The word yoga means “union,” and it refers to a practice that aims to bring your mind, body, and spirit into alignment. There are many types of yoga—from Hatha to Ashtanga—but Bhakti Yoga is one of the most important. This style of yoga teaches you how to identify with God as an expression of love, devotion, surrender, and service.
What is Bhakti yoga?
Bhakti yoga is a path of devotion and love. It is one of the six classical paths to God that are described in Hinduism. This path, which translates to “devotion,” is focused on bringing you closer to your faith by cultivating a love for God through prayer and meditation.
Bhakti yoga focuses on the practice of devotional meditation. The term “bhakti” means “devotion,” so bhakti yoga is often called “devotional yoga.”
Bhakti yogis believe that meditation on the divine is an essential part of human life and that through such meditation one can achieve enlightenment.
This devotional yoga was also practiced by several historical figures, including Shankara, who lived in India between A.D. 700-750; Ramanuja (1077-1137); ; Chaitanya Mahaprabhu (1486-1531); Nityananda Prabhu; Purandara Dasa (1484-1564); and many more!
Bhakti yoga is a path of devotion, where you can learn to love God with all your heart. It’s about strengthening your faith and letting go of the world’s distractions. Bhakti Yoga is about finding peace in the midst of chaos and being able to look at the world around us with wonder and love instead of fear.
It’s about finding your own understanding of God and what that means for you, without necessarily needing to devote yourself to a specific deity or set of beliefs. You can be anything from an atheist or agnostic who practices this path to someone who worships multiple gods, but regardless of what you believe about God, the practice will help you become more grounded in your own spirituality.
Ways to practice Bhakti Yoga
Repetition of a mantra
Nama Japa, or the repetition of a mantra, is one of the most popular ways to practice bhakti yoga. Mantra actually means “instrument of thought.” It’s a word or sound that helps you focus your attention and experience deeper states of meditation.
A mantra is a sacred sound, vibration, or phrase that has been used for centuries as a way to connect with the divine. When you meditate and chant your mantra, you’re bringing yourself into deep relaxation and quieting your mind—and when you do this, you can feel the connection between yourself and whatever you believe in. You can use it to connect to your higher self or to connect with your loved ones who have passed on.
The mantra itself doesn’t really matter—it’s what you do with it that counts. So long as you’re using the mantra in a way that brings you peace, joy, or love (or all three!), then it’s connecting you with something higher than us!
Reciting poems and prayers
Stuti means a prayer of praise. You can recite stutis individually or in groups. Stuti can be sung or recited, and it is often performed with music or dance. The most common form of stuti is chanting the mantras from ancient scriptures (such as the Bhagavad Gita or Vedas) aloud in your heart or silently in your head, but you can also create your own chants using prayers from any religious tradition.
Kirtanam( or Kirtan)
Kirtanam is a Sanskrit word that means “singing of the name.” It’s a meditative practice that involves singing sacred Hindu chants.
Kirtanam is a way to connect with the divine, and it can be done in groups or alone. When you sing kirtanam, you’re not just singing words—you’re also singing your heart. You’re letting go of your ego and surrendering yourself to the higher power by offering your voice as an instrument for others to use when they feel called upon to do so.
Kirtanam brings us closer to the divine by helping us get out of our heads and into our hearts.
We spend so much time thinking about ourselves, our problems, and what we’re going to do next. But when we sing kirtanam, we are singing to God. And when we sing together with others, our focus shifts from our own problems and thoughts to the group around us and what’s happening in the moment.
This can be a real challenge for those of us who are used to being in control of everything! But it’s also incredibly rewarding because it helps us connect with others on a deeper level than anything else I’ve experienced—it’s like having an instant family or community wherever you go!
Singing and dancing together
Sankirtanam is one of the most popular forms of bhakti yoga. It involves singing and dancing together to express your love for God.
Singing songs in bhakti yoga is a way to connect with the divine, and it’s also a way to connect with ourselves. When we sing a song, we are connecting with our higher selves and reach out to spirit. When we sing a song, we are also connecting with all of humanity and the planet. We’re singing with our fellow singers, all of whom are connected through their voices and the song itself.
The practice can be traced back to Vedic times when it was performed by priests in temples and at home.
Creating or caring for an altar
“Puja” is a Hindu ritual of worship, performed to express gratitude and devotion to the divine. It can be done alone or in a group, at home or at a temple.
Puja is an act of respect and gratitude towards the divine. Puja is an amazing way to create a sacred space for yourself, wherever you are. It can be as simple as lighting a candle or ringing a bell (or both), or as elaborate as memorizing long chants in Sanskrit. The important thing is that you do something—that way, it becomes part of your daily practice.
It helps us to connect with our own inner divine essence, and it also helps us connect with other people, who are also divine.
Following a prescribed routine or diet
Fasting can be a spiritual practice. It’s not just about abstaining from food, it’s also about abstaining from the things you do every day.
Fasting is used by many religions to help people develop their spiritual selves and to gain clarity on important decisions in their lives. It’s also an opportunity to focus on your thoughts and feelings rather than being preoccupied with what you’re eating.
Some people fast because they feel it helps them connect with God or another higher power. Fasting has been used as a spiritual practice since the beginning of time. Many religions use fasting as a way to connect with God or another higher power. It is also used by people who want to focus on their thoughts and feelings rather than being preoccupied with what they’re eating.
Traveling to holy places
A yatra is a spiritual journey, and the word has been translated to mean “a pilgrimage” or “a journey for religious purposes.”
You can use this as an opportunity to connect with yourself, or you can simply travel somewhere that is meaningful to you.
Holy places have inherent power. The people who visit them are often seeking help, healing, or some kind of spiritual experience—and these things are provided in abundance for those who wish to take advantage of them.
Even if you don’t believe in a higher power or a spiritual realm, it’s hard not to be affected by the energy of a holy place.
Whether you’re seeking God’s blessing or just looking for peace and quiet, holy places provide an opportunity for us all to connect with something greater than ourselves. They’re worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. Seeing the world through the eyes of a pilgrim, we can find more meaning and deeper connections with other people, nature, and the divine.
Dana is the act of giving back to the source. It is a way of returning what you have received, which in turn nourishes and sustains the source. By sharing what you have received and been given with others, you acknowledge them as part of your family, community or society.
Practicing self-discipline; regulating your habits
Tapas is a Sanskrit word that means austerity. It is the practice of self-discipline, regulating your habits and actions.
Practicing tapas can be difficult, but it can also be very rewarding in that it helps you to focus on yourself instead of other people or things. You will begin to notice how much more you appreciate things when they come your way.
Meditating on the Divine through visualization and prayer, by reading specific texts and then repeating them in your mind.
This practice is a form of meditation that helps you connect with the Divine. It also helps you focus on what you’re doing, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
How to practice Bhakti Yoga
So, how can you incorporate these 10 bhakti yoga practices into your daily routine?
First, find a time and place that is comfortable for you. Then choose one or two of the practices from above (or another one if there’s one we didn’t mention) and start there!
You don’t have to do them all at once. Even just practicing Nama Japa once a day is great for your soul. The important thing is to keep coming back again and again so. Eventually, it becomes part of who you are as an individual on this earthly plane.
Bhakti yoga is a practice of love and devotion. It’s about letting go of your ego and opening yourself up to the divine. It’s about surrendering to the will of God and letting Him take over your life.
The way to do this is through practice. You have to practice being kind and loving toward yourself and others; that comes first. Then you move on to practicing kindness toward all living things. And finally, you can practice loving God with all your heart—not just by repeating words or phrases. But by surrendering yourself completely to His will and letting Him guide you through life’s challenges.
By practicing Bhakti yoga, we become more in tune with the universe around us, sharing our love with others. We learn how to serve God through our service to others.
Bhakti yoga makes us come closer to God because it focuses on cultivating a loving relationship with God. By doing so, we become more aware of God’s presence in our lives and in the world around us.
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