The Four Paths of Yoga Explained


cropped-bc001baa4397444f809fa5f147c28a9e_srb_p_510_340_75_22_0-50_1-20_0.jpgRaja – the path of physical and mental control

karma – the path of action

Bhakti – the path of devotion

Jnana – the path of knowledge or wisdom

Raja Yoga (Self control)

Often called the royal road raja is considered the complete yoga because it focuses on controlling both the mind and the body in order to attain enlightenment. This is done through meditation and hatha yoga. Absolute mental control as taught in Patanjali’s Eight Limbs is the goal and is achieved through meditation, concentration, and breathing.  Hatha uses asanas (postures), pranayama (control of breath), and relaxation to control the physical body and the subtle life force called prana

Karma Yoga (action)

Karma yoga focuses on the causes and effects of an individuals actions, it teaches how to live a life of spiritual action and selfless service, karma yoga is a yoga you make a way of life.

Bhakti Yoga (devotion)

Bhakti yoga is a mystical path of personal devotion through prayer, worship and ritual and surrendering yourself to the divine.

Jnana Yoga (knowledge)

This is considered the most difficult path because it required a radical shift in perception, the goal is to seek hidden knowledge in all of us through questioning, meditation, and contemplation. To practice this yoga path you need to have integrated all the other paths of yoga into your life. The jnana student uses the mind to explore his or her own nature and to find knowledge through god.


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