Q:

What are the main sects of yoga?

A:

Quick Answer

Generally, most informed sources will agree that there are six different branches of yoga practice, and these branches include hatha, bhakti, raja, jnana, karma and tantra yoga. Each branch is characterized by a different kind of practice, and not all of these are the typical physical exercise form of yoga that most people think of when they think of yoga practice. For example, hatha yoga focuses on the physical practice of yoga poses, while karma yoga is philosophical in nature, and raja yoga takes more of a meditative practice.

Continue Reading
What are the main sects of yoga?
Credit: Vernon Wiley iStock / 360 Getty Images

Full Answer

Hatha, the branch that is focused on physical poses, is perhaps the best known form of yoga. There are divisions within hatha yoga, such as Bikram, ashtanga or vinyasa yoga. These different schools of hatha yoga should not be confused with the main branches, which go above and beyond physical poses.

Yoga branches can be quite spiritual in nature. For example, bhakti and karma yoga are both concerned with selflessness, albeit in different ways. Tantra yoga may be the most misunderstood branch of yoga practice, thanks to its association with unusual sexual practices.

Learn more about Yoga

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who introduced yoga to the West?

    A: An Indian man named Vivekananda may be the earliest and most prominent pioneer to introduce Westerners to yoga, but his version of the practice is quite di... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do you do yoga at home?

    A: To do yoga at home, follow a sequence of poses that opens by warming up your muscles and then focuses your practice and helps to regulate breathing. The se... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does yoga do for you?

    A: According to Yoga Journal, regular yoga practice improves flexibility, increases muscle strength, improves joint flexibility and encourages healthy blood f... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How old is yoga?

    A: Most researchers believe yoga is 5,000 years old, although evidence suggests the practice could go back 10,000 years. Historians divide the evolution of yo... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore