What is Yoga
Anything that allows us to be more aware of ourselves is a form of yoga. It is the path which integrates the body, senses, mind and the intelligence with the self. The chief aim of yoga is realization of supreme soul.
The term yoga is derived from Sanskrit word ‘Yuj” means to yoke or join. It signifies any form of connection. It is a 5000-year old Indian philosophy practiced by sadhus, seers and sages to experience the spiritual ecstasy.
As per Bhagavad Gita, “Skill in action with moderation is Yoga”. Patanjali says, “Yoga is the restraint of the agitation of thoughts (Yogis Citta Vrtti Nirodhah).” Yoga is one expression of one of the infinite power of super consciousness soul which dwells in the innermost heart of every human-being.
Distinctive features of Yoga
- Aim for perfection in life.
- Realization of ultimate truth.
- Mind becomes purer and subtle.
- Merge with Divine Spirit.
- No agitation in thought-waves.
In the highest state of yoga, the supreme consciousness and individual consciousness becomes one. In a nutshell, yoga means to ‘combine’ or ‘integrate’ by controlling of thought-waves and meditating on pure consciousness.
Connecting to Universe through Yoga
The vast universe is a wheel says the Upanishad. The Supreme Soul is the infinite soul that dwells in all creatures of this universe. We are connected spiritually, but illusion separates us and divides for bolstering false ego.
Yoga is the best path which works according to principles of harmony and unification. Yoga is infinite. As the individual consciousness moves closer to the real self, he/she feels more connected to this universe, and realize the transcendence of the barriers of time and space.
A true yogi sees all objects in the truth of its own nature, absolutely free from the distortions of our imagination. The innermost essence binds all existence into a spiritual oneness in which all differences are transcended and dissolved.
The student of yoga used to learn in a typical surroundings with full of spiritual vibrations under experienced yoga guru. Devotion, single-mindedness and simple living are the hallmarks of traditional yoga.
In past, yoga was considered as a complete system, of which postures was considered as a small part. According to the ancient sages, the entire motive behind yoga was spiritual nature and not to practice Asanas. Success in yoga was calculated by the degree of self realization and eternal peace one felt after practicing, which is way beyond the physical body. In traditional yoga, we believe:
- Works on guru-shishya parampara (guru-student tradition).
- Focuses on spiritualism and internal purity.
- Deep understanding of yoga philosophy.
- Eternal peace is main motive.
- Plug-up all holes which distract the mind.
There are various types of yoga as:
- Bhakti yoga means devotion
- Karma yoga denotes action
- Jnana yoga is centre of knowledge
- Hatha Yoga signify union of upward & downward force
- Kundalini Yoga works on awakening of kundalini
- Raja yoga signify royal yoga
Even the modern medical science has acknowledged the power of yoga. It has promoted the popularity of yoga in every nook and corner of the world.
The practitioners of modern yoga has wrong notion that partaking of Himalayan herbs purchased from shops, practicing some asnas by watching video or reading book and chanting few mantras will elevate them to the level of enlightenment yogi. This has diverted them from the real path of yoga.
Similarly, in the management of stress disorders, modern yoga has gained its acceptance worldwide. To attain disease-free body and to bring some positive changes in the behavioural pattern, the western countries have coined new term ‘yoga lifestyle’. They firmly believe that yoga is panacea to serious diseases of modern lifestyle like heart problems, diabetes, asthma and hypertension.
This has lead to a big confusion among the people regarding the true goal of yoga. In modern yoga, we believe yoga:
- It is stress-buster exercise
- It can be learn anywhere/anytime
- Faster the healing process
- Ensures slim figure
- Books and video are sufficient for yoga’s knowledge