Yoga Orientation: What kind of Yoga do you do?

A map for beginners and teachers of Yoga.

If you want to start Yoga here are some of the questions you can ask your teacher. Asking yourself these questions will definitely help you to understand what you want for yourself.

These questions are not just for beginners. In fact the longer you practice or teach Yoga the more relevant these questions become to you.

Question 1. What Yoga tradition or Dharma do you follow, Hindu, Buddhist or Jain?

  • Hindu: When most people refer to Yoga they mean the Hindu tradition of Yoga. In India and abroad it is simply referred to as Yoga.
  • Buddhist: The Yoga Tradition of the Buddhists is quite strong in pockets within India and popular in the West. It is not called Buddhist Yoga; it is simply called Buddhism.
  • Jain: The Jain tradition of Yoga is accessible only to the small Jain community living in India and abroad.

Question 2. What path of Yoga do you follow?

The answers can only be one or more of the following. Any other answer is just one of the innumerable truncated styles of Yoga indicating a non-traditional school of Yoga.

  • Karma Yoga or Yoga in Action
  • Bhakti Yoga or Path of Devotion
  • Jnana Yoga or Path of Knowledge
  • Raja Yoga/ Astanga Yoga or The Eightfold Path including moral conduct and observances, healthy lifestyle
  • Kundalini Yoga or Path of  Primal Energy including Mantra Yoga, Tantra Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Laya Yoga

Question 3: Which school of Yoga do you follow?

  • Traditional
  • Therapeutic
  • Physical Culture

Question 4: If you practice physical culture, what style of physical culture do you practice?

Innumerable styles often with registered trade marks.

Source Guide

Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda (8 volume set)


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