Yoga literally means union. It is understood as the union between an individual’s conscience and the universal conscience. Yoga’s process is any method used to reach your higher nature.
In the West, yoga has been understood to mean poses, which is just one of the many aspects of yoga. Hatha Yoga is the science of using physical posture to purify the mind and body, allowing a person to achieve a state of yoga or union.
Yoga originated in ancient India and is considered as a philosophical school in Hinduism. It is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines.
Karma yoga or Karma Marga or the ‘yoga of action’ is where ultimate union is achieved through action. It is just pure action without any intention. One works with such abandon that the body is no longer a limitation for action.
Jnanamarga is a spiritual path in Hinduism that emphasizes the ‘path of knowledge’. It is also referred to as the ‘path of self-realization. It tends to use intellect to transcend the physical and reach ultimate union. The mind must not be influenced by anything. Gnana is more than just philosophizing about the world; it requires a sharp mind and constant focus to access the truth.
Bhakti marga or the path of Bhakti is a spiritual path of spiritual practice focused on loving devotion towards a personal god. One uses emotion to reach the ultimate union. Devotion is a way of transforming one’s emotion from negativity to pleasantness. Through that sweetness, one grows. Devotion is another dimension of intelligence.
Kriya yoga targets the energy that is the basis behind the body, mind and emotion; using internal action and transforming your energies to reach the ultimate union. Working with kriya can help you achieve the other three aspects of yoga.
Yoga allows a human to work on these four aspects. Everyone is a combination of all four, although one might be dominant than the other. Each day, each moment, each one of us uses at least one of these four aspects of yoga to achieve union, but in an unorganized way.