One of the special characteristics of Indian Civilization is Yoga. Yoga has developed to a great extent today by the contribution of the philosophers, sages, Rishis, yogis and even scientists. Even in the civilisation of Dravidians who were the ancient civilisation of India yogic culture was there. Yoga was very much there in Vedas and Upanishads. Bhagavat Geeta also defines about yoga. Lord Shiva taught yoga to Parvathi.
Non-violenceNo killing other beings at any cost. Be meek. Be peaceful.
RighteousnessNot stealing, not cheating. A Yogi is in professional life generally honest. He does not seek unwarranted advantage, but he is looking for fair trade.
TruthfulnessLive in the truth. Basically, be honest with yourself and others. Also no little lies of convenience. A lie is permissible only in well justified situations, for example, if you save with a lie the life of another human being. A Yogi is silent in doubt. Those who consistently lives in the truth radiate truth. Their fellow men trust them.
WisdomLive in the spiritual focus (in the light/in God = Brahman). Do not serve the money (outer luck) but the inner happiness (God, Brahman, enlightenment). Be centred in your inner happiness and peace.
Worship of the spiritual goalThus we do not lose our spiritual path, it is necessary that we remind ourselves again and again to our spiritual goal. We can worship an image (Goddess, Shiva, Patanjali), we can bow before a statue (Buddha, Jesus, Shiva) or speak a mantra (prayer).
Sacrifice the egoPurification / cleaning. The way into the light passes through the crucifixion of the ego. Without a crucifixion there is no enlightenment. True sacrifice is an art. He who sacrifices too much braced themselves internally. Who sacrifices too little, does not solves his tensions.
Self-disciplineA clear goal, a clear life plan and a clear way of practicing. Tapas means to lead a disciplined life.
SimplicityBe moderate in external enjoyment and consumption. A spiritual person lives modestly outwardly and inwardly rich. A Yogi uses his energy not in outer actions but lives so peacefully that his energy turns inward and cleanse his body from the inside. One day, he lives permanently in the light.
ReadingThe daily reading (mantra, meditation) keeps us on the spiritual path, cleanses our spirit, connects us with the enlightened masters and makes us to spiritual victors.
ContentmentSatisfied with what one has.
Yoga is the most beautiful gift to the human being. It is the most important feature of the Indian civilisation. Our ancestors created it and developed it. Yoga is developed to a great extent today in the whole world. Yoga grew with Indian culture, but unfortunately people are still ignorant of yoga system and do not get benefited by it. No one can actually evaluate the exact era of the yoga evolution. Yoga was very much there in Satyuga, Tretayuga and in Dwaparyuga too. The statue of Lord Pashupati it the witness of the yoga practice in the ancient time. Yoga was given importance in many cultures and religions.
Yoga In Vedas and Upanishads
We all know that yoga is the essence of the Indian culture and Hindu civilisation. It was developed and nurtured during the era of Sind and Dravidians, the religion of Buddha and Samana with the help of Vedas and Upanishads. Rishis who wrote Vedas and Upanishads contributed a lot to the nourishment of yoga. There are many references of yoga in Vedas.
Rig Veda appreciates the Meditation process and the initiation towards it. Rig Veda clearly stresses on the initiation and meditation. Rig Veda also says that one cannot attain the divinity by the rituals alone.
Vedas say that the heat energy developed by the Yoga practice is Tapas. Further Sage Yagam played a very important role in the development of the Tapas. Yagya was taught by the Vedas and the mention about Pranayama are found which belonged to Agnihotra.
Santhokya Upanishad says that Pranayama is very important part of the Yoga system. It further explains that when yoga is practised the heat energy generated and moves towards the realisation of the supreme power (Brahma). It is mentioned as the virtual fire in the Gandopa Upanishad:
According to Bhagwat Geeta Yoga is – One who aspires to excel himself in yoga, the work done by himself forms a means for it. When he elevates himself in this process peace prevails as a whole within him.
A yogi who excels in Gyana and Science surpasses his senses as a man on top of hill. He who considers a piece of a tile, a stone and gold alike is accepted as the best yogic.
It is very clear that now- a-days the interest in Yoga is spreading world-wide. Some learn yoga for getting good physical health, whereas some learn yoga to keep themselves mentally fit. Some people learn yoga to come out of their problematic life. Nowadays the teaching and practice of yoga in the school and colleges is increasing immensely. This will enhance the discipline and excellence among the students. Man was blessed with the beautiful nature and the healthy life by the divine power, but unfortunately man has deviated a lot from the law of the nature and changed everything as per his convenience. A lot of artificial produce are added to the food that man cooks, which makes it chemically affected. Hence man suffers physically and mentally. The life span of the human has reduced. Though the technology has improved a lot and life style has had dynamic improvement, yet the human health is at a critical state.
Yoga is the only remedy to all the sufferings of the human being. In the present time, more and more people, not only Indians but the Westerners, are also resorting to Yoga to find cure for chronic health problems and attain a peace of mind. As far as India is concerned Yoga is inherited in Indian blood. The excavation and the research done at Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa belonging to the Sind civilisation had revealed that even then people had practised Yoga. Even prior to the era of Vedas i.e. 2500 to 1800 BC yoga was very much found. What exactly is Yoga and what are included in it. Although many of us are well aware of the health benefits of the physical activity, not everyone knows about the origin and exact definition of Yoga. It is a popular belief that Yoga merely includes stretching and warming up exercises. Of course, yoga involves stretching, but includes many other things beyond that.
As said earlier Yoga was originated in ancient India, Yoga typically means ‘union’ between the mind, body and spirit. It involves the practice of physical postures and poses, which is sometimes referred to as ‘asana’ in Sanskrit. As the name suggests, the ultimate aim of practicing Yoga is to create a balance between the body and the mind and to attain self-enlightenment. In order to accomplish it, Yoga makes use of different movements, breathing exercises, relaxation technique and meditation. Yoga is associated with a healthy and lively lifestyle with a balanced approach to life.
Yoga is an Art and as well as Science. Yoga is an Art which enhances man’s life by enriching his consciousness and controlling his mind or his panchendriyas. Yoga is a psychic technique with the fundamental practices. Science fails to attain the particles of energy in the human body rightly. According to science it is impossible to experiment on the human energy particles. But it is very much possible to go the subtle stage than the energy particles through the yoga practice of meditating inwardly. Yoga is a system which makes the soul pure, free from ego and unnecessary attachments and realises the self consciousness and the divinity. The oldest physical discipline in existence known to humankind, Yoga brings stability to the body and the wavering mind. It increases the lubrication of joints, ligaments and tendons of the body. Studies in the field of medicine suggest that Yoga is the only form of physical activity that provides complete exercise to the body, because it massages all the internal organs and glands. This in turn reduces the risk of many diseases. Yoga can create a positive permanent difference to the lifestyle of anybody practicing it on a regular basis.
Yoga is the perfect way to ensure overall health and physical fitness. Through meditation, breathing exercises called pranayama, one can banish all his stress and lead a healthy life. In fact, it is one of the best remedies known to humankind, for curing chronic ailments that are otherwise difficult to be cured by other medications. People suffering from backaches and arthritis are often suggested to do asanas that concentrate on providing exercise to the muscles at the strategic locations. Pranayama are the best exercises to increase the capacity of lungs capacity.
The amazing thing about Yoga is that its positive effects on the health and mind are visible over time. Another specialty about Yoga is its wide choice of asanas. Depending upon the stamina and overall health, you can choose from the mild pranayama, asanas to high intensity asanas. It is a medication without the actual use of medicines. Moreover, no visible side effects are associated with the practice of Yoga on a regular basis. All you need to know is the most appropriate exercises meant for the structure of your body, while choosing the asanas of the activity. In addition, you need to know the right way of performing the asanas, because any wrong attempt can cause sprains and injuries.
Still There Are Various Opinions About Yoga As Follow:
- 1. All the “Asanas” are the only Yoga.
- 2. The “Chanting of all the Mantras” to bring the mind into the concentration and peace is only Yoga.
- 3. Uniting the “Mind with Soul” is only Yoga.
- 4. Uniting the “Mind with the Divinity” is only Yoga.
It is said that the word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “Yug” which means period or era. Yoga means unifying, linking, coalescence, mingling, upliftment and attainment.
In religious term the word Yoga means Yoga Sutra- which means “Chit Vriti Niriham”, which means withdrawal of the wrong interaction of the mind from the external world.
Yoga is also a Science. The modern science accepted that Yoga is the only way to attain the consummation. If one can bring the mind to the concentration and set it on a point through yoga practices, one can easily get relieved from all the thoughts and distracts of mind. Science says that mind’s frequencies reduce to the subtler level of Alpha, Theta and Delta from the normal higher level of Beta. Scientist used scientific electrodes on the people who were meditating and assessed the effects of the mediation on man. Its Science accepted that Yoga meditation reduces the rate of inhalation and exhalation of breathe. The pulse rate reduces, enhances longevity and reduces the blood pressure. The nerves are invigorated. The body temperature increases a little initially and then gradually reduces. The whole body gets relaxed, new cells are formed. The body and the mind both become peaceful. When yoga is practised sincerely, the mind attains a deeper peaceful state.
There Are Two Important Components Of Yoga As Follow:
- 1. Concerning the physical health.
- 2. Concerning the potency of life force.
The benefits of Yoga are numerous. In terms of energy Yoga is like a universe in itself. Some of the important Yoga benefits include anti-ageing, balance and flexibility of body, increase in knowledge and wealth, improvement in mental health and development of personal and social values. This is not the end of story; Yoga also helps in improving strength, sexual life and reducing weight. Yoga makes you feel good. Yoga is relaxing. It’s energizing. It’s strengthening. Healing benefits of Yoga are so great that you feel better at the end of every Yoga session than before you began and life runs effortlessly when you keep up a steady discipline than when you don’t. Yoga enhances your understanding of life. Yoga changes an individual’s perspective about life. After coming in the fold of Yoga a person finds himself taking up a broader view of life. Yoga helps a person to know who he is, how life works, who is God and so on. One starts looking at things differently, with less confusion. It helps in more peace of mind, better health, more keenness for life, and an ever-growing sense of internal well-being.
As one practices Yoga, positive effects of Yoga begin to show. The sense of feeling good envelops around the individual. This feeling is so natural and so genuine that it goes entirely in an individual’s life. In this way it helps clarify deepest cravings, motivations and aspirations, thereby restoring confidence, hope, meaning and rationale to life. We all like feeling good, peace of mind, being joyful, peaceful, animated and calm. There can’t be two opinions about this. But the sad part is that most of us know that we are not feeling as good as we should. The driving force of yoga is aimed at the monumental, life-changing discovery of who and what you actually are. This is precisely how yoga works, how it makes you feel good. Yoga helps you experience the truth. The truth- which, you discover is goodness. The implications of knowing the truth is massive. Thus Yoga gives you the strength to unravel the truth with which you will begin to live with security, confidence and inner psychological peace. Such great are the benefits and properties of Yoga. Yoga changes your life.
Anti Aging: In this dynamic world, very few people retain their strength and vitality till the middle age. Majority of the people look much older than they actually are. This also leads to various types of diseases in the later stage. Yoga helps fight anti-aging.
Balance: Many people suffer from problems of asymmetry and imbalance. The irregularity and imbalance create a lot of stress and strain in our body, leading to hypertension. At times, it also leads to injury, pain, or just simple discomfort. People at time might also think of committing suicide. Here comes the role of yoga, which brings you out of this critical situation too.
Flexibility: The moment we think of yoga the word comes to our imagination is the agility, flexibility. and stretching. People normally run away from the yoga thinking it’s not worth and spend huge money on the gym and other things. They feel that their body is unfit, too old or maybe too inflexible to perform Yoga. Well yoga automatically gives you the flexibility.
Personal values: People are fully drowned into the new developed world and its technology. People are so engrossed in attaining materialistic success that they fail to realize the host of inappropriate values and principles that have dominated both the mind and heart. With an ever-increasing cut throat competition in the present times, personal values seem to be inexistent. People are just not bothered to pay attention to the personal values and the cultural values. Yoga practices take care of this essential issue.
Love: Human life is full of ups and down. Their emotional well-being depends on how they interpret various events of their lives and react to them. Anyways feelings and emotions manifest in one form or the other in their body and lives. Every now and then the divorces are taking place. Yoga can certainly play a definitive role in fine-tuning their love lives.
Mental Health: Yoga has tremendous positive effect on our mental health. People now a day face a lot of challenges in their personal and professional front leading them to face stress, tension and hypertension. People get mentally imbalanced. Yoga through asanas, mudras and meditation balances mental health.
Strength: Yoga makes the body strong physically and mentally too. Yoga is extremely beneficial in strength and endurance building. Sages and saints from centuries in India have performed this miraculous art to achieve a stress free temper and disease free body. Yoga is a like a blessing for those who love to have fit body and live long.
Yoga & Beauty: Yoga helps attaining the physical and mental beauty through its wonderful practices. In yogic practice the art of meditation aimed at training a human soul the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity. It can be achieved through the paths of the actions, knowledge and devotion. Yoga and its beauty lies in the religious practice.
Social Values: Human has to maintain harmony between the self and the society. Yoga means unison too. Yoga and social values are two sides of the same coin and go side by side. Social values are a set of philosophy that an individual carries throughout his life. Yoga practices make human to follow social values and live with harmony.
Yoga Healing: Yoga is an ancient art in India. Yoga can heal even chronic diseases if practised regularly. It is considered that a regular practice of Yoga is very beneficial for achieving healthy body and sound mind. Yoga through asanas, mudras and meditation balances mental health. Yoga helps attaining the physical and mental beauty through its wonderful practices. In yogic practice the art of meditation aimed at training a human soul the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquillity.
Yoga & Sex: Yoga has a very strong connection with the Sex too. Yoga makes the body strong physically and mentally. The practice of yoga makes the sexual vital fluid strong. Yoga is extremely beneficial in strength and endurance building. According to Yoga philosophy, sex is a very natural function, extremely necessary in an affectionate relationship and also vital for the persistence of the human race on the earth. Yoga helps in maintaining a healthy relation by balancing the sexual life.
Yoga & Knowledge: Yoga makes one more curious about everything in life leading to more discoveries and inventions. Yoga is an ancient art that focuses on the spiritual enlightenment and physical fitness of a human being. This art has derived its principles from the ‘Patanjali Shastra’ and focuses on the concept of healthy being and healthy living. Yoga increases logical thinking and ability to take decisions.
Weight Loss: Weight loss is the most important concern for anyone. Yoga is an effective way to weight management. It helps in gaining and maintaining a healthy body. This ancient Indian yogic art is a great way to get rid of extra flab and fats from the body. Asanas and Pranayama help in weight loss a lot if practised religiously.
The art of right living and the foundations of yoga philosophy were written down in The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, approximately 200 AD. Compiled by Maharishi Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, the Eight Limbs of Yoga are a progressive series of steps or disciplines that purifies the body and mind, ultimately leading the Yogi (one who practices Yoga) to enlightenment. While the physical part of yoga is certainly of significance, the eight conventional limbs of Yoga practice have meditation of God as their underlying principle. The practice of yoga is both an art and science, which creates unification of the body and mind with the spirit.
The main objective of Yoga is to help the practitioner cultivate an awareness of self. In other words, it is about making balance and creating calmness to live in peace, good health and harmony. Yoga describes the inner workings of the mind and provides eight steps to control its restlessness to enjoy the lasting peace. Each part ultimately brings completeness to the individual. They tend to find their connectivity to the divine. Being a different individual, a person can emphasize one branch and then move on to another according to their understanding. These are the eight limbs of the system found in the famous Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The Eight Limbs of Yoga are as follow.
It is known as Moral observances for interactions with others. Broken down into five wise characteristics, they tell us about our fundamental nature that of being compassionate, generous, honest and peaceful. It teaches the directives of Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy) and Aparigraha (non-covetousness)
It is known as Moral observances for interactions with yourself. The word itself means rules that are prescribed for personal observance. The niyama are far more than an attitude, being more intimate and personal. The directive includes Shaucha (internal and external purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadhyaya (study of religious books and repetitions of Mantras) and Ishvara pranidhana (self-surrender to God, and his worship).
It is the practice of physical postures and is the most commonly known aspect of yoga. The practice of moving the body into postures helps in improving health, strength, balance and flexibility. On a deeper level, the practice of asana, which means staying or abiding in Sanskrit, is used as a means to calm the mind and move into the inner essence of being.
It controls the energy, in order to restore and maintain health and to promote evolution. Pranayama is the measuring, control, and directing of the breath. It further provides perfect relaxation and balance of body activities are realized.
In yoga, the term pratyahara implies withdrawal of the senses from attachment to external objects. It is most commonly known for sensory inhibition.
Immovable concentration of the mind is the underlying principle of Dharana. The essential idea is to hold the concentration or focus of attention in one direction. The mind needs to be stilled in order to achieve this state of complete absorption.
Dhyana focuses on Meditation. It means worship, or profound and abstract religious meditation that involves concentration upon a point of focus with the intention of knowing the truth about it. The concept holds that when one focuses their mind in concentration on an object the mind is changed into the shape of the object.
It is the final step in the eight-fold path of Yoga. It means pleasurable fascination of one’s individual consciousness in the essence of God. Samadhi means to bring together to merge. In this state, the body and senses are at rest, but the faculty of mind and reason are alert. You need to control the feelings of Avidya (ignorance), Asmita (egoism), Raga-Dvesha (likes and dislikes), Abhinivesha (clinging to mundane life).
Types of Yoga
Yoga is the most important essence of a healthy life. People who practise Yoga on a regular basis not only ensure a healthy lifestyle, but also attain the peace of mind. It is the greatest stress-buster and a remedy for curing a number of chronic diseases. There are various deviations on the types of yoga but still it is considered that Yoga is broadly divided into eight types as Most of them involve the use of different Poses of Asanas, Meditation, Kriyas and Breathing Exercises – Pranayama.
The Eight Types Of Yoga Are As Follow.
1. Bhakti Yoga
2. Karma Yoga
3. Raj Yoga
4. Jnana Yoga
5. Hatha Yoga
6. Kundalini Yoga
7. Mantra Yoga
8. Purna Yoga