When you hear the word yoga, the first thing you imagine is attractive people stretching in ways you never thought imaginable. The truth is there are several different forms of yoga. One, in particular, is Raja Yoga. This form of yoga goes by many names. Royal yoga, sahaj marg and classical yoga to name a few.
With raja yoga, the aim isn’t to build on the physical. Although it is true that you may build washboard abs and muscles in places you didn’t believe muscles existed but it’s about building a greater state of mind. By concentrating your energy inward it is believed that you can feel calmness, serenity, and peace. This state of content is called samadhi.
Raja Yoga Follows Eight Steps
These steps were found in an ancient Sanskrit text and despite being approximately 1700 years old it still followed today.
1. Yama which is to not steal, be greedy, hurt others, have extramarital sex and to tell the truth.
2. Niyama which is to study the scriptures, remain pure, content and to surrender to God.
3. Asana which is to maintain a steady posture and pose.
4. Pranayama which is breathing correctly and maintaining control of your inner energy.
5. Pratyahara which is to numb or remove the senses.
6. Dharana which is to concentrate.
7. Dhyana which is to meditate.
8. Samadhi which is to find enlightenment.
Raja yoga has been proven to have a whole list of health benefits. These health benefits go beyond the obvious such as a better posture and flexibility. It has been known to improve joints, strengthen bones and cartilage. The twisting movements can also help the digestive system to work properly which is beneficial to sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been known that the placebo effect caused my raja yoga can help towards self-healing and keeping virus’ at bay. Some people even swear that raja yoga improves their sex life and relationships in general.
The main question I hear you asking is whether raja yoga is right for you?
One of the great things about raja yoga is that you can be out of shape and only manage a one-hour long session in a week or a veteran gym goer that can handle several lessons a week. You will feel the health benefits and generally feel better about yourself, whether it’s doing the bare minimum or making it a key feature in your exercise routine.