What is Spiritual Yoga Called?

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What is Spiritual Yoga Called?

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, originating in ancient India as a means to achieve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. While most people are familiar with the physical aspect of yoga, known as asanas, there is also a deeper and more profound form of yoga that focuses on spiritual growth and self-realization. This spiritual aspect of yoga is often referred to by different names, each reflecting a unique approach and philosophy. In this blog post, we will explore various terms used to describe spiritual yoga and their underlying meanings.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is perhaps the most popular and widely practiced form of yoga in the Western world. The term “hatha” is derived from the Sanskrit words “ha” (sun) and “tha” (moon). It symbolizes the union of opposing energies and aims to balance and harmonize the body, breath, and mind. Hatha Yoga encompasses physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), and meditation techniques, making it a comprehensive system for physical and spiritual development.

Practicing Hatha Yoga helps practitioners increase flexibility, strength, and overall bodily awareness. While Hatha Yoga primarily focuses on the physical aspect of yoga, it also cultivates mindfulness and self-awareness, paving the way for spiritual growth and self-realization.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is a dynamic and powerful form of spiritual yoga that originated in India. The term “kundalini” refers to the dormant spiritual energy believed to reside at the base of the spine. The practice of Kundalini Yoga aims to awaken this energy and channel it upward through the body’s energy centers (chakras), leading to greater self-awareness and spiritual enlightenment.

Unlike Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga involves repetitive movements, breathing exercises, chanting, and meditation techniques performed in a specific sequence called a “kriya.” These kriyas stimulate the nervous system, activate the energy centers, and release stagnant energy, allowing the practitioner to experience a heightened state of consciousness and deep spiritual connection.

Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga, also known as “Royal Yoga” or “Classical Yoga,” is a comprehensive system of yoga that encompasses all aspects of human existence – physical, mental, and spiritual. The term “raja” means royal, and it signifies the path of self-discipline and self-control.

Raja Yoga is outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a collection of aphorisms that provide a roadmap for spiritual growth and self-realization. This form of yoga emphasizes meditation, concentration, and ethical principles as a means to still the fluctuations of the mind and discover one’s true nature.

Practicing Raja Yoga involves mastering the eight limbs outlined by Patanjali: yamas (ethical disciplines), niyamas (personal observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (integration). By following this path, practitioners can achieve a deep state of inner peace, clarity, and spiritual awakening.

Jnana Yoga

Jnana Yoga, also known as the “Yoga of Knowledge,” is a philosophical and intellectual approach to spiritual yoga. The term “jnana” means knowledge or wisdom. Jnana Yoga encourages seekers to inquire deeply into the nature of reality, their own self, and the interconnectedness of all things.

Practitioners of Jnana Yoga utilize contemplation, self-inquiry, and the study of sacred texts to gain insight into the nature of existence. This form of yoga emphasizes discrimination between reality and illusion, and it aims to transcend the limitations of the ego and the mind. Through the practice of Jnana Yoga, individuals strive to attain self-realization and realize their underlying unity with the Divine.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga, often described as the “Yoga of Devotion,” is a path of spiritual yoga that centers around the expression of love and devotion towards a higher power. The term “bhakti” means devotion, and it involves cultivating a deep emotional bond with a deity, spiritual guru, or a concept of divinity.

In Bhakti Yoga, practitioners engage in devotional practices such as chanting, singing hymns, and prayer to express their love and surrender to the divine. It is believed that through the intensity of devotion, the ego dissolves, and one merges with the object of devotion, experiencing a state of pure love, joy, and union.

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga, also known as the “Yoga of Action,” is a path of selfless service and action performed with the right intention and without attachment to results. The term “karma” refers to actions and their consequences.

In Karma Yoga, individuals dedicate their actions to a higher purpose, seeking to serve others and contribute positively to the world. By selflessly engaging in actions without egoic desires or expectations, practitioners aim to purify the mind and dissolve the illusion of separateness. Karma Yoga helps individuals transcend the ego and cultivate a sense of interconnectedness and unity with all beings.


The various terms used to describe spiritual yoga reflect the diverse approaches and philosophies that exist within the broader practice of yoga. From Hatha Yoga’s focus on physical postures to Kundalini Yoga’s emphasis on awakening the dormant energy within, each form of spiritual yoga offers a unique pathway to self-realization and spiritual growth.

Whether one resonates with Hatha, Kundalini, Raja, Jnana, Bhakti, Karma, or a combination of these yoga paths, the ultimate aim remains the same – to transcend worldly limitations, realize one’s true nature, and foster a deep connection with the divine essence that exists within and around us.

So, whether you approach yoga as a physical exercise, a spiritual practice, or a combination of both, the journey towards self-realization and spiritual growth is a deeply personal one. Explore the different paths, embrace the one that resonates with you, and embark on an incredible journey of self-discovery through the profound practice of spiritual yoga.

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What is Spiritual Yoga Called?