Yoga practice is both an art and a science. Done correctly, yoga can relieve stress, relax the body, enhance fitness, and calm the mind to allow space for spiritual enlightenment.
A yoga practice personalized to your individual goals, spiritual aspirations, and emotional and physical needs can bring your mind and body into balanced alignment. To begin, we will discuss several yoga styles that nurture practitioners looking to enhance spiritual wellness and awareness in their lives.
Are you looking for a more connected mind-body exercise experience? Explore these 3 best yoga practices for spiritual awareness.
Whether you’re a beginning practitioner or a yogi who wants to deepen your practice with more spiritual intentions, the Hatha yoga style is an excellent place to start.
Gentle, spiritual, and designed to align your body and cleanse your mind, Hatha yoga can help those who practice it enter a deeper state of spiritual awareness. That’s because Hatha yoga, derived from the Raja Yoga discipline, centers around physical aspects that are universal to the human experience rather than preconceived opinions or beliefs.
As with all yoga practice, you can focus on the physical postures without tapping into the spiritual dimensions of higher practice.
In this way, yoga is an art form, just like painting a picture or carving a statue out of stone can have different levels of expertise and understanding. The difference between a physical yoga sequence and techniques designed to elevate the spirit to another plane is of someone who draws a paint-by-number painting and a sculpture or painting by Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci.
Hatha yoga seeks a mind-body connection that redistributes energy throughout your body through various movements. It’s important to remember that our mind’s energy affects our physical health.
For example, we often slump over phones or desks, compressing our airways and making our bodies hunched. When we open our arms to embrace the world in Hatha yoga and inhale to expand our lungs in connection with all living things, this creates an upward flow that can lift our spirits, detox our bodies, and bring spiritual awareness to our practice.
This yoga style is less well-known in the United States and the West, but it brings profound spiritual benefits to those looking to add a philosophical element to their physical yoga practice.
While the physical benefits of Jivamukti practice are diverse, including flexibility, detoxification, improved circulation, and better strength and balance, engaging in this yoga practice also has significant emotional and spiritual benefits.
Jivamukti yoga aims to help those who practice it connect with other people through joy and compassion for all living things. This practice’s purpose centers on abolishing the artificial social boundaries that separate us from each other. The goal is to recognize our oneness with the universe and each other.
Five main tenants exist at the core of Jivamukti’s yoga practice. These include ahimsa (kindness), bhakti (devotion), dhyana (meditation or mindfulness), nada (music or song), and Shastra (scripture). A typical Jivamukti class adds vibrant vinyasa flows that integrate these five tenants with the physical sequences.
Designed for energy and vitality, Kundalini yoga revitalizes both the physical asana and spiritual aspects of yoga practice.
Using dynamic techniques that focus on breathing, mindful meditation, repeating mantras, and flowing movements, Kundalini yoga aims to heighten a person’s consciousness.
Kundalini boosts a practitioner’s spiritual potential by releasing the power of the serpent or kundalini that sits coiled tight in our spines. When this power base is blocked, we may feel unbalanced, dull, or spiritually listless. Kundalini yoga helps increase spiritual awareness by pulling this energy vortex up through the body via the seven chakras.
If you want to deepen your spiritual practice through yoga, Kundalini offers a more profound philosophical approach and spiritual introspection than other types of yoga. To reach spiritual enlightenment through energy harnessing and release, a typical Kundalini yoga class will include dynamic ways to breathe, chanting of mantras, meditation periods, and yoga posture sequences.