Beyond Asanas : Jnana Yoga, the yoga of wisdom

Practice of Asana is only a small part of the yoga journey. In fact, there are 4 main types of yoga, each of them being a different approach to attain the same spiritual goal.

 

  • Karma yoga = yoga of action. Selfless action, helping others without expecting anything back.
  • Bhakti  = Yoga of devotion. Attaining the goal through spirituality and surrender to god.
  • Jnana = Yoga of wisdom, of knowledge. Approaching yoga through study : right enquiry and right discrimination.
  • Raja = Scientific approach to yoga, systematic methodology and analysis of releasing the mind. Develop awareness. This is the path of ashtanga and the yoga of asanas.

 

Jnana yoga is the yoga of knowledge or wisdom. This main purpose of Jnana yoga is reached by withdrawing the mind or illusion of self/ of the ego, so that you are open to see the truth. The basis of Jnana yoga is non-duality, or all is one.

 

Jnana yoga is practiced through :

  • Shravana– listening to the teachings of the guru or study of the scriptures such as Vedas
  • Manana– reflection on the teachings
  • Nididhyāsana– meditation on the nature of truth

As you become yoga teacher, practicing other paths of yoga is a great way to expand your knowledge and bring more to your students.