What is yoga?

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I can go on for hours about this but in this post I will only give you a general idea about it. The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit term “Yuj” which means ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. It is said to unite the individual soul (Atma) to the universal soul (Param atma). Which is the union of the divine with the mind, body and spirit.

The ultimate goal according to Pantajali (the author of The Yoga Sutras {the holy text of yoga}) is Samadhi (liberation) from worldly suffering and the process of death (Samsara).

Yoga entails the mastery of the mind, body, emotional self and the transcendence of desire. Over the long history of yoga many schools of Yoga have emerged. It is common to speak o each yoga as a ‘path’ to enlightenment.

Karma yoga, which means “the yoga of action.” This path teaches us to do our own duties in life skillfully and selflessly, dedicating the results of our actions to humanity.

Jnana yoga is the path of knowledge and wisdom. This path involves intense mental discipline. Knowledge dawns as we learn to discriminate between the real and the unreal, between the transient and the everlasting, between the finite and the infinite. This path is meant for only a fortunate few, who are aware of the higher and subtler realities of life.

Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. This path is the way of love and devotion. It is the path of self-surrender, of devoting and dedicating all human resources to attaining the ultimate reality.

Kundalini yoga is a highly technical science. The guidance of a competent teacher is required to learn methods for awakening the serpent-like vital force that remains dormant and asleep in every human body.

Mantra yoga, which involves meditation and the use of certain sounds called “mantras,” which are traditionally transmitted to the student, and are used as objects of concentration. Mantras help the student in self-purification, concentration, and meditation.

Raja yoga , the “royal path” which is very scientific and thorough. By following this path methodically, we learn to refine our desires, emotions, and thoughts, as well as the subtle impressions and thoughts that lie dormant in the unconscious mind. The ultimate goal is for the aspirant to attain the eighth step, samadhi. Raja yoga is also called Ashtanga yoga, or “the eight-fold path,” because its eight steps create an orderly process of self- transformation beginning on the level of the physical body, and eventually involving the subtler levels of life. (But this should not be confused with the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga developed by Shri. K Pattabhi Jois which is a specific style of the Hatha yoga practice in Mysore.)

Other types of yoga are Kriya Yoga, Iyenger yoga, maha yoga, integral yoga, Vini Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Yin Yoga, Tibetan yoga, Tantra yoga. Etc

Yoga’s much deeper than only asanas or pranayamas or simply meditation. It’s everything combined with the kriyas, food, hygiene and the philosophy. It’s holistic in nature. It’s for oneself. It’s just to become better healthier and happier YOU!
Practice daily. Stay safe. Stay humble.

Namaste.

Much love!

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2 thoughts on “What is yoga?

  1. God! So many Yoga’s!!!
    Seems after you having started jotting it down, it’s gonna be more interesting to practice yoga now!
    Nice to see your post, good luck natasha

    Like

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