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This is probably because yoga does not actually belong to anyone; it is the Spirits’ gift to humanity. Yoga is the language of human growth – and that is a good metaphor. Language and speech are things all humans have a right to practise, some speak French, some Japanese, and some sing with their voice, others like to orate, others just speak quietly – but these are all legitimate uses of speech and communication. A teacher of English may place emphasis of grammar, and another teacher may emphasise speech, and yet another may focus on creativity.

Yoga is also just a tool – more specific than speech, but one that can be interpreted and taught in many, many ways. The word “yoga” only means union – and that is union of the physical and spiritual lives. Imagine the numerous ways you can achieve this! What we in the west are currently used to is the system of yoga propounded by the sage Patanjali in the 2nd centaury AD

This system is called Ashtanga (Not to be confused with the style of physical yoga also called Ashtanga). The system of original yoga incorporates things like meditation, breathing (pranayama) and concentration. As well as a section on Hatha yoga. Hatha in the current context would mean a classical approach to physical postures.

So, this Ashtanga (meaning eight limbs) system; is what modern yoga is composed off. Now, virtually every teacher or school of yoga interprets these eight limbs of yoga slightly differently. Some place more emphasis on the body and breath (like Iyengar and Ashtanga styles) – and others place more on the breath, mind, and soul (like Kundalini and Kriya yoga styles).

All of these styles are part of Ashtanga, which is a concision of the Raja (royal) yoga system of yoga. The raja yoga path was designed for people who were more interested in unifying with the Spirit and soul in solitude, or in a more internal fashion.

However, there are other “yogas” if you look deeper into the systems. Bhakti yoga is the system of yoga in which people reach emancipation into Spirit through devotional worship, prayer, and chanting…in this West, this is like church worship, prayerful meetings, gospel singing and hymns.

There is a also Karma yoga which is unification with God through service, work, and conduct in everyday life. This would be like a householder who looks after the family well, forgives, maybe does charity work, donates, and is selfless in all activities. Generally this is the line of people who like to express their divinity without making any major changes or adding any new path to their life. In the scriptures, this is also a form of yoga.

As well as others, there is Jnana yoga, which is the yoga of wisdom, study, and science. This is for those who want to read scriptures, and spiritual sciences, and then mentally put their ideals into practise using the power of their mind over temptation, indolence etc. it is also for those who gain wisdom through unlocking the hidden meanings in scriptures like the Bible and the Bhagavad-Gita.

My style of yoga is explained in another section About “Chi Kri”. It is no more valid nor insignificant than any other style, these are all useful to different types of people.