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Forty Types of Yoga - by Georg Feuerstein

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  • Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
    From: http://www.traditionalyogastudies.com/articles_40_types.html FORTY TYPES OF YOGA Georg Feuerstein (reprinted with permission) The Sanskrit word yoga
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 25, 2009
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      Georg Feuerstein
      (reprinted with permission)

      The Sanskrit word yoga stems from the verbal root yuj meaning "to
      yoke" or "to unite." Thus, in a spiritual context, yoga stands for
      "training" or "unitive discipline." The Sanskrit literature contains
      numerous compound terms ending in -yoga. These stand for various yogic
      approaches or features of the path. The following is a descriptive
      list of forty such terms. Not all of these form full-fledged branches
      or types of Yoga, but they represent at least emphases in diverse
      contexts. All of them are instructive insofar as they demonstrate the
      vast scope of Hindu Yoga.

      1) Abhâva-Yoga: The unitive discipline of nonbeing, meaning the higher
      yogic practice of immersion into the Self without objective support
      such as mantras; a concept found in the Purânas; cf. Bhâva-Yoga

      2) Adhyâtma-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the inner self; sometimes
      said to be the Yoga characteristic of the Upanishads

      3) Agni-Yoga: The unitive discipline of fire, causing the awakening of
      the serpent power (kundalinî-shakti) through the joint action of mind
      (manas) and life force (prâna)

      4) Ashtânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the eight limbs, i.e.,
      Râja-Yoga or Pâtanjala-Yoga

      5) Asparsha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of "noncontact," which is the
      nondualist Yoga propounded by Gaudapâda in his Mândûkya-Kârikâ; cf.

      6) Bhakti-Yoga: The unitive discipline of love/devotion, as expounded,
      for instance, in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, the Bhâgavata-Purâna, and numerous
      other scriptures of Shaivism and Vaishnavism

      7) Buddhi-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the higher mind, first
      mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ

      8) Dhyâna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of meditation

      9) Ghatastha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the "pot" (ghata),
      meaning the body; a synonym for Hatha-Yoga mentioned in the

      10) Guru-Yoga: The unitive discipline relative to one's teacher

      11) Hatha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the force (meaning the
      serpent power or kundalinî-shakti); or forceful unitive discipline

      12) Hiranyagarbha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of Hiranyagarbha
      ("Golden Germ"), who is considered the original founder of the Yoga

      13) Japa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of mantra recitation

      14) Jnâna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of discriminating wisdom, which
      is the approach of the Upanishads

      15) Karma-Yoga: The unitive discipline of self-transcending action, as
      first explicitly taught in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ

      16) Kaula-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Kaula school, a Tantric Yoga

      17) Kriyâ-Yoga: The unitive discipline of ritual; also the combined
      practice of asceticism (tapas), study (svâdhyâya), and worship of the
      Lord (îshvara-pranidhâna) mentioned in the Yoga-Sûtra of Patanjali

      18) Kundalinî-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the serpent power
      (kundalinî-shakti), which is fundamental to the Tantric tradition,
      including Hatha-Yoga

      19) Lambikâ-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the "hanger," meaning the
      uvula, which is deliberately stimulated in this yogic approach to
      increase the flow of "nectar" (amrita) whose external aspect is saliva

      20) Laya-Yoga: The unitive discipline of absorption or dissolution of
      the elements prior to their natural dissolution at death

      21) Mahâ-Yoga: The great unitive discipline, a concept found in the
      Yoga-Shikhâ-Upanishad where it refers to the combined practice of
      Mantra-Yoga, Laya-Yoga, Hatha-Yoga, and Râja-Yoga

      22) Mantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of numinous sounds that help
      protect the mind, which has been a part of the Yoga tradition ever
      since Vedic times

      23) Nâda-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the inner sound, a practice
      closely associated with original Hatha-Yoga

      24) Pancadashânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the fifteen limbs
      (pancadasha-anga): (1) moral discipline (yama), (2) restraint
      (niyama), (3) renunciation (tyâga), (4) silence (mauna), (5) right
      place (desha), (6) right time (kâla), (7) posture (âsana), (8) root
      lock (mûla-bandha), (9) bodily equilibrium (deha-samya), (10)
      stability of vision (dhrik-sthiti), (11) control of the life force
      (prâna-samrodha), (12) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (13)
      concentration (dhâranâ), (14) meditation upon the Self (âtma-dhyâna),
      and (15) ecstasy (samâdhi)

      25) Pâshupata-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Pâshupata sect, as
      expounded in some of the Purânas

      26) Pâtanjala-Yoga: The unitive discipline of Patanjali, better known
      as Râja-Yoga or Yoga-Darshana

      27) Pûrna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of wholeness or integration,
      which is the name of Sri Aurobindo's Yoga

      28) Râja-Yoga: The royal unitive discipline, also called
      Pâtanjala-Yoga, Ashtânga-Yoga, or Râja-Yoga

      29) Samâdhi-Yoga: The unitive discipline of ecstasy

      30) Sâmkhya-Yoga: The unitive discipline of insight, which is the name
      of certain liberation teachings and schools referred to in the Mahâbhârata

      31) Samnyâsa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of renunciation, which is
      contrasted against Karma-Yoga in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ

      32) Samputa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of sexual congress (maithunâ)
      in Tantra-Yoga

      33) Samrambha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of hatred, as mentioned in
      the Vishnu-Purâna, which illustrates the profound yogic principle that
      one becomes what one constantly contemplates (even if charged with
      negative emotions)

      34) Saptânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the seven limbs
      (sapta-anga), also known as Sapta-Sâdhana in the Gheranda-Samhitâ: (1)
      six purificatory practices (shat-karma), (2) posture (âsana), (3) seal
      (mudrâ), (4) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (5) breath control
      (prânâyâma), (6) meditation (dhyâna), and (7) ecstasy (samâdhi)

      35) Shadanga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the six limbs
      (shad-anga), as expounded in the Maitrâyanîya-Upanishad: (1) breath
      control (prânâyâma), (2) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (3)
      meditation (dhyâna), (4) concentration (dhâranâ), (5) examination
      (tarka), and (6) ecstasy (samâdhi)

      36) Siddha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the adepts, a concept found
      in some of the Tantras

      37) Sparsha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of contact; a Vedantic Yoga
      mentioned in the Shiva-Purâna, which combines mantra recitation with
      breath control; cf. Asparsha-Yoga

      38) Tantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Tantras, a
      kundalinî-based Yoga

      39) Târaka-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the "deliverer" (târaka); a
      medieval Yoga based on light phenomena

      40) Yantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of focusing the mind upon
      geometric representations (yantra) of the cosmos.
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