karma yogaBy Gopi Rao

Almost every Hatha Yoga teacher training course covers the significance of Karma Yoga. Students often ask about the Law of Karma and there are many different views concerning interpretation. This is usually based upon where our religious instruction originated.

A Christian and a Hindu look at karma a little differently, but karmic debt is akin to original sin. If one has no religious beliefs, karma may be explained as, “What comes around, goes around” or the Law of Cause and Effect. Either way, there is a way to find liberation (free yourself) through right action.

Right action is universal. It is simply doing the right deed at the right time. The standard of right behavior is no different from one side of the Earth to the other. In Matthew 7:12, it is stated: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Over time, this has been said in many ways, but it is right action, no matter, which religion you practice. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you,” is the golden rule and we all know it is right.

Karma is action and some of us could make a case it is the law of action. Nothing in nature is static, and giving is an action. When you give to others, you also are receiving, which is the law of nature. If you do not give to others, you are stopping the flow of life energy which acts like a road block.

When you are circulating the flow of life energy you are in direct harmony with the law of nature. This in turn, is beneficial to you. This should leave you in constant flow of abundance. With abundance, you can help others. This is what abundance is for.

There is much baggage associated with Karmic debt. In other words: Some of us believe we owe for the sins of the past and we can never truly be forgiven for them. Almost all religions preach this message in one way or another.

According to some experts, you can pay Karmic debt in a number of ways. There is the eight limbed path of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga. There are also possibilities of transcending or transforming the Karma. Below are three possible options for paying karmic debt.

1. You could attain moksha (liberation from samsara) through the practice of Patanjali’s Yoga. The eight limbed path is detailed within the Yoga Sutras. All eight limbs are important and none of the eight limbs should be overlooked.

2. When you transcend karma; you will likely do this in meditation practice. This is not for a novice. When in deep states of meditation, one can practice going beyond the thinking mind, beyond the ego, and activate one’s dormant true Self, which is beyond the ego, beyond the thinking mind from were one can abolish Karmic debt.

3. When one transforms Karmic debt, one can ask oneself what can I learn from this experience and how does it affect people around me. Hopefully, when reflecting and introspecting, one is able to imprint the learned lesson and broaden one’s consciousness.


In all cases, the practice of Karma Yoga (selfless service and giving) is recommended. Volunteering for a good cause and giving to charity are strongly advised.

© Copyright 2011 – Gopi Rao / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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