The 4 Paths of Yoga
The whole of yoga is comprised of 4 paths of yoga. Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Raja Yoga are the 4 traditional paths or schools of yoga. Some yogis, especially in Western civilizations, may work exclusively on one particular path.
However, most teachers will focus on all 4 of these important yoga areas. This allows you to fully experience the mental, spiritual and physical rewards yoga offers.
Jnana Yoga is concerned with your path to wisdom, knowledge and contemplation. Bhakti Yoga helps you attain true love, compassion, devotion and the whole human emotional experience. Karma Yoga is associated with mindfulness and service to others. Raja Yoga emphasizes meditation, transcending mental thinking, and is more of a “whole yoga” approach.
Each person will have an inclination toward one particular yoga path. This is because your experiences, heredity and surroundings have created a particular way of viewing the world in your mind. You are strongly urged to spend time on each yoga path.
This helps you understand yoga as a state of being and consciousness, rather than an exercise class where you mindlessly go from one physical pose to the next. After all, yoga is composed of meditation, breath control and physical postures. Journey down all 4 yoga paths, and this spiritual Hindu discipline can deliver a true consciousness that simple exercise never will.