In Sanskrit, meaning of the word yoga is “to add”, “to join”, “to unite”, or “to attach”. Yoga means “union” or “integration” and also “discipline,” so the system of Yoga is called a uniting or integrating discipline. Yoga seeks to unite body, mind, and spirit. Yoga includes postural exercises that help in staying fit and trim, control weight, and reduce stress level.
A person who practices the discipline of balancing mind and body through Yoga is traditionally called a yogi (if male) or a yogini (if female).
Here are the seven principal branches of Yoga, arranged alphabetically
- Bhakti Yoga: The Yoga of devotion
- Hatha Yoga: The Yoga of physical discipline
- Jnana Yoga: The Yoga of wisdom
- Karma Yoga: The Yoga of self-transcending action
- Mantra Yoga: The Yoga of potent sound
- Raja Yoga: The Royal Yoga. It is an eightfold path laid down in the Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali and also called Ashtanga Yoga.
- Tantra Yoga (including Laya Yoga and Kundalini Yoga): The Yoga of continuity