What yoga really is and what are its different types?

What is yoga? Is it an exercise or something else? Many times, our mind gets buzzed with these kinds of questions and we don’t have any idea about that. From the ancient period-specific in India and Nepal, yoga (it was said “Yog”) has been connected with spirituality. It works as a medium to get together mind, body, and soul in one place. According to Hindu, Jainism, and Buddhism beliefs, yoga was only related to meditation. It was slowly spread through these religions to some part of the world. By old mythology, the word yoga was sometimes used alone or as a suffix to other words like Karm Yog, hath Yog, buddhi Yog, says Yog, etc. Although these kriyas have a different meaning in the sense, so it becomes difficult for one to define the exact meaning of Yoga (Yoga).

Yoga has been also defined in different contexts in ancient times. For example-

“Siddhasiddho SamoBhutva Samvatam Yoga uchiyate” – It means to have affinity everywhere in the duality like sorrow-happiness, profit-gain, enemy-friend, cold and warm.   

                                                                              -This quote cited by Bhagwatgita


“Yogashtantvritta Nirodha” – It means, that is the prevention of the practice of the mind.  

                                                                -This quote cited by Patanjali philosophy 


“Kushal Chittagaggata Yoga” – It means the concentration of skilled mind.

                                                              -This quote cited by Buddhism philosophy


Thus we can analyze one thing that the word “Yoga” has been used differently in each ancient philosophy. You cannot get a single meaning of yoga from these philosophies. We need to further discuss the specific meaning of yoga. People who support the practices of yoga can believe either one philosophy of yoga from old mythology.


 Different types of Yoga

In ancient times according to the Hindu text, yoga was a medium for seekers to make a path to salvation from high stage of yoga such as moksha, samadhi, kaivalya. These types of things were found in yoga text again and again. Below types of yoga have been described in Shiva Samhita and Gorashatak from the authentic book of Yoga. Whereas Shiva Samhita describes the dialogue between Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati where he gives her instructions that how to perform the yoga asana, pranayama, meditation, mudra, tantric practices, and abstract the yogic philosophy. 

1- Hatha Yoga- Hatha is derived from stubbornly doing something. The meaning of Hatha yoga has been given in Hatha Pradeepika book as follows-

“Hakarenochyate Suryasthkar Chandra Uchiyate,

Surya Chandramaso Ryogadhatha Yoga”.


Meaning- Hatha Yoga is the same as the same state of Moon and Sun. There, so many Nadis are found in our bodies. Some of the major from them are described as- Surya Nadi, Chandra Nadi and third is found between two that is spinal cord. Thus, four types of Hatha yoga by The Hatha Pradeepika are as – pranayama, mudra and bandh, asana, and Nadanusadhan.


2- Mantra Yoga- Chanting of mantra is known as Japa, it unites body with mind and bhakti with meditation, gives peace to the mind, and harmonizes the inner body.


“Yog Sevente Sadhakadhamah.”                                   

                                                                    – This text cited by Yogatattvopanishad


Meaning- a person with poor intellect serves with mantra yoga. This is for whom a person with impurity and nonpractitioner. Chanting is done through four-way:

  • Vachik
  • Mental
  • Upanshu
  • Anapa


3- Kundalini Yoga- Kundalini yoga is also known as laya yoga. In this state, the seeker finds himself in the same state while doing everything like walking, sleeping, and sitting, etc.

“Gachhasthisthan Swapan Bhujan Dhyayantriashkalamiswaram and Laya Yoga: Syat “                                                                                                         

                                                                      -This text cited by Yogatvopanishad

4- Raj Yoga- Raj yoga includes a little every yoga asana. This is a mixture of all yoga states and formed by Maharishi Patanjali.


                                                                                        This text cited by Patanjali

Bhagwat Geeta introduced two more yoga form, named as-

  • Gyan Yoga
  • Karma Yoga


Modern yoga styles: In addition, modern yoga styles are derived from ancient yoga. Below these modern styles of yoga are formed to make the body flexible, balancing, boost muscle, and meditation. These asanas are formed to the purpose, to achieve good physical health and a peaceful mind. Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh is a great place to learn more about yoga and meditation.


  • Hatha yoga
  • Iyengar yoga
  • Vinyasa yoga
  • Ashtanga yoga
  • Bikram yoga/ hot yoga
  • Sivananda yoga
  • Power yoga


Conclusion: Nowadays, everyone is giving their own definition of yoga. I have gone through some article that was having plagued content on yoga. But the truth is different, from today’s perspective, yoga has become a subject of academic practices. If you have an interest in yoga then you can become a certified yoga teacher and start your own yoga studio. You can join 200 hour yoga teacher training and start your new career.