotions and subtle energies. Unlike other forms of yoga that focus on renunciation and detachment, Tantra Yoga embraces sensory experience and life energy as means to achieve self-realization and union with the Divine.

The term“tantra” comes from Sanskrit and can be translated as “weaving” or “expansion“, also as “technique” or “instrument“. Tantra Yoga is a spiritual practice that has its roots in the ancient tantric traditions of India and Tibet, and seeks to expand the consciousness and vital energy of the practitioner through a variety of spiritual techniques and practices.

Most salient characteristics of Tantra Yoga

  • Integration of duality: Tantra Yoga teaches that all aspects of life, including apparent opposites such as masculine and feminine, spiritual and material, and pleasure and pain, are interconnected and can be used as means to achieve self-realization and union with the Divine. Rather than denying or repressing certain aspects of human experience, Tantra Yoga seeks to integrate and harmonize duality to achieve a state of balance and wholeness.
  • Vital energy and sexual energy: Tantra Yoga recognizes the importance of vital energy (prana) and sexual energy (shakti) in spiritual transformation and self-realization. The practice of Tantra Yoga often involves techniques to cultivate and channel these subtle energies through the body and mind, leading to greater vitality, creativity and spiritual awareness.
  • Meditation and visualization: Meditation and visualization are fundamental practices in Tantra Yoga, used to expand consciousness and connect with divine energy. Tantric meditations often include the use of mantras, mudras and visualizations of deities or sacred symbols to attune consciousness to specific energetic frequencies and facilitate spiritual transformation.
  • Ritual and ceremony: Tantra Yoga incorporates a variety of rituals and ceremonies as part of the spiritual practice, including purification rituals, offerings, invocations of deities and the celebration of sacred festivals. These rituals and ceremonies help to honor and connect with divine energies and to cultivate an attitude of reverence and devotion in spiritual practice.
  • Mantras and yantras: The mantras (sacred words or phrases) and the yantras (sacred geometric diagrams) are important tools in Tantra Yoga for attuning and channeling spiritual energy. Mantras and yantras are used in meditation, visualization and ritual to invoke and connect with divine energies and to focus and purify the mind.
  • Spiritual Master (Guru): In Tantra Yoga, the relationship with a spiritual master or guru is fundamental for spiritual growth and transformation. The guru is considered a guide and a transmitter of energy and spiritual knowledge that can help the practitioner overcome obstacles and achieve self-realization.
  • Advanced tantric practices: In some traditions of Tantra Yoga, advanced tantric practices, such as maithuna (ritual sexual union), are taught to help practitioners experience and channel sexual and spiritual energy in a conscious and sacred way. These advanced practices are generally performed under the guidance of a spiritual master and require a high degree of discipline and spiritual preparation.

Nada Yoga

Nada Yoga is a special form of yoga that focuses on the perception and exploration of sound as a means to expand consciousness and achieve self-realization. The word “nada” in Sanskrit means “sound” or “vibration,” and Nada Yoga is based on the understanding that everything in the universe is vibration, including our own consciousness. This ancient practice uses sound, both internal and external, to connect us with our essence and experience oneness with the Divine.

Main aspects of Nada Yoga

  • External and internal sound: Nada Yoga focuses on the exploration and perception of external sounds, such as music, mantras and nature sounds, as well as the internal sounds that arise in the mind and body during meditation. By paying attention to these sounds, Nada Yoga practitioners develop a greater awareness of the vibration and energy that underlies all things.
  • Mantras: Mantras are sacred sounds or words used in Nada Yoga to help attune the mind to specific frequencies of vibration and energy. Mantras can be recited aloud, chanted or repeated mentally during meditation. By repeating a mantra, the practitioner concentrates on the vibration of the sound and its spiritual meaning, which helps to calm the mind and connect to deeper consciousness.
  • Chanting and sacred music: Nada Yoga often employs chanting, sacred music and the sounds of instruments such as singing bowls, gongs or bells to facilitate meditation and concentration on the vibration of sound. These sounds have a powerful effect on the mind and body, helping to induce states of deep relaxation and open the consciousness to the experience of oneness with the Divine.
  • Sound meditation: Sound meditation is a central practice in Nada Yoga, in which practitioners focus on internal and external sounds while maintaining an attitude of mindfulness and receptivity. This may include listening to subtle internal sounds, such as heartbeat, breathing or even mystical internal sounds known as “anahata” or uncreated sounds.
  • Developing auditory awareness: Nada Yoga helps develop auditory awareness and sensitivity to the subtle vibrations and energies present in sounds. Through regular practice, practitioners learn to hear and discern the subtle nuances of vibration and to connect with the spiritual energies and wisdom that these sounds can convey.
  • Integration of sound and vibration into daily life: The practice of Nada Yoga is not limited to meditation and working with sounds in a formal practice setting. It also involves bringing awareness of sound and vibration into daily life and learning to tune in and harmonize with the energies present in the sounds and vibrations around us. This may include paying attention to the quality of sound in our communication, the music we listen to, and the sounds in our environment.

Mantra Yoga

Mantra Yoga is a form of yoga that uses sacred sounds, known as mantras, as a powerful tool to achieve self-realization and union with the Divine. Mantras are words, syllables or phrases that have deep spiritual meaning and specific energetic vibrations that can affect consciousness and transform energy.

It is an ancient practice found in many spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, and is known for its ability to calm the mind, purify the emotions and connect with divine wisdom and energy.

Key characteristics of Mantra Yoga

  • Mantras: In Mantra Yoga, mantras are the central element of the practice. These sacred sounds can be simple words, such as “Om” or “Shanti“, or longer, more complex phrases, such as the “Gayatri Mantra” or the “Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra“. Each mantra has its own specific meaning and purpose and is used to attune the consciousness to certain spiritual qualities or energies.
  • Japa: Japa is the conscious repetition of a mantra, either aloud, in a whisper or mentally. The practice of japa helps to concentrate the mind and purify thoughts and emotions. The repetition of the mantra also creates energetic vibrations that influence the body, mind and spirit of the practitioner, leading to greater mental clarity, emotional balance and spiritual connection.
  • Malas: Malas are beaded necklaces used in Mantra Yoga practice to keep track of mantra repetitions. A typical mala contains 108 beads, which represents a sacred number in many spiritual traditions. By using a mala, the practitioner can focus on the quality and intention of each repetition of the mantra, rather than worrying about counting repetitions.
  • Mantra meditation: In Mantra Yoga, mantra meditation is an important practice in which practitioners focus on a specific mantra while maintaining an attitude of mindfulness and receptivity. This may include listening to or reciting the mantra aloud or mentally, and tuning into the vibrations and spiritual meaning of the sound.
  • Integration of mantra into daily life: Mantra Yoga practice is not limited to formal meditation and mantra repetition. It also involves bringing the awareness of the mantra and its spiritual qualities into daily life, using the mantra as a tool to remember and connect with divine wisdom and energy at all times.
  • Kirtan and devotional chanting: Mantra Yoga often includes devotional chanting practices, such as kirtan, in which practitioners sing mantras and sacred songs in a group, accompanied by musical instruments. These communal chanting practices help create an atmosphere of connection, devotion and joy, and can have a powerful effect on the hearts and minds of participants.

Kriya Yoga

Kriya Yoga is a form of yoga that combines meditation practices, pranayama (breath control), mudras (gestures), and purification and concentration techniques, with the goal of achieving self-realization and connection with the divine. Kriya Yoga was popularized in the 20th century by Paramahansa Yogananda, author of “Autobiography of a Yogi”, who taught this practice to thousands of people around the world. The essence of Kriya Yoga is based on the belief that purification of the body and mind through specific techniques can lead to spiritual transformation and union with the divine.

Fundamental aspects of Kriya Yoga

  • Purification practices (Kriyas): Purification techniques, known as kriyas, are an integral part of Kriya Yoga. These practices help purify the body and mind of impurities, negative energies and blockages, allowing for a greater flow of energy and a deeper connection with the life force.
  • Meditation: Meditation is a central practice in Kriya Yoga, and is used to calm the mind, focus attention and connect with inner awareness. Meditation in Kriya Yoga can include concentration on an object, a visualization, a mantra, or simply observing thoughts and sensations.
  • Pranayama: Breath control, or pranayama, is another fundamental practice in Kriya Yoga. Through pranayama, practitioners learn to regulate and control their vital energy (prana), which can have a profound effect on the mind, body and spirit. Some common pranayama techniques in Kriya Yoga include alternate nostril breathing (Anulom Vilom) and “Ujjayi” breathing.
  • Mudras and bandhas: Mudras are gestures performed with the hands, fingers, eyes or tongue, which are used in Kriya Yoga to channel and direct energy in the body and mind. Bandhas are energetic “closures” performed by contracting certain muscles in the body to retain and direct the flow of prana. These practices are used in conjunction with pranayama and meditation to enhance the effects of Kriya Yoga techniques.
  • Concentration techniques: Kriya Yoga also involves the development of concentration and mindfulness through various techniques, such as one-pointed concentration (trataka) or the practice of self-inquiry (Atma Vichara). These practices help to focus the mind and cultivate greater awareness of thoughts, emotions and sensations.
  • Spiritual Lifestyle: Kriya Yoga is not limited to the practice of specific techniques, but also involves adopting a spiritual lifestyle and a conscious attitude towards life. This may include following certain ethical principles (yamas and niyamas), such as non-violence, truth, purity and self-discipline, as well as nurturing an attitude of devotion, gratitude and detachment.
  • Initiation and spiritual guidance: The Kriya Yoga tradition often emphasizes the importance of receiving initiation and guidance from a spiritual master or guru who has reached an advanced level of realization in this practice. Initiation may include the transmission of specific techniques and teachings, as well as the blessing and energy of the teacher, who can support and guide the practitioner on his or her spiritual path.

Laya Yoga

Laya Yoga is a specialized branch of yoga that focuses on the dissolution of individual consciousness into cosmic consciousness, leading to self-realization and union with the Divine. Laya means “dissolution” or “absorption” in Sanskrit, and Laya Yoga seeks to dissolve the blockages and limitations of the ego and mind to allow for an experience of oneness and connection with universal energy. Through the practice of meditation techniques, pranayama, concentration and devotion, Laya Yoga facilitates a gradual process of spiritual awakening and inner transformation.

Key aspects of Laya Yoga

  • Meditation: Meditation is a fundamental practice in Laya Yoga, and is used to calm the mind, cultivate mindfulness and expand awareness. Meditation techniques in Laya Yoga may include concentration on an object or symbol, contemplation of spiritual concepts, or simply observing thoughts and sensations with an attitude of detachment and acceptance.
  • Pranayama: Breath control, or pranayama, is another essential practice in Laya Yoga. Through pranayama, practitioners learn to regulate and control their vital energy (prana), which can have a profound effect on the mind, body and spirit.
  • Concentration and visualization: The ability to focus the mind and develop concentration is fundamental in Laya Yoga. Concentration and visualization techniques are used to direct attention inward and to facilitate the dissolution of individual consciousness into cosmic consciousness. This may include concentration on a specific point on the body, such as a chakra or the “third eye,” or visualization of sacred forms and symbols.
  • Devotion and surrender: Devotion and surrender are important aspects of Laya Yoga, as they allow the practitioner to transcend the ego and connect with divine energy. The practice of devotion may include chanting mantras, praying, performing rituals, or simply cultivating an attitude of humility and love towards the Divine.
  • Energetic techniques: Laya Yoga also employs techniques to balance and purify the energy channels (nadis) and energy centers (chakras) in the body. This may include practices such as mudras (gestures), bandhas (energy closures) and kriyas (purification exercises). These techniques help to remove blockages and facilitate an optimal flow of prana in the body, which supports the process of dissolution and union with cosmic consciousness.

Yoga Nidra

El Yoga Nidra es un estado de conciencia entre la vigilia y el sueño.

Yoga Nidra, also known as “yogic sleep” or “conscious sleep,” is a practice of meditation and deep relaxation that has its roots in the ancient tradition of yoga.

Although referred to as “sleep,” Yoga Nidra actually takes place in a state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep, allowing practitioners to access deeper levels of relaxation, healing and personal transformation. By utilizing a series of visualization, breathing, and mindfulness techniques, Yoga Nidra seeks to release physical, mental and emotional tensions, thus promoting overall well-being and self-realization.

Distinguishing characteristics of Yoga Nidra

  • State of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep: Unlike other meditation practices, Yoga Nidra seeks to enter a liminal state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep. In this state, practitioners can access the deepest levels of their subconscious mind, which facilitates the release of tensions and the healing process.
  • Deep, conscious relaxation: Yoga Nidra focuses on achieving deep, conscious relaxation of the body and mind. Through a series of guided instructions, practitioners learn to release muscular, mental and emotional tensions, allowing the body and mind to relax completely.
  • Visualization and mindfulness: Yoga Nidra employs visualization and mindfulness techniques to guide practitioners on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Visualizations may include images of nature, memories or sensations, while mindfulness helps maintain focus and awareness in the present.
  • Intention or Sankalpa: A unique feature of Yoga Nidra is the use of an intention or Sankalpa, which is a positive, personal affirmation chosen by the practitioner at the beginning of the session. The Sankalpa acts as a seed planted in the subconscious mind, which can germinate and manifest in the practitioner’s life through regular practice.
  • Rotation of consciousness: In Yoga Nidra, a technique called “rotation of consciousness” is used to guide practitioners on a journey through different parts of the body. This practice helps to develop body awareness and release accumulated tensions in specific areas.
  • Focus on breathing: Breathing is a fundamental aspect of Yoga Nidra, as it helps to calm the mind and deepen relaxation. Practitioners can follow different breathing techniques, such as abdominal breathing or full breathing, to enhance their relaxation experience.
  • Integration of opposites: Yoga Nidra also seeks to integrate opposites, such as light and dark, hot and cold, or pleasure and pain, encouraging practitioners to experience and accept the polarities of life. This integration of opposites can help cultivate a sense of balance and harmony in daily life.
  • Detachment and inner witnessing: Throughout the practice of Yoga Nidra, the development of detachment and the cultivation of inner witnessing is encouraged. This involves observing sensations, thoughts and emotions without judging or identifying with them. This ability to observe and detach can result in greater mental and emotional clarity.

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