One of the things that really caught my attention when I started diving deeper into my yoga practice (lets see... about 10 years ago while living in the UK and practicing at the Sivananda Yoga Centre in London) was the fact that although Yoga is a 'spiritual' science it is still a science and as such it is logical, methodical, providing detailed instructions on how to practice it. In other words it prescribes precise systems and methods to live a peaceful, happy, connected and fulfilled life.
While the core philosophy of yoga states that everything in the universe in essence is part of one consciousness - the central idea of ONENESS, it also recognizes the beauty and diversity of the entire universe. Keeping this in mind it prescribes different paths for different types of people in order to support their journey to their final and common destination.
These are the 4 paths of Yoga:
1. Karma Yoga: (The path of Selfless service): Prescribed for those with an active nature.
2. Bhakti Yoga: (The path of Devotion): Prescribed for those with an emotional nature.
3. Raja Yoga: (The path of Mind control): Prescribed for those with mystical nature.
4. Jnana Yoga: (The path of Inquiry): Prescribed for those with an intellectual nature.
Our teacher, Swami Sivananda prescribed a Yoga Synthesis. He said: practice a little of all of these paths. This will keep you in balance. Eventually you will have a natural tendency for one of them. Slowly but surely you will reach your destination!
Today we would like to share these 8 Steps of Raja Yoga (courtesy of the Sivananda Yoga Centres in Europe) which will illustrate this powerful and beautiful yogic approach to life from the Raja Yoga perspective.
Enjoy and feel free to leave any comments