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Yoga As A Ritual and Concept of Discipline

Updated on December 26, 2015

What Comprises a Ritual?

Although rituals are far more common during ancient times and communities, it is still prevalent today. Ceremonies and other observances that call on the divine spirit and other such forces are al considered a ritual. Therefore, there is that distinction of being more than just mundane activities since it involves a more symbolic approach.

This is what distinguishes rituals from all other external activities that one person performs on a regular basis. It can also be done individually or in a group. In order to achieve the real purpose of this practice, one must show genuine sincerity to achieve a connection with the gods and spirit so you can communicate your message to them.

Purpose of Holding Rituals

Since there are several types of rituals that are performed worldwide, the purpose for each one differs. For instance, there are thanksgiving rituals that are intended to thank the gods for a bountiful harvest. There are also fertility rituals that call on the gods and spirits that will enable a woman to conceive.

More common today is the performance of meditation ritual, which is intended for one to tap the inner consciousness and attain complete sense of inner peace and tranquility. By doing so, one establishes mental strength and self awareness such that they are more capable of handling themselves through times of distress or in some other stressful situations in one's daily life.

Yoga as a Form of Ritual

Having defined what a ritual is, expert yogis would like to refer to it as one of several ancient rituals that is still being observed today. Indeed, it can be relegated as a ritual since it involves a great deal of symbolism and spirituality. Moreover, one must be able to establish a routine in order to fully satisfy its practice and achieve the goals desired.

The integration of various practices such as physical exercises, breathing techniques, and meditation represent the journey from the physical consciousness towards the spiritual and intellectual level. All of these efforts are done in order to achieve a union with a Divine Power to experience the ultimate level of bliss and contentment.

Q&A: Yoga and Rituals

Important Components in a Yoga Ritual

When doing yoga ritual, you need to take care of several elements. Take note of the following:

  • All yogis understand that there is a presence of a higher spiritual being that governs each practice. Your ability to meditate deeply and shift focus internally is crucial in establishing that relationship with this divine power.
  • In addition to recognizing the presence of a divine power, you also need an inner awareness to enrich your meditation practice.
  • You must combine your performance of yoga asanas with proper breathing techniques to tap your spiritual energies and make acquisition of benefits possible.
  • An integration of mind, body, and spirit is important in enriching your ritual practice of yoga.

Routine Elements of Yoga

Role of the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali

Yoga holds an important position in the Indian philosophy and its beliefs in the importance of ritual. In fact, it is recognized as one of two aspects important to the Indian discipline. Specifically, yoga outlines the practical steps that one must take in order to release the spiritual body from the physical but at the same integrating both of those bodies. This process in yoga is known to deliver profound benefits as one learns to recognize his or her inner self only through that process of isolation-integration.

One way this is achieved is through the application of the yoga sutras in one's daily life. This system merges both your action and control of mind to achieve the deeper purpose of yoga. Your consciousness plays a vital role on this one, which is achieved through meditation. At this point, you become fully aware of your inner consciousness without experiencing disturbances from the external world.

Raja Yoga Meditation - Sat Kriya

Branches of Yoga Ritual Discipline

Each ritual contains different components that lead up to a holistic achievement of your goals. The same thing goes with yoga and it is important to take care of each element to ensure that all aspects are functioning as they should. Furthermore, this will enable you to realize the spiritual aspect involved with each element of your yoga practice.

No matter how beneficial most people claim yoga to be, you cannot expect to achieve its enriching benefits without sincere dedication to this ritual. The process of attaining inner consciousness and producing that distinction between the physical and spiritual body is a gradual process.

While this practice proves to be challenging, there are a lot of aids and tools that you can use to facilitate in the practice. Whether it be meditation music, audio instructional, and videos, each one are designed to teach you the basic components that make up each ritual. Proper self discipline is needed in order to make all the benefits come to life.

Hatha Yoga

This branch in the yoga ritual is at the most external core. It utilizes the physical body as a medium towards the purification of your mind and spiritual body. It is achieved through performance of yoga asanas and meditation to tap the energies inside your body.

Raja Yoga

Raja yoga involves mostly meditation practice, which is intended to direct your basic life forces and bring union to both emotions and your mind. This will enable you to achieve balance as you strive to follow the Lord.

Karma Yoga

The concept of karma is quite widely known, but this style of yoga goes much further than what most people know about karma. In addition to aiming for righteous action, one is encouraged to devote selfless act to fellow mankind and devote him or herself to following the deeds of God.

Bhakti Yoga

This branch supports the need to establish a relationship with the Divine Being. Or to be precise, it encourages one to aim to become one with God through constant devotion and worship of Him as exemplified by your own actions.

Jnana Yoga

This branch in the yoga ritual supports the need to improve your intellectual capacity, wherein one must constantly aim for higher or superior forms of knowledge.

Tantra Yoga

There is a separate practice known as Tantrism, which is aimed at altering a person's ordinary religious, social and logical reality. With this alteration, one gains liberation from this perceived reality or illusion. One way to achieve salvation is through the practice of yoga and meditation, along with social renunciation.

Yoga Books on Amazon

Ritual Yoga Videos on Amazon


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  • carolina muscle profile image

    carolina muscle 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

    Is that first picture Aleister Crowley?

    I enjoyed this post.