In developing the practice of satyagraha, Gandhi was influenced by the concept of nonviolence. He believed that one could not find truth without practicing nonviolence.
Gandhi rejected the idea that unjustice should be fought by "any means necessary," because the philosophy of satyagraha does not separate the means from the ends. Gandhi believed that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence and forgiveness is greater than punishment.
The principles Gandhi asked his satyagrahis to follow are very similar to those explained in "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali," and applicable in some degree to yoga practice as well. Unless a practitioner's thoughts, speech and actions are firmly rooted in satyagraha, a truly spiritual yoga practice cannot begin.
For Gandhi, Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga were not simply a way to reach Self-realization, but they could also lead society to a greater awareness. Satyagraha was a way of exemplifying the Karma yoga path, which epitomizes selfless action to achieve spiritual liberation.