Raja Yoga or royal yoga, although little known in our countries, remains the oldest form of yoga. It includes elements of Hatha Yoga as well as major principles of meditation. In Raja Yoga, meditation is an exercise that requires exercise through asanas and breathing exercises. Let us look at its history, its principles and how to practice it in detail.
What is Raja Yoga?
Royal or integral yoga, was formerly called astanga yoga (eight-limb yoga). It is based on the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, and is one of the 6 darsanas of Indian philosophy. The aim of this yoga is to liberate rebirth, kaivalyamukti in Sanskrit. It is called eight-limb yoga because it is composed of 8 great foundations which are:
- yama: this is the code of conduct that everyone must adopt in society
- niyama: this is the code of conduct that you must adopt towards yourself
- Asana: Finding inner calm through physical posture
- Pranayama: Releasing vital breath using breathing as a tool for concentration
- pratyahara: Removal of senses, objects and their perception
- Dharana: it’s concentration, keeping your mind fixed at a point
- Dhyana: this is deep meditation
- samadhi: state of union with the inner god (âtman) or absorption into the absolute (brahman)
The last three members are called samyama and they represent the essential part of Raja Yoga, which is based on Yoga Sutra.
The principles of Raja Yoga
Some consider it the way of meditation, but Raja Yoga is a science of the mind that leads you through its practice to become aware, and to channel the forces of the mind creatively.
How to practice it?
For optimal practice, you can do it after or during hatha yoga techniques. However, the intervention of karma yoga (the yoga of disinterested action to achieve a better association of inner gait and harmonious expression) is always necessary. To best complement raja yoga, jnana yoga is also strongly recommended, this discipline that ensures awareness. It is only by assimilating this in-depth knowledge that you will experience significant long-term benefits.
Our Tips for Royal Yoga Practice
Thus, to take one’s life in the right way, raja yoga implies a great availability, creativity, a positive spirit, a flexible and open vision of reality, a deep development of the sense of responsibility and a daily application of certain principles of behaviour.
Among these principles, non-violence, honesty, voluntary simplicity, moderation, contentment, self-study, transparency, discipline and letting go are honored. If you just exercise and don’t focus on the basics, you’re not going to get there. This principle applies to everything in yoga, from lifestyle to simple meditation exercises.
In order to develop to the maximum the potential of your main energy centers thanks to what we have just explained in connection with raja yoga, many tools such as breathing, concentration, relaxation and meditation allow the practitioner and all those who take the time to devote themselves to it to discover its inner resources and to flourish in his daily life, whatever it may be.
Here we are, at the end of this article on the most exciting raja yoga. This science of the mind, the oldest apparently, will help you to become a much better person in the long run. Unfortunately, this is not a widespread practice in the West, but it is not a sufficient reason not to consider it.
To enlighten you on this long road, we have discussed the 8 principles that govern it, and some tips to achieve it the best, but it is obviously not enough to launch you. Learn, train, and your long, hard-working learning will bear fruit little by little, be sure of that.