There is a lot of confusion about what yoga is and what it entails. This kind of confusion can easily arise due to the many approaches that one encounters – each one designated as “yoga.”

A climber can find a variety of routes to the summit of a mountain. From the plains at the base of the mountain, all of these pathways appear to be distinct and different, but from the top of the mountain, the view is always the same! The same applies to the apparent diversity of the paths of yoga.

These different pathways are not mutually exclusive, or in conflict, but are intended to accommodate the different inclinations, temperaments and personalities of individual students and all pathways share the same goal. These different paths of yoga are:

  1. Hatha Yoga, deals primarily with the body and the all important breathing exercises that help the student become aware of his or her internal state. Hatha yoga exercises helps to make the body healthy and strong.
  2. Karma Yoga means ‘the yoga of action'. This course teaches us to do our duties in life skillfully and selflessly, dedicating the results of our actions to the greater good of humanity. Dedicated practice of this particular aspect of yoga helps us to live selflessly and successfully in the world.
  3. Jnana Yoga is the path of knowledge and wisdom as taught by Ramana Maharashi. Knowledge means distinguishing between the real and the unreal, between the transient and the eternal, between the finite and the infinite. This type of yoga is for those who are mentally inclined to explore the real self with the archeologic method i.e. dissecting each thought at the point from which it originates in the mind.
  4. Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotion. This is the path of love that leads one to dedicate all human action to the achievement of ultimate reality. Bhakti Yoga can be expressed inside and outside, that is, mental worship and the worship of external forms, for example lighting a candle for Jesus or a guru.
  5. Kundalini Yoga is a highly technical science concerned with the energy flow through the chakras. The guidance of a competent teacher is vital to learn the methods that awaken the life force or "snake" that is dormant in every human body.
  6. Mantra Yoga. A mantra is a word or phrase that is repeated over and over to focus your mind during meditation. The mind is flighty and tends to wander when we leave it unoccupied. A mantra provides an activity for the mind as it is trained to meditate. Traditionally, a manta would be discovered in deep meditation from very advanced and wise guru and assigned to the student. A mantra can help the student achieve self-purification, concentration and meditation.
  7. Raja Yoga is the "royal," scientific, and comprehensive path. Following this methodology the student can learn how to perfect his or her desires, emotions and thoughts, as well as the subtle impressions and thoughts that remains silent in the unconscious mind. Raja Yoga helps us to experience the inner reality using a scale of eight steps contained in Patanjali's Yoga Sutra. The ultimate goal is for the aspirant to attain the eighth step, the samadhi or liberation.
  8. In Kabbalah Yoga there is an emphasis on will, sharing and concentration to attain mastery of the physical body, the emotions and the mind, and expand the imagination, develop the will, develop the ability to concentrate and activate the cosmic life force energy.
  9. Nada Yoga
  10. Yoga Nidra