Yoga Terminology

We are deep into our study of yoga philosophy in our Shiva Yoga 200hr Teacher Training program! It’s not easy to make sense of the different systems of philosophy that inform the practice. There’s even a lot of confusion with terminology and even understanding the difference between modern styles of yoga and traditional systems of practice. It helps if we break things down a little. We have ‘modern styles of yoga’ — like Iyengar Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Dharma Yoga...etc. These ‘modern styles of yoga’ are using different ‘traditional systems of yoga practice’ to take you on a journey to the center of your Self. The most common ‘traditional systems of yoga practice’ are: Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Jnana Yoga and to a lesser extent — Mantra Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Laya Yoga. We also have different yoga and yoga related philosophies — like Classical Yoga, Samkhya, Vedanta, Jainism...etc. These philosophies influence the different ‘traditional systems of yoga practice’ and help to explain what the experience is when you reach the center of your Self. When you divide things up into these three categories, it makes it easier to understand and make sense of things.