Yoga is more than just a kind of physical activity. The term “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root Yuj, which means to connect with or unite. Bhakti comes from the Sanskrit word bhaj, which meaning “loving service.” Bhakti-yoga is the practise of connecting to the Supreme through loving devotional service.
The Bhagavad Gita, ISKCON’s main spiritual literature, describes a range of yoga activities. Karma-yoga (the practise of conscious action), jnana-yoga (philosophical study and contemplation), and hatha-yoga are some of them (the practise of yoga-asanas and breathing exercises).
Some yoga practitioners now regard the physical advantages of yoga as an aim in itself. Physical exercises, however, are only one step on the journey to God realisation, according to traditional yoga teachings. The Gita eventually proposes bhakti-yoga (the path of devotion and love) as the climax of all previous yoga practises. Bhakti-yoga focuses on growing our devotion, service, and love for Lord Krishna, the Divinity.
A number of practises are used to build the path of bhakti-yoga. Mantra meditation, or reciting the names of God, is one of them. Reciting is done either individually on beads (japa) or in groups by chanting mantras to music (kirtan). Studying sacred texts such as the Bhagavad-gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, associating with like-minded spiritual aspirants, eating sanctified vegetarian food, and living in a way that upholds the principles of truthfulness, mercy, austerity, and cleanliness are all core practises for a bhakti-life. follower’s