Devotional Yoga

Definition - What does Devotional Yoga mean?

Devotional yoga, also known as Bhakti yoga, is a form of spiritual yoga that is practiced by devoting the heart and soul to a higher being, following the path of enlightenment. It is a method to focus the mind beyond the reality that is currently perceived and up to life’s true meaning and full spiritual awareness.

In Devotional yoga, sacred mantras are chanted, ancient texts, like the Vedas or Bhagavad Gita, are meditated upon and a sense of oneness with the surrounding world is felt.

Yogapedia explains Devotional Yoga

Devotional yoga started in India but has since spread to the West in the form of kirtan ("chanting"). This unique form is seen as beneficial to both the mind and body, unifying them and relieving depression, jealousy, anger, egoism, lust and arrogance. It provides a feeling of bliss, peace and knowledge, removing any tensions or anxieties that may be present.

To practice Devotional yoga through kirtan, choose an ancient chant or mantra from Hindu or Buddhist texts that is comfortable repeating either silently or aloud. This type of meditative state gives the mind a focus with the sacred sounds and syllables opening the heart to peace and divine ecstasy.

In addition to kirtan, there are eight more limbs of Devotional yoga that can be practiced alone or integrated with any other yoga practice to bring about a surrender to the divine. These other eight limbs are shravana, smarana, padasevana, archana, vandana, dasya, sakhya and atmanivedana.

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