Alvin Low’s Essay 1 – The Four Paths of Yoga

There are four main paths of Yoga; namely, Karma, Bhakti, Raja and Jnana Yoga.
Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Action. It teaches one to act selflessly, without the thought of gaining results or benefits. It’s not what you do, but the motive behind it. Karma Yoga is practiced with enthusiasm, intensity and uninterrupted continuous effort.
Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of Devotion. Often practiced by persons of emotional nature, Bhakti Yoga teaches one to channel emotions into unconditional devotion to God. A substantial part of Bhakti Yoga is formed by chants and praises of God.
Raja Yoga is the Yoga of No Mind. It is a scientific approach to Yoga which embraces Ashtanga, the 8 Limbs of Yoga. They are a progressive series of steps that seeks to purify the body and mind, ultimately, leading the practisers to enlightenment.
Jnana Yoga is the Yoga of Knowledge. The hardest path of knowledge, wisdom and contemplation, Jnana Yoga involves deep exploration of one’s nature. Before exploring Jnana Yoga, the practiser must have understood the other three paths of Yoga.
It is remarkable that Yoga dates back to 5000 years ago. The people of those times have already begun to conceptualize realization and restoration of the human body and mind through Yoga. We are extremely lucky that the practice of Yoga has been carried through generations till this day. I hope for Yoga’s continuous evolution and in the future, more people can be exposed to the good for Yoga.