Q. I want to know about yoga effects in the body? How is it useful from other body training means of exercise?
A. The ashtanga yoga system is designed in such a way that at the end, an aspirant can see and worship the Paramatma in the heart. The aim is thus God realization and not to have a healthy and strong body so that we can have better sense gratification. If done properly we do get the benefits of a good and healthy body and mind, good concentration and proper sense control which help in the final aim of God realization.
Regarding other forms of exercise, Srila Prabhupada recommended brisk walking.
Q. Which is the best amongst Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, Karma yoga or Dhyana yoga? All these yogas were spoken by Lord Sri Krishna, Himself and I personally feel that all are equally important as Lord’s teachings are completely transcedental.
A. Lord Krishna recommends yoga as the means to spiritual emancipation. Contrary to the general notion, Lord Krishna states that mere physical postures and breathing exercises do not constitute yoga; they are just the beginning of one type of yoga. Actual yoga involves harmonizing all energy “material and spiritual” with the original source of energy, the energetic Supreme. Lord Krishna states that meditation (dhyana-yoga), philosophical speculation (jnana-yoga), detached action (karma-yoga), and devotional service to the Lord (bhakti-yoga) are means by which a soul can advance on the path back to harmony. But ultimate success comes only by devotional service (11.53-54); other paths are only stepping stones to the attainment of that devotion. (6.47, 7.19, 3.9).
The best method of devotional meditation for the current period in the cosmic cycle (Kali-yuga) is mantra meditation (10.25), especially the chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare Krsna, Hare Krsna, Krsna Krsna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. A person moving forward on the path of harmony discovers in time a decrease in mental agitation from irrational passions, an unshakable inner tranquility, and finally an eternal ecstasy of love coming from the spiritual stratum (6.20- 23). Lord Krishna therefore concludes with an unequivocal call for loving harmony with the Supreme (18.66).
Q. A devotee doing yoga such as pranayam and others, is it important?
A.We can do it for better health so that we have more energy to follow the principles of Bhakti (devotional service).