What is Raja Yoga?

Raja Yoga is also referred to as the Mental Yoga, or the Yoga of the Mind, because of its emphasis on awareness of one’s state of mind. It is through this practice of concentration that one learns to calm the mind and bring it to one point of focus. It is at this point that we direct our attention inwardly, toward our true nature, which is Divine. You can achieve this by following the Eight-Fold Path of Raja Yoga, which includes observation of the following:

1. Yamas (Abstentions):  Ahimsa (non-injury), Satya (truth), Asetya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (chastity), Apragraha (non-greed)
2. Niyamas (Moral Observations): Susha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadhaya (study of the scriptures), Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to God)
3. Asana: Steady pose, posture or seat
4. Pranayama: control of vital energy through breathwork
5. Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses
6. Dharana: concentration of the mind
7. Dhyana: Meditation
8. Samadhi: Enlightenment, union with the Divine