Karuna is a Sanskrit word that is often translated as “compassion”, “empathy”, or “loving-kindness”.
In Patanjali Yoga Sutra in Samadhi Pada (1.33)
• Maitri- friendliness
• Visayanam-of the objects
• Prasadanam-purification, making peaceful
In relation to happiness, misery, virtue and vice, by cultivating the attitude of friendliness, Compassion, gladness and indifference respectively, the mind becomes purified and peaceful.
Karuna yoga is a type of yoga that combines the physical practice of Hatha yoga, involving asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing practices), kriyas (internal cleansing techniques), bandhas (muscular locks and contractions), and mudras (hand gestures and seals), to greater or lesser degrees depending on the style of Hatha Yoga, with the Patanjali’s principles of Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (super consciousness). It is also sometimes referred to as Compassionate Yoga.
Karuna involves feeling empathy and compassion towards oneself and others, and is an important aspect of yoga practice. It is seen as a means of developing greater awareness and insight into the interconnectedness of all beings, and is often used as a basis for meditation and other practices aimed at cultivating a more compassionate attitude towards oneself and others.
In Karuna Yoga, the principles of karuna are incorporated into the practice through the use of meditation, pranayama, and yoga postures. The aim is to cultivate greater self-compassion and compassion towards others, and to use the practice as a means of developing greater awareness and insight into one’s own thoughts and feelings.