July 17

Yoga Philosophy – A Guide to Patanjali, Ashtanga, and Raja Yoga

yogic philosophy

If you’re curious about yoga’s origins, you’ve probably wondered about the various schools of thought behind it. This article will introduce some of the main schools, including Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, Ashtanga yoga, and Raja yoga. The basic principles of each of these schools are similar to modern-day science. Hopefully, this article will help you better understand how yoga is different than other forms of exercise.


The Yogasootra is the classical work on yoga, written by the Hindu sage Patanjali. It contains 185 terse aphorisms and is divided into four parts: Samaadhi, the powers of the yogi, and the state of absolution. There are many differences between the different Sootras, though. While three of them focus on aasanas, the remaining two are about meditation.

The Sanskrit word AASTEYA means “not stealing.” The Buddha once said that greed was the root of all misery. Thus, the yogis strive to live in harmony and purify their minds. They do not collect material things, and believe that acquiring things is theft. Rather, they aim to accumulate the Supreme Spirit – Brahma Tejas – which is their source of fulfillment.

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita is an epic poem in the Indian subcontinent. It tells the story of a prince named Arjuna who is cast out of his kingdom of Kurukshetra for thirteen years and deprived of his rightful inheritance. The text chronicles Arjuna’s quest to regain his throne, even if it means warring with his own kinsmen.

The Bhagavad Gita contains many references to yogic philosophy and practices. The first chapter of the Gita suggests the devotional worship of the divine, and other sections are pandeistic in nature. Some yogic philosophers, including Christopher Southgate and Max Bernhard Weinstein, see the text as panentheistic or deistic, while others consider it neither.

Ashtanga yoga

The eight-limbed path of Ashtanga yoga teaches the meditator to experience samadhi, a state of transcendence in which he is one with the universe. The practice of samadhi aims to help one achieve this state, which is described by Patanjali as ecstasy or bliss. Samadhi occurs when the meditator transcends his or her self to experience an incredible sense of interconnectedness with everything around him or her. During this state, the meditator feels a profound sense of connection to the Divine and to all living things.

The eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga are linked by the concept of dharana, or fixation. Dharana is the focus of attention, or fixed gaze, in yoga. Tristhana involves the mind in the practice and helps improve focus and self-awareness. Practicing Ashtanga is difficult, and beginners should start with a small series of movements before progressing to more difficult poses.

Raja yoga

Raja Yoga is a yogic philosophy that focuses on the mind and the way it works. It teaches us that there are five different states of consciousness, which we can call kshipta, mudha, vikshipta, and niruddha. Each state represents a different type of mental activity, and by practicing raja yoga, we can learn how to change these states.

The goal of yoga, as a whole, is to achieve a higher state of consciousness, in which the individual is aware of his or her connection to the universe and the divine. This state of awareness is called samadhi, and it is a state of pure bliss. Raja Yoga emphasizes the importance of pranayama, or controlled breathing, in achieving this goal. By engaging in pranayama, the individual can prepare his or her body for the raja meditation that follows.

Tantra yoga

If you’ve ever heard of tantra yoga, you know that it’s an ancient spiritual practice based on a yogic philosophy. This ancient philosophy of the body, mind, and spirit has many benefits for the practitioner. Tantra classes often include traditional tantric practices taught by Indian Gurus. This method emphasizes beauty, harmony, and attention to detail. If you want to learn more about tantra yoga, consider taking a Tantra teacher training course.

Tantra, from the root word “tantra,” means to expand and weave, which explains how it explores all aspects of the body, sensations, and energies. It is believed to have originated as a religion in India around 500 BC and remained a primary belief system for over a thousand years, although in less extreme forms. The focus of tantra was initially on the physical body, with yoga practice based on worship and meditation.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

The first chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra describes the three qualities of nature: sattva, rajas, and tamas. These qualities manifest in all things; however, only a small number of them are conscious. Purusha is the true Self, whereas rajas and tamas are merely physical phenomena. The final goal of yoga is samadhi, or pure contemplation. This state involves separating the self from the body and achieving a state of unity with the universe.

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The second chapter introduces the five kleshas (strange forms of matter) and explains how to overcome these forms of suffering. It explains the nature of karma and explains how it affects the human body. These sutras are not intended to be interpreted logically. Instead, they are meant to be interpreted based on their spiritual meanings and the meditative state they induce.

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