The 4 paths of yoga


Karma Yoga ~ the yoga of selfless service. This yoga is so relevant during these times.⁠

Karma yoga, is one of the four paths of yoga as described in my lineage tradition (of Swami Sivananda). The sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) of this path offers all acts, all deeds, and all of their efforts as service to humanity / the universe/consciousness.⁠

Action is taken in alignment with yogic values: truth, harmony, non-harming, justice, compassion, etc., without expectation or attachment to any particular result. ⁠

In this way, we act for the best interest of humanity without self-interest or to fulfill any personal gain. Everything we do is for the highest good of all beings.⁠

Once we perform the action, we let go; as the results of those actions are not ours to hold anymore. ❤ ⁠



Raja Yoga ~ The yoga of mind-science and energy⁠

Raja yoga is a systematized approach to understanding nature, energy, and consciousness. Steps and techniques such as meditation and hatha yoga (including poses!) are used to analyze, partner with, and ultimately control subtle energy.⁠

The poses you do in a yoga class are part of HATHA yoga practices which outline the methodology of knowing the vital forces (prana) in the body and mind. Patanjali Maharishi outlined the ashtanga or 8-limbed approach to controlling the mind. ⁠

The intention of these posts is to show you that yoga is SO MUCH MORE than the poses. These posts are an introduction to the rich theory. True learning comes from deep study with a suitable teacher. ⁠



Jñāna yoga ~ the yoga of wisdom. (pronounced Nee-Yan-Ah Yogah).⁠

This is one of the four paths of yoga as described in my lineage tradition (of Swami Sivananda). The sadhaka (spiritual aspirant) of this path has a constant practice of self-assessment, and inquiry to examine themselves.⁠

A Jñāna yogi following Vedanta philosophy practices introspection, contemplation, self-analysis, and constant awareness of themselves. ⁠

Jñānis do not support blind faith. A yogi on this path understands that embodied yogic or spiritual wisdom comes from three-fold information gathering:⁠

1. Study of wisdom texts ⁠

2. Reasonable analysis of facts and evidence ⁠

3. Personal experiential knowledge ⁠

In this way, Jñāna yogis use their intellect and reasoning to deeply contemplate the meaning of life, what is truly “real” and what is “unreal”⁠



Bhakti yoga ~ the yoga of love and devotion. ⁠

Bhakti yoga is the sweet approach of love and devotion. There are four main paths in the yoga tradition as described in the lineage of Swami Sivananda. All four paths lead to union consciousness, the goal of the yoga practice.⁠

The beauty of this path is that the concept of LOVE is known as part of the human experience offering the opportunity for humans to access spiritual truths through a relatable emotion. ⁠

A Bhakta loves deeply. They connect with love as a concept and as a life purpose and will offer that love to the divine. Love is offered to a personalized form of the divine: Krishna, Hanuman, Ganesh, etc. to make it easier to create and cultivate a relationship with the infinite.⁠


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