Yoga – The Basic Concept

Article by Shailja Kapur

The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj which means “to join” or ” to unite”.

It is a path towards self -realisation as it helps to join the persons Higher Self (Atman) to the Cosmic, Ultimate Reality. It is the union of the self with the Absolute Reality.

To describe the true essence of Yoga in one sentence is not possible as one has to practice to experience it.

The basis of Yoga teachings is based on the scriptures composed by Maharishi Patanjali, as Yoga Sutras. Maharishi Patanjali is known as a father of modern Yoga.

Yoga is meant for everyone and age should not be a barrier. There are so many different types of Yoga to achieve the union to the Supreme. It is always advisable to begin with; learn these practices from a Guru or practitioner as a Guru or practitioner is the right person to guide you.

The basic five branches of Yoga are:

Hatha Yoga: the Yoga of physical purification

Raj (Ashtanga) Yoga: The Yoga for Mental Discipline

Karma Yoga: The Yoga of Action

Bhakti Yoga: The Yoga of Love and Devotion

Gyana Yoga: The Yoga of Knowledge and Wisdom

The Hatha Yoga and Raj Yoga are the most popular ones.

To get the basic idea about the concept of Yoga please see the classification below.

Yoga Classification

Hatha Yoga

Yogic Kriyas (Shat Karmas)


Yogic Asanas

All the 32 Asanas and Jeevan Tatva
Yovan Tatva
Mudras (yogic hand gestures)
Pranayama (mindful breathing exercises)
Pratayahar (sensory withdrawal)
Dharana (concentration)
Dhyaan (meditation)
Samadhi (the supreme state of bliss)

Raj Yog (Ashtanga Yoga)

Yama (ethical standards)
Niyama (self-discipline)
Asana (physical postures)
Pranayama (mindful breathing practice)
Pratayahar (sensory withdrawal)
Dharana (concentration)
Dhyaan (meditation)
Samadhi (the supreme state of bliss)

Karam Yoga

Action without attachment
Renunciation of fruits of action
Perfection in action
Self less action

Bhakti Yoga

Sewa (services to others)
Prapatti (surrender to Absolute)
Bhakti (prayers: sravana, kirtana, smarana, Archana, Vandana)

Gyana Yoga

Discrimination between the eternal (Nitya) and the transitory existence (Anitya) and Detachment
Control over own actions
Desire for liberation
Shravana and Manana (Listening and Following)
Nididhyasana (The stage of meditation on the Truth)

These paths of Yoga are complimentary with each other but a person has to decide which paths to choose.

The goal here is not like attending the class on the daily basis; it is the path you want to follow in life and live with it. It comes from devotion and self-discipline. The Guru or practitioner can guide you towards its true essence but it is entirely up to the person to perceive and achieve.

The path which is completely aligned with your True-self can lead you towards self-realisation which will eventually make you ONE with the Absolute.

To attain the state of eternal bliss one must practice Yoga religiously without any doubts.

This article is based as per the teachings of my Sadguru, Shri Chaman Lal Kapur ji Maharaj.

I bow at the lotus feet of my Sadguruji for his divine guidance and blessings.


Shailja Kapur
Shailja Kapur

Shailja Kapur is a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Healer. She got passion for various Reiki practices and other healing modalities. She also practices Candle Healing, Distant Healing, Crystal Healing, Dowsing, Magnified Healing, Yoga and Guided Meditation. She always felt a strong connection with Reiki. She had started practicing Reiki since her childhood without knowing what she used to do is called Reiki. As possibilities are endless with Reiki, her enthusiasm to experiment Reiki and share her experiences with the world. She believes self- purification, self-dedication and selflessness enhances your Reiki experiences. Shailja can be reached via her e-mail address