Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are. ~ Jason Crandell
Since ancient times, yoga has been compared to a tree with different branches. These branches epitomize a unique aspect of life. However, these branches go beyond the physical practice of yoga postures and breathing techniques. Most people are acquainted with asanas and pranayamas and assume it is all about that. But within the realm of these branches, yoga extends beyond the obvious.
Five Traditional Branches of Yoga
Hatha, which is the branch that deals with postures and breath control, is just one of the five branches. Yoga, as a whole, goes beyond the physical practice and encompasses the spiritual growth of an individual. It helps us harmonize ourselves with universal consciousness. As we expand our being, we come closer to our true self. Spiritual development results from an integration of the mind, body, and soul while we advance in our practice.
The other branches of yoga are known as:
With each branch dealing with a unique subject, they include different aspects of life like philosophy, contemplation, thought, action, and more. While Bhakti, for instance, talks about acceptance for all, Raja leads the practitioner towards meditation and mastering the mind.
The infographic below illustrates this concept further and also highlights the various benefits of practicing.
As we advance in our practice, we go on to live a more fulfilling life using yoga exercises in our daily lives.