ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Introduction to Modern Yoga Practices

Updated on December 27, 2015

Evolution of Yoga

The history of yoga is quite rich, dating to as far back as during the ancient times wherein people practiced it for its therapeutic and rejuvenating benefits. Since it has been introduced in other parts of the world, it has been embraced for a variety of reasons. For instance, eastern practice of yoga is more focused on the spiritual side of yoga. While the western practitioners of yoga embraced it as a fitness approach that provides internal and external body cleansing.

Therefore, regardless of the styles and methods used in practicing yoga, it all represents one thing – taking steps toward a holistic improvement of mind, body, and spiritual health. The term is taken off a Sanskrit word that literally means union, which explains why it has a holistic focus for all aspects of the human health.

There has been several misconceptions on yoga, however. Most people are intimidated to practice yoga because they believe it requires a certain level of health or fitness condition before you can begin. But the reality is, simplicity is the real essence of yoga and it is therefore suitable for people of all ages, gender, or health status to practice.

Shiva Rea Yoga Shakti

Kriya Yoga: Alchemy of Total Transformation Kriya Kundalini

Traditional vs Modern Yoga

To better understand the difference between traditional and modern yoga practices, it is best to compare them next to each other. It can be said, however, that the eastern philosophy of yoga follows the traditional teachings of the practice. Meanwhile, western practitioners of yoga are more inclined towards the modern approach to yoga.

The difference in approach used for each philosophy of yoga also impact the benefit that one can derive from yoga.

Eastern (Traditional View) of Yoga

The ultimate goal in practicing yoga in the east is to attain self realization, which is considered as the highest possible level of consciousness that one can achieve. According to yogic experts, an individual who has reached this stage of human consciousness creates a union with a Divine Power. This is then useful in one's spiritual progress, according to the teachings of yoga in the east.

This spiritual focus in practicing yoga can be achieved through different methods such as reflection, deep listening, and meditation. The benefits that one can experience using this approach include the ability to attain inner peace, contentment, and an overall positive outlook in life, which is very important in combating stress in one's everyday life.

Western (Modern View) of Yoga

Veering away from the spiritual focus in yoga, the western philosophy of yoga is more individualistic in its approach. Indeed, it has seen a major transition since the inception of yoga techniques until it was introduced into the western part of the world.

The western concept of yoga is similar to the modern view of yoga, something of which is more prevalent these days. Current practitioners of yoga view it as a fitness tool, which is also the reason why Hatha Yoga is popular in the west. Therefore, all the physical exercises known to yoga are incorporated in this practice and coupled with other yoga components such as breathing and meditation to create balance and bring in more energy.

Modern Yoga Practices

Yoga has indeed come a long way from being a primeval Indian art. Credit most of that to the fact that yoga is a flexible practice that enables individual practitioners to adapt their own method, depending on their skill level and their goals.

Since the goals of individual yogis are constantly changing, it has led several yogic experts to create new school of yoga thought. Most of them are modified versions of the basic yoga styles that are either done to make it easily adaptable even for beginners, or made more challenging for those who want to optimize the benefits of yoga practice. So, if you are contemplating on joining a yoga class, make sure to do a little research on what yoga practices are being offered to ensure that you can keep up since some of these classes can be quite intensive.

To give you an idea of what common new age yoga practices are available these days, they are briefly discussed below.

Bhakti Yoga for Spiritual Enlightenment - Devotional Bhajan

What Is Karma Yoga?

About Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga takes on a spiritual approach in its yoga practice. In fact, it is known as the path of devotion that require its practitioners to practice selflessness and devote themselves to a supreme being. As a basic doctrine of Bhakti Yoga, one has to eliminate any form of worldly attachments that does not contribute anything to the advancement of your spiritual journey with God. It is often performed with asanas in combination with breathing and meditation, exhibiting the kind of balance that it wishes to exemplify in an individual. 

About Karma Yoga

As you might have come to associate with the word karma, it is a path to action. Therefore, a distinctive approach in this modern yoga practice focuses on the need to form positive habits in order for an individual to reap positive effects in life. Your action will certainly produce its corresponding effect in your life.

Hence, karma yoga emphasizes the need to follow the yama and niyama as espoused in the first two stages of yoga. In a deeper level of interpretation, this action should look at God as the center and must therefore abide by His rule.

About Gyana Yoga

As the path to knowledge, Gyana Yoga uses meditation in order to gain more knowledge about the self and the universe. However, this is not just any type of knowledge. In fact, it does not refer to intellectual knowledge but practical wisdom that enables an individual to gain a deeper understanding of her/his existence.

About Raja Yoga

This is another modern method of yoga that has a meditative heart. Raja Yoga's goal is to reach a state wherein an individual can gain a deeper awareness of the self as part of the larger universe and establish an identity that way. Its practice is also closely tied to the the eight stages observed in traditional yoga methods.

Yoga Books on Amazon

Modern Yoga Videos on Amazon


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)