Types of Yoga – Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti yoga is a reverential type of yoga, generally connected with Theistic Hinduism. It is in this way centered around confidence, love for and love of an individual God, for example, Shiva, Shakti or Krishna. It is instructed in key works like the Bhagavad Gita as one of the types of yoga, and turned into a noteworthy current of Hindu yoga in the second 50% of the first millenium CE, when it was advanced and celebrated by south Indian writer holy people like the Alvars and Nayanars. Types of Bhakti yoga incorporate the singing of psalms, stories and melodies (Kirtan), moving, supplication, bowing, and performing puja ceremonies.

Rāmānuja (1017– 1137 CE) is of the most significant scholars of Bhakti yoga, breaking with the Advaita convention’s outright nondualism and rather contending for a “qualified nondualism” (Viśiṣṭādvaita) which considers a specific contrast among atman and Brahman and in this way it gives a solid philosophical establishment to reverential belief in a higher power. Another compelling figure of this convention is Madhva (1238– 1317 CE), who contended for a type of dualism among God and soul.

The customs which center explicitly around Bhakti as its fundamental yogic practice incorporate Gaudiya Vaishnavism, the ISKCON development and Lingayatism (otherwise called Vīraśaivism).

The present Western yogis don’t really rehearse dedication to a Hindu god, a master, or “God” as a man centric figure in white robes (albeit some do). Numerous Westerners who practice bhakti yoga will in general associate with an additionally enveloping thought of the Divine, the Beloved, the Spirit, the Self, or the Source. As Uttal says, “Everybody has their very own thought or feeling of what ‘God’ is.”

“For me, bhakti implies whatever hits your heart with excellence, whatever hits the sign of your heart and rouses you to simply feel the adoration,” says Sianna Sherman, a senior Anusara Yoga educator.

As you tap into this all inclusive love, you normally build up a feeling of trust that this considerate, savvy universe gives; you unwind; and you can’t resist the urge to create positive vitality for other people.

Frawley calls bhakti “the best of the yoga approaches” and says usually more open than different types of yoga, which may clarify its developing prominence.


Bhakti yoga is one of the easiest to perform among the different paths and it is the path that can be easily mastered by an individual. This is the path that offers the most direct process that helps an individual in the union of the mind, body, and spirit. The requirement when practicing Bhakti yoga is for the individual to have a loving heart and devotion. It is the yogic path that complements other paths as well; by practicing it an individual is able to understand other paths more easily.

Bhakti yoga is surrounded by spiritual practices and uses Hindu deities. Western practitioners may not use the Hindu deities as it not required to practice this path, an individual can find his personal object of devotion and it will help in achieving the ultimate goal of the path which is to unite with the Divine.

Bhakti yoga is also known as Bhakti marga which means a spiritual path amidst Hinduism with the ultimate purpose of loving a personal god. Bhakti yoga has nine main practices that can be practiced by an individual separately or together as one. Each limb creates different feelings that can affect the individual accordingly.

Here are the nine limbs of Devotion:

  1. Shravana – This is done by listening to different scriptures done by saints or genuine bhakta (practitioners).
  2. Kirtana – This is done by singing songs about devotion, it is presented in a style of a call and response.
  3. Smarana – This is done by remembering the Divine, an individual will constantly meditate the name and form of the Divine.
  4. Padasevana – This is done by doing selfless service with devotion.
  5. Achana – This is done by practicing the worship of the Divine with different offerings and deity worship.
  6. Vandana – This is done by being subservient to the image or an individual’s chosen form of the Divine.
  7. Dasya – This is done by having an extreme devotion to the Divine which also reflects when an individual follows the will of God instead of his worldly and egoistic desires.
  8. Sakhya – This is done by having a close relationship between the Divine and the individual practicing Bhakti yoga.
  9. Atmanivedana – This is done by the individual when he offers everything he is and it is also the selfless act of complete surrender to the Divine.
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