The 4 paths of Yoga
Yoga can be divided into four main paths. Each individual may be more inclined to go down one path but it is important to practice a little of all creating a synthesis of yoga. The four paths are as follows:
Karma Yoga (the yoga of action)
Karma yoga is selfless service without attachment to the fruits of ones actions. By serving others we are able to purify by burning the ego and developing compassion.
Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion)
The devotional practices of bhakti yoga help to open ones heart and channel our emotions to a higher level of consciousness by appreciating the divine in all aspects of nature.
Raja Yoga (the science of physical and mental control)
Raja yoga is formed of the eight limbs also known as ashtanga yoga. They are a systematic process of purification and concentration techniques gaining control of the body and mind, leading to meditation. Raja yoga is therefore known as the Royal Path.
Jnana Yoga (the yoga of knowledge or wisdom)
With a solid foundation of the other 3 paths of yoga, the jnana yogi emabarks on the advanced path of deep enquiry into the true nature of the self. Through study of the scriptures and meditation on what is real and what is unreal the jnana yogi strives to rest in the true nature of the self.