WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is a complete system of spiritual development. Like Ayurveda, it intertwines body, mind and spirit.
Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning to ‘yoke or harness together’. What is yoked together Through yoga the body, mind and spirit are seamlessly yoked together and become one with the universe.
Living a Yogic Life is a 2 step endeavor:
Step 1: To balance body ,mind and spirit into perfect health . This uses breathing exercises, asanas, meditation, visualization techniques, ethical imperatives and a gentle discipline in matters of diet and sleep
Step 2: In this state of perfect health to realize and live the 4 great Yogic truths.
WHAT ARE THE 4 GREAT YOGIC TRUTHS ?
1. Live in the Now:
Let go the past.It is a baggage of memories and fears which will weaken and cause pain.
Do not live in the future.It creates expectations/apprehensions not reality.
If expectations are not fulfilled you experience pain and disappointment .
Apprehensions weaken. They take away the ability to live happily in the present.
2. Let Life Flow because this too shall pass.
The Yogi knows every Now will pass and he cannot control the Future. Thus he enjoys happy moments in the Now without egoism. When something bad happens he endures, striving to do his best. Bad or Good, everything is transient.
3. Fully engaged with the world: stay detached
Worrying about the future is useless . You have no control over it. Worry takes away your ability to deal with the present. Thus to do your best for your loved ones, have a sense of detachment.
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4. Have compassion for all: never turn your head and walk away
To the best of your ability hurt no one nor allow hurt to happen.
Hurting others is actually hurting yourself because we are all part of the same Energy Pulse which binds every one of us together.
YOGA: A SISTER SCIENCE
The History of Yoga
From 3000 BC when stone seals of yoga postures surface, Yoga has been seen as a Path to Enlightenment. It has always been twinned with Ayurveda.
The Buddha believed wholly in the power of asanas, mudras, meditation and pranayama .
Members of the Jain faith too have literature on Yoga.
The Bhagavad Gita showed 3 ways to attain the Ultimate Goal:
– Bhakti Yoga: The Path through faith, love and devotion
– Jnana Yoga: the Path of the rationalist through Knowledge
– Karma Yoga- the Path of dutiful action without seeking personal gain
Patanjali was the first to codify Yogic teaching into the Ashtanga Yoga or eight-fold path around 400 CE.
From India, Yoga traveled West in the early 19th century as a philosophy. However in the 1930’s vegetarianism and Yoga became a way to keep fit and healthy. Asanas became synonymous in the West with Yoga.
Yogasana is mainly practiced for weight loss and curing many diseases including back pain, diabetes, thyroid and piles. Today however, more and more people come to India to understand Yoga beyond asanas: to absorb the philosophy and adopt the Yogic way of Life .
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