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What is Shiva Yoga?

There are many health benefits when partaking in yoga.
Shiva yoga uses a mantra during meditation.
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  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2014
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Shiva yoga is a living path of inner transformation to enlightenment. Stemming from the Vedas, Shiva yoga addresses our perpetual questions of our origin, destiny, purpose, the purpose of the cosmos, love and faith. This particular form of yoga (or union) is devoted to Lord Shiva.

Shiva yoga explains Shiva as one of the three primary gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Shiva is the destroyer of ignorance and suffering. Everything in creation is always changing and making way for something more. This is the energy of Shiva.

Through Shiva yoga, the student comes to realize that within the constant changes, it is the “always” factor that holds the key. It is that constant that is and explains the universe, God and our role in life.

The practice of spiritual discipline is called sadhana. Shiva yoga offers special techniques, used as aids and guideposts to help the student on his path. This sadhana involves meditation, breathing techniques, yoga techniques, chanting, studying, devotional service (seva) and contemplation to name a few.

Shiva yoga uses a mantra in meditation as a vehicle for shaktipat (the descent of grace). This spiritual energy is transferred from the guru to the disciple and enlivens the kundalini, (the dormant spiritual energy of self-realization). This process is spontaneous when the student experiences his mantra in a pure form. Shiva yoga explains that Shiva plays the role of paving the way through eliminating the impurities and obstacles of the body and mind.

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For this reason, Shiva is seen as the perfection of austerity, penance and meditation. In this state of pure consciousness, the student is saturated with the awareness of consciousness and comes to understand that matter is not separate from consciousness but rather it is all one.

The Vedas say that there is only one Truth, but the wise call it by many names. In the case of Shiva yoga, it is the blueprint for spiritual life. The universe is described as luminous and everything is divine. The wind and rain, the sun and sky, light and darkness, all of nature is that one God.

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turquoise
Post 3

Does anyone here practice Shiva yoga? Do you think that it is possible to practice yoga despite holding a different religious belief?

ysmina
Post 2

@SteamLouis-- I'm not an expert on yoga so I'm afraid I won't be of much help.

I agree with you however that although there are different types of yoga, the goal of every single one is enlightenment and unity with God. What varies might be the tools used to reach enlightenment. There may be variation in practices, meditation styles, chants, asanas, etc.

I think these different yoga types came about naturally through different gurus. Yoga is a practice that is done with the supervision and guide of a guru or teacher. And different gurus tend to concentrate on different aspects of Hindu philosophy. In Shiva yoga for example, the concentration is on Shiva.

So I think that we can think of these yoga varieties as the branches of the same practice.

SteamLouis
Post 1

Why are there so many different types of yoga like Shiva yoga, raja yoga, hatha yoga, etc?

Isn't the goal of all yoga to attain enlightenment? So what is the need for so many different types? And what are the differences between them?

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