In our everyday life,yoga encounters as “exercising flexibility” These two words have profound meaning although most people state it as a physical realm.The meaning of these words grows on the practitioner with experience.Yoga is the science of awareness.
What is Yoga?
The word yoga is originated from sanskrit word ‘yuj’ means to yoke or bind and is often interpreted as “union” or method of discipline.Yoga is a spiritual science of self realization.
You will also find two different meanings of yoga:
- A set of physical and mental excercise originally from india intended to give control over the body and mind
- A hindu system philosophy that aims to unite the self with god.
So the first one is dealing with some material objects like physical excercise,mental excercise, body and control over body or mind.
And the second is stating about some thing the conception which are not clear to us like self or god.It also tells the yoga is Hindu Practice which is utterly wrong and misunderstood.In almost every religion,even the atheists are performing it for thousands and thousands of years.
Yoga has very depth history,If you go to any yoga teacher,he will tell you different types of yoga like patanjali,hath,kriya,ram,karma,vippassana and many more.What people are performing nowadays is hath yoga- Today’s yoga.
Patanjali which is an Indian sage is believed to have accumulated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2000 years ago.The sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serve as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today.It also outlines right limbs of yoga,
- Yamas (Restraints)
- Asana( Postures)
- Pratyahara(Withdrawl of senses)
As we explore these eight limbs,we begin refining our own behavior and focus inwardly until we reach samadhi( liberation,enlightenment)
So today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb,asana,which is a collective program of physical postures are designed to purify our body and mind,provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.
History of Yoga
In the yogic time,Shiva is seen as the first yogi or Adiyogi and the first guru or Adiguru.The historical presence of yoga has been noted down. As few clues were found in 2500 BC but has been found in scriptures in 5th century BC and in the 2nd century BC,Yoga had become as philosophy and practice on it’s own.There are few clues of yoga are also found in Rig Veda and Yajur Veda.
Yoga began its journey in documented form through the vedic texts.These are ancient Indian texts that defines the philosophy of life and existence and means to achieve the state of Yoga or Union(Union of Mind,Body and Energy)
What are vedic texts?
There are several thousand vedic text but below are some quick synopsis of the parent/primary texts.
Rig: It defines the concept of 5 element theory.
Yajur: It defines the methods to harness the 5 elements.
Sama: It defines the frequencies associated with the 5 elements and their harmonics.
Atharva: It defines the methods to deploy the 5 elements.
It is a collection of grammar,etimology,phoenetics and the science of language use to write the Vedas and UpaVedas.
It refers to the specific subset extensions of the Vedas.More of a practitioner manual.Here below are the most important for our discussion.
- Ayurveda:Medical Science
- Dhanurveda: Martial Science
Refers to a collection of texts that may be viewed as the final chapter of vedas.
Sutras referes to a practitioner’s manual extracted from the vedas.Identical to Upavedas and one of the greater interest to us being.
Patanjali Yoga Sutra: The ultimate doctrine of Yoga
What are the paths of Yoga?
Yoga Paths are the actual method of practice to experience the state of Yoga.Here below are the most common paths and their significance.
- Bhakta Yoga: Yoga via devotion
- Karma Yoga: Yoga via service
- Hatha Yoga: Yoga via sun and moon energies.
- Kundalini Yoga: Yoga via harnessing the power of creative latent energy in all of us.
- Raja Yoga: Yoga via breathing
- Tantra Yoga: Yoga via balancing the male/female polarities.
- Gyan Yoga: Yoga via intellect
- Nad Yoga: Yoga Via vibration
- Laya Yoga: Yoga via Music
What are the Yoga Styles?
It is a collection of Yoga Paths which are integrated with the experience of teacher/ founder.For example in the path of Hath Yoga although the warrior posture is same irrespective of the style,the integration of experience with the posture and its interpretation thereof is always unique to the teacher Now if the single posture is extended over the entire path of hatha yoga or even across all yoga paths,style is only same but logical.
Here again is the key to the success of Yoga, even though it defines methodology, it never defines experience.Experience is left to the practitioner to feel and the teacher to navigate and guide.