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Raja Yoga, sometimes called the “Royal Yoga” is inclusive of all yogas and its philosophy goes beyond the boundaries of the many styles of yoga today. Raja Yoga is often referred to as “classical yoga” as it was the oldest system of yoga to be systematically developed into a unified practice. The Raja Yoga system emphasizes the benefits of meditation for spiritual self-realization and the purposeful evolution of consciousness. Raja Yoga is also referred to as the Mental Yoga, or the Yoga of the Mind, because of its emphasis on awareness of one’s state of mind. It is through this practice of concentration that one learns to calm the mind and bring it to one point of focus. It is at this point that we direct our attention inwardly, toward our true nature, which is Divine. Raja Yoga is highly revered because it attains enlightenment from direct control and mastery of the mind. This approach makes Raja Yoga an extremely challenging and difficult practice to engage in. Hatha Yoga, what we usually know as just “yoga” in the West is a much easier path. Hatha Yoga aims to control the body and breath to still prana (energy) that in turn stills the mind. Although Hatha Yoga was developed as a preparation for Raja Yoga, they can be practiced simultaneously.

Raja Yoga: Or Mental Development

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