The path of introspection is the keyword of Raja Yoga. It is the path in which one attempts to explore the different realms of the mind: conscious, subconscious, unconscious. Raja yoga progressively attempts to transcend the outer environment of the physical body, and direct the awareness to the inner environment. Patanjali yoga is often identified with raja yoga directly, for they are regarded as synonymous. The system of Patanjali yoga consists of eight steps or limbs which the aspirant must progressively master on the path to self-realization.

  1. Yama (self-restraint)
  2. Niyama (self-observances)
  3. Asana (postures)
  4. Pranayama (regulation of prana through breath control)
  5. Pratyahara (disassociation of consciousness with the outside environment)
  6. Dharana (concentration)
  7. Dhyana (meditation)
  8. Samadhi (identification with pure consciousness)