Yoga Positions, What is Yoga Poses Postures Benefits Classes School Video

What is Yoga?

The word "Yoga" is derived from the word "YOG" from the Sanskrit Language. There are enormous things to talk about Yoga. Because its been an ancient technique to relax your mind and body with various ancient Yogic techniques. Yoga schools have been running from ancient times, specially in Asian countries like India. Now a days, many saints from country like India, are carrying out the message of Yoga to the world by their various spiritual practices.

The knowledge of yoga is very old and worth interesting. The knowledge and practicing of Yoga distresses the mind and relaxes one's mood. The yoga postures are called as "Yoga asanas". Nowadays there are many NGO's carrying out Yoga classes and exercises. Yoga instructions should only be taken by a trained Yoga teacher or an instructor.

It is very easy to start with Yoga exercises. Yoga for beginners is easy. Anyone can start with it. Its recommended to start practicing Yoga from teen age, but some youngsters consider Yoga to be a practice for old-age people, which is a wrong assumption.

Infact Yoga has many benefits. Its amazing to know the benefits of Yoga, as mentioned earlier it helps in relaxation of mind and body. It distresses your mind, yoga power increases your focus at work and brings calmness in the mind. Yoga also helps in loosing weight, while at the same time it helps in gaining weight for people who are underweight. Most people nowadays join Yoga classes to balance their weight and maintain their physic.

A male who practices yoga is called a yogi, while a female practitioner is called a yogini. With the advance in technology, Yoga has spread beyond boundaries. Through Yoga videos, Cds, DVDs, etc people are learning and practicing yoga from their home. Some yoga techniques are so simple, that they can be practiced even while sitting in your office.
What is Yoga? About Yoga, Yoga benefits, Yoga Poses, Postures

There are several answers to this key question:
(1) Yoga is the restraint of mental operation (process).
(2) Yoga is the disconnection of connection with suffering.
(3) Yoga is balance (equanimity).
(4) Yoga is said to be the unification of the web of dualities.
(5) Yoga is the union of Individual self (through mind restraining process) with
the Universal Self.

It is evident from these definitions that the process of yoga is essential to all human beings whose inherent nature is to seek happiness and become free from miseries and suffering. In the light of these various definitions, yoga can be described in different forms as below. However, these forms are inter-related.
(1) Bhakti yoga (through devotion),
(2) Karma yoga (through self-less action),
(3) Jnana yoga (through self-enquiry and knowing),
(4) Mantra yoga (through mantra),
(5) Naada yoga (through transcendental sacred vibrations),
(6) Raja yoga or Ashtanga yoga (through eight-limb approach), etc.

Yoga has existed from Vedic times and its importance is described in several scriptures. In Upanishads such as Shvetashvataropanishat and Kathopanishat, yoga is referred as an essential means to achieve happiness. In Kathopanishat, for example, it is advised: “Treat the self as the person seated in the body as the chariot. Then, treat the intellect as the driver (charioteer), the mind as the reins and the senses as the horses. The one who has control of mind directed by intellect thereby controlling the senses leads the person to the spiritual goal. Otherwise a person’s life will be as of a chariot driven by uncontrolled horses.”

Also, in the Bhagavadgita which is known as Yoga Shastra i.e. a scripture on Yoga, Lord Krishna emphasizes that the goal of everyone should be to achieve yoga, or state of equanimity. He beautifully describes the blissful state of a yogi (i.e. one that has achieved yoga). Then through Arjuna, He advises everyone to become a yogi. Lord Krishna says “Tasmat yogi bhava Arjuna” (therefore, become a yogi).

Maharishi Patanjali, an Indian sage has made great contributions in removing impurities in three domains namely though ayurveda in body for good health, through commentary on Panini’s grammar for good speech and through yoga for achieving pure mind. We are grateful to Maharishi Patanjali for systematically presenting a comprehensive process of yoga through Ashtanga yoga.

The treatise on Yoga by Maharishi Patanjali is known as “Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali” (Aphorisms on Yoga). A sutra (aphorism) is a very cryptic statement with deep insights and it is easy to memorize. The Yoga- Sutras contain 196 aphorismsdivided into four paadas (chapters). They are

(1) Samadhi Paada (On spiritual absorption), 51 sutras
(2) Saadhana paada (On spiritual practice), 55 sutras
(3) Vibhooti Paada (On manifestation of powers), 56 sutras and
(4) Kaivalya Paada. (On liberation), 34 sutras

Maharishi Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 196 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It  outlines the eight limbs of yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga (Eight-limbs of Yoga)
The eight-steps from yoga sutras of Ashtanga (i.e. eight-limbs) Yoga are briefly indicated below. These form the practical aspect of the process of yoga.
1. YAMA: This step contains five sub-steps, which need to be practiced in the domains of thought, speech and action.
(a) Non-Violence (Ahimsa)
(b) Truthfulness (Satya)
(c) Non-Covetedness (Asteya)
(d) Continence (Bramhacharya)
(e) Non-receiving (Aparigraha)
2. NIYAMA: This step also contains five sub-steps, which need to be practiced in the domains of thought, speech and action.
(a) Cleanliness (Shoucha)
(b) Contentment (Santosha)
(c) Austerity (Tapas)
(d) Scriptural Study (Svaadhyaya)
(e) Surrender to God (ishvara Pranidhaana)
These two steps when practiced fully, provide the seeker the self-control and disciplines which becomes the preparation to the next two steps
3. ASANA (Postures)
4. PRAANAYAMA (Regulation of Vital Force)
In Asanas, the body is held steady in postures drawn from observing animals and nature such as a tree, mountain etc. In Pranaayama, control of vital forces is focused through proper regulation of breathing under strict supervision of a qualified Guru.
5. PRATYAAHARA: in this step, the yogi practices withdrawing the mind from senses and multiplicity of thoughts. The withdrawn mind is then directed towards inner-self.
6. DHAARANA deals with the development of the ability of the indrawn mind to focus and concentrate on a Sacred Object (such as vision of the Guru, chosen Deity, and other Sacred forms).
7. DHYAANA referred as meditation, is continuous contemplation or concentration on the Sacred Object. Meditation is to be achieved like a lamp (steady mind) in the absence of flickering wind (wavering worldly thoughts).
8. SAMADHI: This step refers to an experience of transcendental state of balance and deep spiritual absorption. This is an individual internalised experience. There are various states of experiences.

These well-known eight steps of Yoga occurs in these yoga sutras.

In the vision and words of yogi-seer Sriranga Sadguru, founder of Ashtanga Yoga Vijnana Mandiram, Mysore, India, “The chief aim of Yoga is to experience the inner spiritual world having realized the truths through the knowledge of process of manifestation of self, senses and body and based on one’s own full spiritual development by tuning the outward looking self (mind) inwards through the path of Sushumna (the central naadi channel in the spine)” The process of yoga encompasses all aspects of human life namely physical, psychological and spiritual. The yoga process of Patanjali is referred as “yoga-darshana” and is essentially developed on practical basis.

In the vision and words of His Holiness Sriranga Priya Swamiji of Ashtanga Yoga Vijnana Mandiram, Mysore, India, “Yoga-Darshana is a practical discipline comprising of the conclusions and proclamations of enlightened seers (yogis) whose main concern was helping seekers (sadhakas) to attain the normal state called Yoga in which the perceiver is established in the real state and this is an inner experience of the inner world.”

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