raja yoga

What is Raja Yoga?

Raja yoga is one of the four classical schools of yoga alongside Jnana (knowledge or self-study), Bhakti (devotion), and Karma (action), each offering a path to moksha (spiritual liberation) and self-realization.

In Sanskrit, raja means ‘king” or ‘royal,” referring to the status of Raja yoga as a “royal path”. Traditionally, it refers to both the goal of yoga and the method of attaining it. It is also considered to be the state of peace and contentment that arises from sustained yoga and meditation practice. Raja yoga is the yoga of mind and body control, with a focus on meditation and energetics. It encompasses teachings from all the different paths, and it is from Raja yoga that hatha yoga and modern asana practice developed.

Since Raja yoga involves all three dimensions of human existence (physical, mental and spiritual), it enables practitioners to achieve balance and harmony on all of these levels.

Eightfold path of Raja Yoga

Raja yoga 2
  1. Yamas – Five social observances: Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (chastity), and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
  2. Niyamas – Five moral observances: Saucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), tapas (self-discipline), Svadhyaya (self-study), Ishvarapranidhana (devotion or surrender).
  3. Asana – Yoga postures.
  4. Pranayama – Breathing techniques as a means of controlling prana (vital life force energy).
  5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses.
  6. Dharana – Concentration.
  7. Dhyana – Meditation.
  8. Samadhi – Enlightenment or bliss.

Benefits of Raja Yoga

yoga meditation
  • It helps in reducing stress and anxiety
  • It improves personal relationships.
  • Creates a sense of well-being.
  • Enhance concentration and memory.
  • It helps in overcoming bad habits.
  • Improves sleep quality.
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