The Bhagavad Gita lists three types of yoga, the essence of which lies at the heart of the way of life prescribed by most philosophical schools. Karma yoga refers to the commitment to selfless acts. The Gita proposes that self-realisation is actually achieved by looking beyond one’s own wants and dedicating oneself to selfless service.
The Bhakti yoga refers to fostering an unwavering belief in and devotion to one’s god. According to the philosophy of the Gita, yoga is inseparable from spiritual pursuits.
The Jnana yoga prescribed by the Gita resonates with the philosophy of the Upanishads as it lays emphasis on the acquisition of metaphysical knowledge and awareness.
It is evident then that while the Upanishads and the Gita establish the philosophical, spiritual and religious relevance of yoga, they do not provide any instructions regarding its practice. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras supplements these sacred texts as it acts as a guidebook for those attempting to practice the yogic discipline.