Raja Yoga means royal or kingly and is viewed as the royal path of meditation. Yoga teacher training shares the meaning behind this style. Raja Yoga meditation focuses on directing your life force to bring the mind and your emotions into a balance so that your attention may be more focused on your meditation. Some refer to it in such a way that as a king maintains control over his lands, we can maintain control over our mind which is our kingdom. Raja yoga uses our mental abilities to realize the divine self.
Yoga teaching describes our minds as always being full of information and ideas. If you can imagine a blustery day with trees whipping in the wind, pollution in the water, and noise from all the cars going by then you can imagine a true example of our mind’s usual state. If you do not believe me then take a few minutes to sit and be still while meditating. How is that working for you? All at once a million thoughts come flowing into your mind and this takes your thoughts outward. You hear the beeping of the dryer, you think about what you are going to make for dinner, you remember where you put your favorite pair of earrings that were missing,and the argument you had yesterday becomes more vivid and important. The minute we stop thinking about one thing another thought jumps right into place.
Mastering our mind
Most of the time we do not even pay attention to our minds movement because we are used to giving it free reign and we have never truly attempted to train our mind. Some fear that our lack of mental control causes us to have turbulent and ill-behaved minds that bring us continued difficulty in life. Yoga teacher training puts a lot of emphasis on having a healthy mind brings balance into your life.
Raja Yoga and yoga teacher training explains that our life forces are concentrating to move up and down the spine until it can find balance and the mind and our emotions are content. When this movement is achieved your awareness is directed to move forward to a point which is the center of the low forehead. This area which is located about half an inch above where your eyebrows meet is referred to as ajna or the third eye.
As you move into this moment the energy becomes balanced throughout the brain and your body and is easily moving forward into the third eye and your mind can become very calm and focused. At this point you will be aware that your mind is free of meaning less thoughts, stress and the everyday random thoughts of the subconscious mind. During this time you will have the sensation of a very balanced and calm sense of well being and your mind is full of a velvety darkness.
Raja Yoga Meditation
As you were taught through yoga teacher training you will be able to move your consciousness into your third eye and you may begin to see pastel color appear in your forehead. Beautiful pinks, whites, yellows, blues, greens, indigos and purples will take turns playing in combinations in your forehead. At some point it may appear that you are witnessing fireflies, moonlight or lightning as your bring your life force more focused and you more actively prepare to move into higher consciousness. This practice is referred to as getting you ready to experience your true nature as pure spirit, pure consciousness and pure awareness.
At one point you may feel that the light you are witnessing is blazing brighter than the sun itself. You are not turned away from this bright light but rather find it soothing to look into it. This is the moment of your inner light, your essence, as it is revealing itself to you.
Raja yoga requires that you practice with a yoga teacher because it is very easy to strain yourself and also to delude yourself into hallucinations rather than actually experiencing your high consciousness. Yoga teacher training directs us to meditation for balance. Raja Yoga is the path of meditation and those who tend to follow it will lead contemplative lives.