The 4 yoga paths
For the integral development of body, mind and soul, yoga recommends combining the following four main practices:
Is the path of action and suits people with active temperaments. Performing actions selflessly – without thinking of success or reward – purifies the heart and reduces the ego. Karma Yoga is the best way to prepare oneself for silent meditation.
Is the yoga of devotion and is perfect for people who are emotional by nature. Through prayer, worship and ritual, one comes to see the Divine as the embodiment of love. Chanting mantras is an essential part of Bhakti Yoga.
The yoga of wisdom or knowledge is most suitable for intellectual people. The philosophy of Vedanta teaches analytical self-enquiry into one’s own true nature, with the goal of recognising the Supreme Self in oneself and in all beings.
Is the science of controlling body and mind. The asanas (body postures) and pranayamas (breathing exercises) from Hatha Yoga are an integral part of this yoga path. The main practice of Raja Yoga is silent meditation, where bodily and mental energies are gradually transformed into spiritual energy.