There are 5 types of yoga:
1) Jnana Yoga, the Yoga of Knowledge, using meditation for Self-realization
2) Bhakti Yoga, the Yoga of Devotion, seeking union with God as the Divine Father or Divine Mother
3) Karma Yoga, the Yoga of Service, emphasizing ritual worship of the Divine and service to living beings
4) Raja Yoga, the Royal Yoga of higher techniques and methods, mainly of mantra and meditation.
5) Hatha Yoga, the Yoga of Effort or of lower techniques and methods, mainly asana and pranayama.
Whilst we can follow any of these paths, us westerners are drawn to the ‘lower methods’ so Yoga classes tend to follow the 5th…hatha yoga or ‘the yoga of EFFORT’…….so it really is necessary for us to work hard, but within our limits, in class. If we perform half heartedly or without concentration we cannot expect to yield the full results.