Raja Yoga is the way of mental discipline. People have the freedom and ability to choose their inner state regardless of the condition of the body or the environment.
In Raja Yoga, one is taught to consciously choose a quiet inner state that permeates all layers of existence, including the body, creating radiant health and well-being.
There are many similarities between Raja Yoga and Hatha Yoga, and both are commonly known as Sadanga or Six-legged Yoga.
The key difference is that in Raja Yoga there is a greater emphasis on meditation, especially effortless meditation and living life without struggle.
To access the inner state, Raja Yoga offers numerous meditation techniques (Dhyana).
Some techniques involve attention to different energy centres in the body, which correspond to different patterns of emotions in the mind.
While other techniques use sound to create resonance and healing vibrations in the system. However, other meditation techniques use the power of the breath to calm the mind and bring it into a state of peace.
The basics of Raja Yoga
Raja Yoga is also known as Mental Yoga, or Yoga of the Mind, because of its emphasis on awareness of the person’s state of mind.
It is through this practice of concentration that the person learns to calm the mind and bring it to a point of focus.
It is at this point of focus that the attention is directed inward, to the true nature of the human being, which is undoubtedly divine.
You can achieve this by following the Eightfold Path of Raja Yoga, which includes the observation of the following
1) Yamas (abstentions): Ahimsa (no injury), Satya (truth), Asetya (no stealing), Brahmacharya (chastity), Apragraha (no greed).
2) Niyamas (moral observations): Susha (purity), Santosha (satisfaction), Tapas (austerity), Svadhaya (study of the scriptures), Ishvara Pranidhana (surrender to God).
3) Asana: Stable posture.
4) Pranayama: Control of the vital energy through the work of breathing.
5) Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses.
6) Dharana: Concentration of the mind.
7) Dhyana: Meditation.
8) Samadhi: Illumination with the ‘Divine’.
The Raja Yoga meditation technique
Raja Yoga meditation is easy to adapt to your daily regimen. Practicing it regularly helps you to release meaningless thoughts and concerns from your mind. Below is a detailed description of exactly how it is done.
1) Find a quiet place: You should find a quiet place in your home or go out into the courtyard or garden and identify a suitable place for meditation.
It is best to meditate early in the morning as there is usually less noise. Meditating in the morning is also a great way to set your mood for the rest of the day.
2) Sit comfortably: Sit comfortably on the floor/ground or on a chair The lotus position works particularly well.
If you don’t feel comfortable in that position then switch to a more comfortable position. Make sure you feel stable in the sitting position you choose. Keep your shoulders low, open your chest and keep your back naturally straight. Place your palms gently on your knees.
3) Be in the present: Keeping your eyes open, gently look at a particular spot in the room. Be sure to avoid stressing your eyes by staring.
Alternatively, light a candle, place it in front of you and then start concentrating on the light. Slowly withdraw from your surroundings and start concentrating on your natural breathing or the point in the room, the flame of the fire.
4) Concentrate on one thought: Once the flow of negative thoughts in your head slows down and you begin to feel calm, form a positive thought to help you through your meditation practice.
Visualise being still and calm through awareness of that thought. Ideally, the thought should be along the lines of ‘No one is more peaceful than I am’.
5) Maintaining peace: When you feel the positive thought in your head, a sense of tranquility will illuminate your being.
Try to hold on to the inner peace you achieve during meditation and carry it through the day, which will ensure that you have a better experience of the day.
The benefits of Raja Yoga
– Gaining freedom from stress and anxiety: Everyone wants to be free from stress and anxiety, and yoga has been promoted as a tool for maximum relief.
However, although yoga deals with the breathing process, the Raja Yoga meditation technique deals with the mind and your state of calm.
– Improve personal relationships: Personal relationships can be improved by 2 main aspects, which is the core of the Raja Yoga practice.
The first is that each of us is a soul and a child of a Spiritual Father, God. The soul has no religion attached to it. The second is that we all have weaknesses, but there is also some quality in us.
Begin to look at the qualities and overlook the weaknesses. This is the only way to optimize personal relationships.
– Create a sense of well-being: You can create a sense of well-being only when you have a calm mind. This is possible by trying to do things the right way, having good relationships and trying to work on yourself instead of trying to change others.
Raja Yoga focuses on all these aspects and acts as a guide to put them into practice.
– It improves memory and concentration: The best way to improve memory and concentration is to stay in the present.
Raja Yoga meditation teaches you to be in the present moment and focus on one thing at a time. Focusing on one thing at a time adds value to the work and allows you to achieve the best desired result.
If Raja Yoga is practiced from a very early age, then it will help improve mental power and help you excel in multiple areas, such as studies, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., as it improves self-confidence.
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