Raja Yoga is also known as ‘Classical Yoga’, ‘Royal Yoga’ or simply ‘Yoga’. It is one of the six traditional schools of Hindu philosophy, abridged by the sage Patanjali in his ‘Yoga Sutras’. The word ‘Raja’ means ‘king’ in Sanskrit and this form of yoga is called Raja yoga because the mind is believed to be the king among the organs.
Raja Yoga follows consists of chanting of mantras, transcendental meditation, Meditation on music, trataka (Concentration method), mirror gazing, humming, visualization vipassana, kriya yoga, chakra breathing and sound etc.
Some people consider that the practices of raja yoga, was known as long ago as the Neolithic Age and were practiced in the Indus Valley culture. Raja yoga is concerned principally with the cultivation of the mind using meditation (dhyana).
The term Raja Yoga is introduced in the 15th-century in Hatha Yoga Pradipika’s fourth chapter to distinguish the school based on the ‘Yoga Sutras’ of sage Patanjali. The term was later used to describe the entirely unrelated meditation practice of the Brahma Kumaris, which involves the focus of one's mind and surrender to a striated body they believe to be the Supreme Soul.
Raja yoga refers to the state-of-being characterized by perfect equilibrium, in which nothing is lacking. Some times Raja Yoga is referred to as Astanga Yoga because there are eight aspects to the path to which one must be there.