Raja yoga: what it is and why it is needed
Raja Yoga in translation means «royal yoga.» The main goal of Raja Yoga is to reach a state of pure consciousness and learn to fully control our internal energy, that is, to achieve deep awareness, to master ourselves and become who we really are.
What is Raja Yoga
In the world of the Internet, you can find many articles in which Raja Yoga is called the practice of kings, royal yoga and almost a way to achieve absolute power on the world. In fact, this approach is absolutely wrong.
In fact, any kind of yoga is not directed outside, towards the surrounding reality, but deep into it and is intended to provide inner balance and harmony with itself, to connect with the Supreme Absolute of the Soul.
The practice of Raja Yoga is aimed at working with the human mind and is a rather important area of yoga. The human body and mind are constantly and inextricably linked with each other, and if you want to influence the mind, you should be able to perfectly control your own body.
At this stage, for beginners who decide to do yoga, the most basic errors fall.
They begin to pay too much attention to physical exercise, while suffering spiritual, for example, meditative practices or breathing exercises. And in Raja Yoga all stages are important. Indeed, only when a person learns to fully control his body and psycho-emotional state, can he begin to take control of his mind as well.
With the help of this insight developed a classic technique for beginners.
All classes in it are carried out according to the system formed by eight stages (or levels). For this reason, you can come across variants of the name of Raja Yoga “Ashtanga Yoga” (after all, “Ashtanga” means 8 steps).
- Pit — talks about the rules of behavior.
- Niyama — immerses in a state of spiritual practice.
- Asana — at this stage special exercises are performed to harmonize the spirit and the body.
- Pranayama — this practice allows you to control your breathing, thereby uniting the spiritual and physical essence.
- Pratyahara — distracts attention from external factors.
- Dharana — focuses on mental abilities.
- Dhyana — immerses in a meditative state.
- Samadhi — allows you to achieve complete pacification, inner contemplation of your oneness with the Higher Mind.
Only the passage of all these eight steps allows you to fully develop Raja yoga. In no case can one neglect any stage of the practice or exclude it, because together they constitute a single whole, the main condition for mastering the yoga of reason.
It is also recommended to find an experienced teacher, although there are many exercises for beginners that you can work on yourself.
Book V. Slater — assistant to beginner yogis and yoginam
This edition will help greatly facilitate the process of comprehending yoga practices, because it contains the methods for which the author took his own experience. Technicians will be understandable and accessible to our compatriots, given our specific mentality.
The course is very simplified and quite suitable even for those who have never practiced yoga in their lives.
So the book describes practices for beginners, designed for 10 months of study. In total, the publication of ten lessons, which means that the development of each practice is given only thirty calendar days.
Learning from this book will help you master a simplified version of Raja Yoga much faster than if you would do it, starting from other external sources. In addition, a competent and properly formulated “textbook” will help to master this system much faster and more easily, and also will save itself from serious mistakes.
Brahma Kumaris Institute
Today, the practice of royal yoga or Raja Yoga is becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, it is not surprising that more and more of its new versions and versions appear.
Perhaps the most famous center in which this direction is being promoted is Brahma Kumaris (is the World Spiritual University Brahma Kumaris). It is a modern religious movement, which is based on Raja Yoga, as a meditative practice.
In Brahma Kumaris, the practice of Raja Yoga is very simplified and adapted to the understanding and assimilation of modern humanity. At the same time, Brahma Kumaris borrows a part of his provisions from the famous Yoga Sutra, written by Pantajali.
- So the followers of the flow of Brahma Kumaris are prohibited from engaging in intimate relationships and eating meat — they become vegetarians.
- In addition, supporters of Brahma Kumaris should refuse to drink alcohol, smoke or use narcotic substances.
The main goal of this trend is to get into a blissful state of complete happiness and well-being.
For this, the teaching is based on four main principles:
- connecting in thoughts;
- positive qualities;
The number of followers of Brahma Kumaris is constantly growing, which indicates the high popularity of this type of yoga.
King of Kings
If you translate the word «rajadhiraj» from Sanskrit, it will mean «king of kings.» Therefore, it turns out that Raja Yoga is a practice that allows the yogi to stop feeling only as a physical body and feel more like a soul — part of the universal mind.
Then if we assume that the mind is the king of the human body, then the soul becomes the king of kings — the head of the mind. That is what the name of this system says.
Raja yoga has deep roots and a very ancient tradition. In fact, it comes from the best manifestations of tantra, and in the past century, its exercises were restored, expanded and developed, plus adapted to the needs of the modern population.
Raja Yoga offered today is based on delicately performed asanas designed to harmonize physical and spiritual. The teacher individually selects suitable asanas for each particular person, as well as mantras, which are repeated in thought together with the exercises.
Thanks to such a balanced complex, it becomes possible to harmonize the hormones, due to which there is an improvement in the general condition of the body and a further process of cleansing the mind is provided.
Exercises that are used in Raja Yoga
It must always be remembered that the physical aspect of all practices, breathing exercises and meditative practices is not a priority, it is just a means to achieve spiritual perfection.
In the «royal yoga» there are no goals to forcibly comprehend all the knowledge. To achieve the desired goal, the whole process is divided into stages:
- eliminate negative feelings and manifestations;
- develop positive properties, skills and feelings;
- to accumulate prana;
- go through different states of consciousness;
Together with the usual types of exercises that you may find as too simple, the technique for proper breathing is also known. It is a very important stage, which requires sufficient attention.
The ability to take control of one’s breath appears not only with experience, but it also requires great effort.
- The initial exercise is to hold your breath. Retention of breath in time should be twice the exhalation and four — inhale.
- The second stage is to slow down the thinking processes as much as possible to such a stage that all unnecessary thoughts just disappear from your head. At the same time, the psyche can rest, but it will be constantly monitored by you. In the future, thanks to this, you will learn to control and your unconscious.
- The third step is a meditative practice. It performs deep immersion in the depths of itself and helps with the course of time to master the art of awareness of its spiritual essence.
To be able to control the mind from you will need to master the ways to control your own body. For example, Eka Pada Rajapotasana (also known as the «pose of the king of pigeons») is quite popular in Raja Yoga.
When performing it, it is necessary to push forward the thorax strongly, which is very similar to the proud behavior of this bird.
This position can be performed in different variations, with the legs in one position or another. To perform the asana, one should sit on the floor, as a rule, one leg is pressed under him, and the other one is pulled back, bending around the knee, and lifted upward.
The upper part of the body is pulled upward and tightened to the raised foot, bending forward like an arc. This exercise improves the supply of blood to the brain and allows you to «stretch» the spine, which in turn normalizes mental processes.
Now you know what Raja Yoga really is. At the end of this topic we recommend you to watch an interesting thematic video:
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