Jnana Yoga: Two of the Four Main Yoga Paths Explained
What is Jnana Yoga? Jnana Yoga is best described as the "awareness of absolute consciousness," as its primary focus is for you to achieve a connection with the transcendent self through the study of yoga philosophy. The Sanskrit word jhana means "knowledge," with more emphasis on spiritual knowledge of one's self. With meditation being its main source to self-realization, jhana yoga is meant to relax the mind and settle the thoughts enough to bring on comprehensive self-study. A self-study that ranges from your personal virtues to major world views & beliefs, this practice of yoga especially made for those who aim to learn more about themselves on a spiritual level.
Jnana yoga is considerably one of the most complex paths of yoga, and certainly the most challenging to practice. In this practice, the mind is used to inquire into its own nature and to transcend the mind's identification with its thoughts and ego. This is achieved by mental techniques such as self-reflection & questioning as well as conscious illumination; the goal is to bring yourself into a deep meditative state of self-awareness. It is broken into three core concepts to truly achieve this goal: sravana, manana, and nididhyasana. Sravana is the listening/hearing portion where the student devotes time to listening to the Vedic texts of the Upanishad. Vedic texts that carry understanding and prompt reflection all while simultaneously bringing the student to closer alignment with their divinity. Manana is the thinking portion of this process, one that pushes reflection of the sravana and the concept of non-duality. Nididhyasana is the fun part, the star of the show: meditation. Meditating with the intent to have constant and profound communication with one's inner self is the main goal of jnana yoga.
Sounds rejuvenating and relieving, doesn't it? Here are a few more benefits of jnana yoga, just in case you aren't fully convinced:
-Liberation from ego and selfishness: With more self-awareness comes less and less run-ins with ill behavior and habits that was once a part of who you were. By having a stronger understanding of one's self, one walks with more humility and grace, less selfishness.
-Relief from stress and depression: With increased meditation and breathing, one is more inclined to center more attention and focus to the true issues from the inside; strong communicative efforts with one's inner self resolves internal battles that often show themselves through bouts of depression and puddles of stress.
-Better Problem-Solving: With improved concentration and perceiving skills, your senses are directed inwards. While going to different situations, your ability to control your thought process and deriving an outcome from all aspects is enhanced.
Jnana yoga may be difficult but the outcome is more than worth it. Inquire about a session in the meditative sequence of jnana yoga with us, here at Teesha Yoga. We look forward to seeing you there!