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Yoga is the discipline (sadhana) or a continuous effort to attain that supreme state of realization through intense concentration. According to some exponents of yoga, the purpose of yoga is to attain spiritual perfection through the control of the body, senses and mind.
Yoga is an applied science, a systematized discipline to bring about a definite end. It takes up the laws of psychology, applicable to the unfolding of the whole consciousness of man on every plane of the world and applies them rationally in a particular case.
What is Yoga?
The Sanskrit word “yoga” is derived from the verbal root “yuj”. Yoga when commonly translated means union. In many oic traditions, this union refers to the union of jeevatma (individual self) with the paramatma (the universal self).
According to Panini, the great Sanskrit grammarian of 6th century BC, the verbal root yuj has three connotations”
1} yujiro yoga (yuj connotes union or yoking)
2} yuja samadhau (yuj connotes concentration)
3}yuja samyamane (yuj connotes control)
In the context of the Yoga Sutras of Maharshi Patanjali, the word Yoga has been used in the sense of concentration in consonance with the connotation yuja samadhau. Vyasa, the authentic commentator of Yoga sutra, considers yoga as Samadhi(concentration)
BRAHMACHARYA- of Brahma
TAPAS- zeal for yoga
ISHVARA PRANIDHANA- surrender
An asana is a body posture, originally and still a general term for a sitting meditation pose, and later extended in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise, to any type of position, adding reclining, standing, inverted, twisting, and balancing poses.
pranayama is an ancient breath technique that originates from yogic practices in India. It involves controlling your breath in different styles and lengths. It has more recently gained popularity in the western world because of the many health benefits that come from a pranayama practice
Pratyahara is the fifth limb of yoga in the Ashtanga yoga system—also called the eight-limbed path—and it serves as a foundation for meditation. The experience of pratyahara is the ability to disengage your mind by controlling your reaction to external disturbances.
Dhāraṇā is translated as "collection or concentration of the mind", or "the act of holding, bearing, wearing, supporting, maintaining, retaining, keeping back, a good memory", or "firmness, steadfastness, certainty". This term is related to the verbal Sanskrit roots dha and ana, to hold, carry, maintain, resolve.
In the oldest texts of Buddhism, dhyāna or jhāna is a component of the training of the mind, commonly translated as meditation, to withdraw the mind from the automatic responses to sense-impressions, "burn up" the defilements, and lead to a "state of perfect equanimity and awareness
samadhi, (Sanskrit: “total self-collectedness”) in Indian philosophy and religion, and particularly in Hinduism and Buddhism, the highest state of mental concentration that people can achieve while still bound to the body and which unites them with the highest reality.
Evolution of yoga in modern times:
2600 - 1700 BCE PRE-VEDIC
Time of the Indus Valley Civilization. Some believe the origins of yoga can be traced back to this time because of archaeological finds of yogic looking figures.
600-200 BCE PRE-CLASSICAL
Time of the sramana movement of wandering ascetics and the rise of dharmic religions with recognizable yogic practices and philosophies such as karma, dharma and atman.
1700-600 BCE VEDIC
Time of The Vedas and the appearance of Sanskrit. Yoga used as a word to mean the joining of horses to a chariot. Fire ritual and the priestly hierarchy very important.
200 BCE-500 CE CLASSICAL
In The Yoga Sutra by Patanjali, coherent yoga system begins to emerge, yet it is characterized by meditation not asana.
500-1800 CE POST-CLASSICAL
Time of the development of Hatha and Tantra Yoga using the body as a vehicle for liberation. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is written detailing asana and pranayama practices.
1800-PRESENT DAY MODERN
Time of the asana. Teachers such as Vivekananda and Yogananda bring yogic ideas to the west. Krishnamacharya develops dynamic yoga asana practice along with yoga therapy. Yoga becomes synonymous with asana.
Aims and objective of Yoga?
Ans. The ultimate goal of Yoga is to set the individual free from the sufferings of life. Yoga by its systematic and conscious process of calming down the mind erases the weaknesses in the mind; each obstacle is conceived as a challenge and this arouses tremendous energy to combat the situation. Bravery becomes a part of the personality. Steadfast to the core, such a person takes up the challenge of life with marvellous temperature and converts them into opportunities for accomplishing a mission.
Yoga performs the following function:-
It slows down the breath and maintains balance at panic level,
It increases creativeness and will powers at mental level;
It sharpens the intellect and calms the mind down at the intellectual level;
It enhances happiness happiness in life and equipoise at the emotional level; and
It manifests the inherent divinity in man in all aspects of his life.
Yoga according to Veda?
THE RIG VEDA
The Book Of Mantra • The oldest texts of the Indo-Aryan
Civilization • Two Sanskrit words Rig and Veda
constituting it translates to 'praise or
shine' and ‘knowledge’ respectively • The principal and oldest of the four Vedas
THE SAMA VEDA
The Book Of Song • The Veda of Melodies and Chants,
is the third in the series of the four
principle scriptures of Hinduism • The hymns used as musical notes,
were almost completely drawn from
the Rig Veda • Its text is a reduced version of
the Rig Veda
THE YAJUR VEDA
The Book Of Mantra • Composed of Yajus and Veda; the two
words translate to ‘prose mantras
dedicated to religious reverence or
veneration’ and knowledge respectively. • A liturgical collection and was
made to meet • the demands of a ceremonial religion.
Similar to ancient Egypt's
“Book of the Dead.”
THE ATHARVA VEDA
The Book Of Spell • The widely used epithet for the
scripture is ‘the Veda of
Magic formulas’ • Consists of spells and charms
prevalent at its time and portrays a
clearer picture of the Vedic society • Collection of 730 hymns with about
6,000 mantras, divided into 20 books
Benefits of Yoga: