Raja Yoga basically means kingly and it is a kind of meditation that connects a person’s life to different ideas. It brings a balance in the attention between the emotions and inner thoughts of the mind so as to prepare the mind for meditation. It applies a life force that moves from the upper body to the lower body via the spine.
This form of yoga mainly focuses on bringing a kind of balance between the mind and the emotions in a harmonized way. This makes it possible for the one practicing Yoga to connect with the energy present in the body and mind. The yogi must try to maintain calmness so as to avoid his/her mind to be in an idle state. This involves getting rid of stresses, meaningless thoughts and worries from the subconscious mind. The mind should be filled with free thoughts at the end of a session giving the yogi a pleasant sense of existence and giving him/her the luxury of enjoying the free thoughts.
The term Raja goes way back to the 15th century and it has been used up to date to refer to this meditation. However, it can also be called the Classic Yoga. It prepares the mind to see the true worth of reality and see the positive side of everything that life can offer.
The purpose of raja yoga
The main purpose of Raja Yoga is to take control of the mental energies that otherwise exhaust and the mind. The mind has immense capabilities but it remains in a limited state and the negative energies that have forced it into a confinement since the mind cannot ignore them. Raja Yoga trains the mind to accept and acknowledge these negative forces, in the form of stresses and negative thoughts, and redirect the mental activities to positive thinking without creating a conflict between the negatives and the positives or the personalities involved.
The aspects of raja yoga
There are eight aspects of raja yoga that one should put into consideration. These aspects are:
- Niyama- A person’s devotion to the spiritual world. This includes the religious commitments and the closeness that one has with the Lord.
- Dhyana- Is the type of meditation used in the Raja Yoga. Raja yoga is a calm process and it involves quiet activities that lead the yogi into the state of meditation.
- Asana- Is the assimilation of one’s mind and body for the activities to come. The mind and body are both expected to play a role in dealing with the challenges that a person is facing or is about to face.
- Dharana- This is the type of concentration that a person should display. Every mind should be able to maintain focus on the right path so as to face any challenges and this concentration is vital.
- Pranayama- The type of breathing required in Raja Yoga. Certain breathing should be exercised by a yogi to connect his/her mind with the body and it involves the use of the sense of smell.
- Yama- This is a set of rules and the code of conduct. A true yogi requires a certain code of conduct to assist him/ her to stay in the right path and help him/ her achieve the goals of Raja yoga.
- Pratyahara- This involves the use of different senses through the impression of certain objects.
- Samadhi- this is the state of a calm conscious. A yogi can say he/she as achieved his/her goals when he/she attains a state of a quiet conscious during meditation.
Raja Yoga is focused on building a strong relationship between the mind and body. It enables the mind to be in full control of the body. This is necessary for a person to be disciplined. A person needs to be healthy both mentally and physically to live a satisfactory life.
Raja Yoga Meditation philosophy
Raja Yoga meditation is specifically meant to make one understand the connection between the self and the mind. It’s evident that the mind can do great things if it’s used to full potential. It has enabled man to step foot on the moon, explore the deepest seas and be able to see the tiniest of particles. We live at a time when man is most civilized and educated but the question remains whether we are being civil to each other.
According to Raja Yoga, the soul is compiled of three main branches namely; the mind/ consciousness, the subconscious and the intellect. Thoughts move from the sub conscious mind to the conscious mind and your feelings and emotions are directly connected to the nature of the thoughts. The thoughts in your consciousness also determine your state of mind. Therefore, it is vital to control the thoughts that come from your subconscious mind, which are thoughts from your previous experiences, to the conscious mind.