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Yoga (Notes inspired by a Friend's Comment)
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Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word for yoke, a joining together or a bridge. In the case of yoga, it connotes a linking of this world with the universe; the life of everyday coming and going with the world of contemplation and enlightenment; the person’s outer nature with his inner essence.

Most people, when they hear the word Yoga, think of the movements and physical positions of Hatha Yoga. Hatha is only one kind of yoga, and is a fine method of calming the mind and clearing the body for meditation.

There are other Yogas that refer to a person’s path in life, correlating it with his basic personality. I don’t know why the other kinds of yoga are not more well-known, except to say that Hatha Yoga is more exotic and was taken up by practitioners who specialized in the more flamboyant aspects of Hinduism and spiritualism, upon which the media, ever mindful of the bottom line, feasted and grew fat.

There are three Yogas which are life paths: Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga. (By the way, Hatha Yoga can be practiced by any person following any path, to clear the mind and strengthen the body).

Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge. Scholars follow this path as their way to self-knowledge and enlightenment.

Bhakti Yoga is the path of worship. Not only mystics and seers, but people whose lives revolve around faith and devotion are Bhakti Yogis. For Christians, we would find them in the Pentacostal Churches, for instance, but certainly not exclusively there.

The third life yoga is Karma Yoga, following the path of daily work and service to humanity to self-realization and enlightenment. In the process of living life every day, they strive to make the world a better place where people can follow their own paths to truth.

The usual caveats apply: people generally are not one type to the exclusion of the others; people may change as they go from one stage of life to another.

Where do you see yourself?

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