What Are The Four Paths of Yoga and Meditation

Yoga is an ancient Indian physical practice for well being and it has four paths described in the vedas. The Bhagavad Gita also talks about these four paths for peace, freedom and libration. These are the aspects of a whole that is called yoga. Yoga is the union of mind, body and soul. Below are these four paths-
1. Bhakti Yoga- It is the path of devotion, compassion, love, emotion and service to God and others. It is path of devotion to someone/something superior or higher than yourself. It helps to reduce your ego, increase your spirituality, develop a tangible relationship and connect you to the divine. You will experience the emotions like love, devotion and compassion at points along the journey. It is the path of divine love and makes yogi motivated by the power of love and sees God as the embodiment of it. In bhakti yoga, a yogi surrenders himself to God through worship, prayer and ritual and it is a process of connecting to God through chanting, worship, prayer or singing. It is also a way to connect you to God or a greatest power and it opens the heart and helps let go of preconceived ideas. The bhakti yoga develops love for God and creation and appealing to the emotional by nature.
2. Karma Yoga- It is about doing actions. It is the path of action and remembering the levels of our being while fulfilling our actions in the world. A karma yogi needs to be selfless and do actions without thought of gain or reward. Everyone have their duties in the world in the role of wife, daughter, sisters, father, colleague, teachers etc. We should do our duties to the best of our abilities without thought of gain or reward or appreciation. Nobody can live without doing actions. We should do our duties in the right attitude, right motive, do best, and follow the discipline of the job. There are a hierarchy of our duties-
* Duty towards society.
* Duty towards family.
* Duty towards yourself.
3. Raja Yoga- It is the path of self-discipline and practice. A raja means king who acts with self-confidence, independence and assurance and a raja yogi is independent and fearless. It is about controlling the mind to get all eight stages of raja yoga. Raja yoga is also known as ashtanga yoga and its eight stages are-
* Yama – Self-control.
* Asana – Physical exercises.
* Niyama- Discipline.
* Pranayama – Breath exercises.
* Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses from external objects.
* Dhyana – Meditation.
* Dharana – Concentration.
* Samadhi – Complete Realization.
4. Gyan Yoga (Jnana Yoga) – It is the path of acquiring knowledge from a variety of different sources. After getting knowledge from the credible sources put it in practice. It uses the mind to inquire into self-nature. The sources can be classes, lectures, reading, seeking the company of wise peoples etc. Before this yoga you needs have integrated the lessons of the other yogic paths. We use our knowledge and power to analyze to grow that improves our awareness. We have to ready to distinguish between true and untrue.
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About the Author
This article is written by Sattva Yoga Academy, a registered yoga school provides best yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India and a place for tantra yoga and meditation in Rishikesh, India.

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