Yoga is one of the very best ways to lead a calmer and more enlightened life, but the trouble is, yoga is an incredibly hefty discipline that has been studied for generations, and thus it can be very difficult to get started in it.
There are multiple disciplines of yoga across the world, many of which boast their own distinct paths that lead to very different forms of yoga.
One of these many forms of yoga is Karma Yoga, and this is a form of yoga that often leaves many confused when starting out. What exactly is karma yoga? And what separates it from other forms of yoga?
You are most likely here because you are finding yourself frustrated by these questions, and if so, you could not have come to a better place!
Today, we are going to take a deep look at karma yoga, to learn more about it! Read on below to get started!
What Is Karma Yoga?
Yoga in the Hindu religion is one of the four classical spiritual paths. This path of yoga is based on a “Yoga of action”.
Karma yoga is dedicated to teaching a person to seek unselfish actions that are not guided or influenced by personal consequences or potential rewards.
Those that practice karma yoga are seeking to take the correct actions at multiple points in their lives. Practicing karma yoga helps people to act unselfishly, and to act in a way that is beneficial to others.
You have likely heard of the concept of ‘Karma’ in other contexts as a guiding principle that dictates that positive actions will result in positive rewards.
The more commonly understood version of karma is actually adapted from the original understanding of it found in Karma yoga.
Karma yoga teaches its practitioners to always be considering their Dharma, which is a term used to describe actions that are considered to be ethical and correct.
The Dharma dictates that the individual should consider all individuals involved in a situation, and never act with one’s own interests in mind, as acting selfishly or acting only to receive a reward will directly compromise the Dharma.
Those who practice yoga as part of their religion will also find that their behaviors are dictated and guided by what the Lord would deem to be appropriate.
Actions are to be performed with the intention of honoring the lord, and not to be performed with intention of receiving rewards or fame.
What Sets Karma Yoga Apart From Other Forms Of Yoga?
Karma yoga is very different from other forms of yoga, especially the other paths of Hinduist yoga because it is entirely focused on being unselfish.
Other yoga paths, on the other hand, are focused on developing oneself!
The other paths of yoga in Hinduism include Jnana yoga, which is focused on knowledge, Raja yoga, which is focused entirely on meditation, and Bhakti yoga which is focused on devotion to personal gods.
How Do You Practice Karma Yoga?
Practicing karma yoga can be done quite easily, and it can very easily be implemented into the daily life of an average person.
Because karma yoga is devoted to carrying out actions without expecting a reward or to carrying out actions to honor a god of some kind, you will want to start by producing a list of all of the many duties you have to fulfill in your day-to-day life.
Try to focus on the ones that may not lead to a direct reward of gratification, but that are important for helping to contribute to your community.
Once you have produced this list, simply try to fulfill every duty on the list each and every day.
If you find that your list is a little too large, then you can easily sort through it to determine priority and cut down on specific duties, to make it more manageable!
What Are The Benefits Of Karma Yoga?
Karma yoga helps you to significantly diminish the size of your ego, which allows you to more easily stick to your Dharma.
This will also help you to carry out future actions without your ego subconsciously slipping in and impacting your behavior. Your ego will slowly begin to shrink as you spend less time focusing on it.
Karma yoga will also help you to better identify your priorities in life, so that you can find out what actually matters to you, and pursue those things, giving you a much greater sense of reward and accomplishment.
And, of course, following Karma yoga will also help you to become a kinder and more generous person. Your natural instinct will be to help and assist others without ever expecting some kind of reward or recognition for your actions!
To Wrap Up
As you can now see, Karma yoga is a form of yoga that is focused entirely on behaviors that are not guided or dictated by ego. It helps to teach individuals to act in an unselfish way and to always consider one’s own Dharma whenever a choice is made.
Karma yoga is very distinct from many other forms of yoga which are focused on personal development and improvement.
Practicing this form of yoga helps a person to become more selfless, and actually become happier, as the individual will be able to determine what actually matters to them and what things they should pursue in life.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Karma Yoga Important?
Karma yoga is incredibly important because it helps the individual to regulate the size of their ego and reduce it, which in turn helps them to be a more selfless person, which also helps with many other forms of yoga.
What Is The Main Theme Of Karma Yoga?
Karma yoga is focused on helping the individual to consider the attitudes that are influencing their actions, which helps them to act more according to the Dharma.
This helps an individual to act more correctly and in a way that is beneficial to one’s wider community.
What Karma Means?
Karma is a force that is discussed in the Hindu and Buddhist religions, and it refers to the ways in which one’s actions determine their future and how the individual’s next life will turn out!