Raja Yoga

In Sanskrit, raja means ‘king”, and Raja Yoga meaning is “royal path” or principal form of yoga. Raja Yoga considered being the science of mind. Instead of exploring the outer world like other sciences, raja yoga is concerned with exploring the inner world and unleashing the power and knowledge contained within. Raja Yoga includes specific guidelines and discipline to be followed by the practitioner that helps to achieve one-pointedness and Kaivalya. In essence, Raja yoga is the yoga of mind and body control, with a practice of meditation and the right direction of energies. It comprises multiple paths to achieve the Kaivalya and goal of Raja Yoga. It leads to the development of Hatha Yoga and other modern practices.

Raja yoga benefits start from the body to mind & energies, it enables practitioners to achieve balance and harmony on all of these levels. According to Raja yoga, the biggest obstacle to self-realization is a busy mind, in which excessive thinking, ego, craving, attachment, and a separate sense of self all contribute towards suffering. In the highest state of raja yoga, there is no duality, shiva (consciousness) and shakti (energy) are in equanimity. The practitioner achieves the state of oneness for all.

Although Raja yoga traditionally emphasizes meditation as the path to self-realization, the term has come to refer to a much wider variety of practices. In the 19th century, Swami Vivekananda equated Raja yoga with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. As such, Raja yoga has since been used interchangeably with Ashtanga yoga, or the ‘eightfold path’ to spiritual liberation.

Hence, according to Sage Patanjali, Raja Yoga Steps includes:

  1. Understanding of Samadhi – the goal of yoga
  2. Sadhna – Consistent Practice of Ashtanga yoga
  3. Vibhooti – Psychic Powers that can be achieved by consistent Sadhna
  4. Kaivalya – State of liberation.


Raja Yoga practice involves multiple yogic ways to achieve liberation and kaivalya. Raja Yoga includes the following systems of yoga:

Further Reading

Astanga Yoga

 Kundalini Yoga

Kriya Yoga

Mantra Yoga

Nada Yoga

Patanjali Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Further Reading

What is Yoga?

History of Yoga

Misconceptions about Yoga

Fundamentals Of Yoga

9 Principles Of Yoga

Yoga Basics

Panch Mahabhutas



Astanga Yoga

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