When we understand the laws of nature, we become more aware of how our actions influence our health, wellness and circumstantial out-comes.
When we look to expanding our awareness or deepening our spirituality we look to natural law because the laws of nature dictate our reality.
Yoga helps us understand the laws of nature within the human experience, as well, provides tools, techniques and lifestyle practices to optimize health and wellness by bringing body, mind and Spirit in harmony with each-other.
Yoga philosophy is like a code of natural law. For example, as non-violence, by thought, word and action, improves, less violence comes our way. In a sense, we get out of that current of life. When non-violence is perfected, then by natural law, by thought, word and action, no harm comes our way. Another example: as honesty becomes perfected, by natural law, one will know truth as well as identify non-truths at any time. It is also experienced that when honesty is perfected, one’s intentions manifest more gracefully.
The effects of yoga’s philosophical understandings and practice are best integrated when we use yoga philosophy aimed at exploring what is possible, thus thinking, acting and living how a saint or a perfected being would live. Attune our consciousness to what is right as much as we can, redirect our consciousness when it’s off, and be forgiving and patient with ourselves when we choose not to. Many practice yoga philosophy and even teach yoga philosophy as a means to quit bad habits, eliminate negative thought patterns and get out of ruts of mental illness. We evolve more quickly when we use upliftment, increased health and perfection on all levels as a means of direction. Many times we remain in a vicious circle when we look to yoga philosophy as a means to overcome negative aspects of ourselves, because that is our focus.
Natural law states that energy follows intention. When we direct the consciousness where to go, it follows. If we just direct the consciousness where not to go, many times it will go there anyway, because it is not being directed where to go. The laws of nature are very precise in the way they work.
When we put yoga philosophy into practice, we see results. We don’t have to concern ourselves with overcoming destructive and unhealthy habits; they fall away naturally. We don’t have to be concerned about overcoming stress, unhealthy relationship patterns, or unhealthy diet habits; they clean up naturally without effort. That is the beauty of Raja Yoga. As long as we do the practice, we evolve from within as a cleaner, brighter and ever increasingly powerful individual.
The eight components of Raja Yoga
There are eight components of Raja Yoga. They are not stages, as when one becomes complete, the next opens up to work on. Yet, they are to be understood and utilized as lifestyle tools within your raja yoga practice and in your daily life. As the components of raja yoga are developed, life changes in many positive ways. As the components of raja yoga are mastered, one understands how God works through us and the universe.
The eight branches of study and practice are:
- Yamas (The 5 perfected states of being)
- Niyamas (The 5 observances)
- Physical Practice
- Asana (Yoga Postures)
- Meditation Practice
- Pranayama (Life Force Control)
- Pratyahara (Outer Sense Withdrawal – Inner Sense Awareness
- Dharana (Concentration)
- Dhyana (Meditation)
- Samadhi (Superconscioussness)