Facts About Raja Yoga

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The four forms of yoga practiced in Hinduism are jnana, bhakti, karma and raja, with 2 subtypes– hatha and tantra. Raja yoga is the most odd of the four, with the least amount of Hindu followers, according to the University of Idaho. As with various other forms of yoga, raja yoga embraces the nurturing of the mind through meditation.


In Sanskrit, raja implies ‘king’ or ‘royal union,’ which is a measure of the theory that the mind is the center, or king, of the body. Established by Patanjali in around 200 BCE, the focus of raja yoga is total control of the senses and body of the individual. According to Lander College, the foundation of raja yoga is exploration of the true self, which relocates beyond the barriers or science and common knowledge.

Why Raja is Different

Yoga as a whole focuses on connecting the human body, mind and breathing in such a way that it brings balance to the person. Each of the 4 yoga types accomplishes this in various methods. While some sorts of yoga focus on workout, range of movement, stretching and sychronisation, raja yoga has one major focus– mind-calming exercise. At times, a raja yoga trainer might incorporate breathing and posture strategies into a session, however the sole purpose is to boost meditation.

Eight-Step Process

Reaching complete fulfillment with raja yoga is a prolonged process. Stringent moral discipline guides the raja yoga fan through 8 steps, the first of which is yama– the avoidance of injury, greed, sensuality and stealing. Niyama is the second step of achievement, needing individuals to evoke cleanliness, self-control, dedication, erudition and contentment. Step 3, or asana, advertises physical posture, while step 4, or pranayama, calms the spirit. The spiritual journey continues with steps five, 6 and seven– pratyhara, dharana and dhyana– needing amazing mental discipline to withdraw from today and become part of deep concentration and mind-calming exercise.


The objective of raja yoga is for an individual to accomplish samadhi. In the Hindu religion, samadhi is liberation from samsara or the cycle of death and reincarnation. Northern Virginia Area College discusses that it’s with samadhi or moksha that one circumvents life’s typical phases, bypassing all earthbound goals and needs, in favor of spiritual-related objectives. Moksha is the eighth and last objective of raja yoga, in which the self becomes one with brahman– the supreme spiritual truth.