A popular way of explaining karma is through the idea that every action has a reaction and no action can be disconnected from its result. Thus, a person’s actions cannot be escaped - their consequences must be realized.
This is closely linked in many schools of religion and philosophy to the concept of rebirth or reincarnation. It is believed that karma can be carried over from one life into the next. Thus, actions can affect not only an individual’s current life, but their future lives, too. It is also said that the character and personality of an individual is the combined result of the karma of their previous lives and actions.
Although all actions create karma, it is believed that the intention behind the action affects the karma. Thus, actions which are unintentional, or without bad intent, do not have the same karmic influence and may be considered karmically neutral.
Yoga is seen as one way to free oneself from the cycle of karma, and to find freedom and liberation. The branch of yoga which uses work and action to do this is called Karma yoga. Karma yoga teaches students to look within themselves to find the source of their suffering and to use their own actions to find true happiness.