Apparently there is no compatibility, but yes, Asthanga Yoga is a combination of Bhakti, Karma and Jnana Yoga, apart from containing techniques Asana and Pranayama, for keeping the body and mind fit for spiritual pursuit.
Let us consider the Preliminary and later parts of Asthanga Yoga.
- Yama is the first of the eight limbs of yoga outlined in the yoga sutras. Yama is also sometimes called “the five restraints” because it describes what one should avoid to advance on the spiritual path.
Here is the full list with explanation:
Ahimsa: Non-violence or harmlessness. This cannot always be practiced literally since it is not always possible in the normal
course of living. Even washing one’s hands kills bacteria. To perfect
ahimsa one must not wish harm on any creature.
Satya: Non-lying or truthfulness. This doesn’t mean to be tactless, but to always tell the highest truth. It is in the
“restraints” category because if one restrains oneself from wishing
things were other than they are, one will always tell the truth.
Asteya: Non-covetousness. Not wishing for more than one has, or for what another has.
Brahmacharya: Sexual self-restraint. Literally means “flowing with Bramha.” This is often translated as celibacy, but can also just be
taken as sexual self-control, or overcoming sexual desire. According
to the yoga sutras, this practice will give one great mental and
physical stamina because it prevents one’s energy from being expended
in sexuality. Self control in all things is the direction of true
Aparigraha: Non-possessiveness. Letting go of all attachment to one’s possessions, including one’s body, and being willing to
relinquish them all at a moment’s notice.
- Niyama is the second limb of the spiritual path as outlined by the ancient sage Patanjali in his yoga sutras. It lists five things you should do to make spiritual progress. They are:
Saucha: Cleanliness of the body, mind, and heart.
Santosha: Contentment. To attain this one must realize that nothing in the world can make them happy. Everything one needs lies in
one’s own Self.
Tapasya: Austerity or self-restraint. This does not mean harming or depriving oneself of essential needs (which would violate the first
Swadhyaya: Self-study or introspection. This is sometimes translated as “study of the scriptures,” but the literal meaning is
“Self-study,” or study of the Higher Self. To achieve this niyama, one
should always question one’s motives and reasoning, and stay open to
the possibility that one could be wrong.
Ishwarapranidhana: Worship of the Supreme Self.
Pratyahara : the withdrawing of the mind and senses from the objects of the senses
Dharana : concentration; one-pointed focus.
Dhyana : steadfast meditation on God or the Higher Self.
Samadhi : complete absorption in the Infinite — literally “oneness.”
Sri Krishna says in 12.62 and 12.63 of Bhagavad Gita that desire is the root cause of all problems. Desire can be for sexual intercourse, enmassing riches, severe itching for gaining fame, etc.
Is it that easy to eradicate desires? No.
If a person engulfed with various desires tries for Dhyana or meditation, will his/her mind allow to meditate? Again NO. The desires will definitely hamper his meditation.
Then what is the method to overcome the thoughts on desires, in meditation?
Ahimsa, Satya, etc, listed under Yama and Saucha, Santosha and Swadhyaya listed under Niyama will purify mind from getting distracted from thinking towards coveting something that does not belong to one, towards physically harming someone, towards amassing too much of wealth, towards getting fame, itching too much for sexual intercourse, etc, either in wakeful state and in sleep also.
Slowly mind gets accustomed to performing one's duties with dedication, without thinking of results. If a person is possessed with any desire he/she has undergo it, enjoy it and leave it, but without getting dissolved into it. That is Karma Yoga.
Tapasya and Ishwarapranidhana listed under Niyama will assist one in turning one's mind towards praying to the Almighty God.
Here one can take the path of Bhakti or Pure Meditation, depending upon one's taste/prArabdha, for praying to the God, while one is practicing the Yama, Niyama. The lesser the intensity of the desires, the deeper the concentration in bhakti/meditation.
Bhakti or Jnana Yoga.
Once the intensity sets in, the remaining course of action will be taken care by the Almighty God, to lead one to Samadhi or Self Realisation.