What is Yoga actually?
Posted on Friday, 13 September 2013 and filed under Genevieve Tan Shu Thung , Highlights , Yoga , . You can follow any responses to this entry through theRSS 2.0 . You can leave a response or trackback to this entry from your site
There are four main pathways of Yoga, namely Karma Yoga (action), Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Jnana Yoga (wisdom) and Dhyana Yoga (meditation). All paths ultimately lead the practitioner to the same destination - the union with the Self. This is only possible when the duality of the mind has been dissolved.
As stated in Patanjali Yoga, Yoga is the complete control of the operation of the mind".
Note: The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are 196 Indian sūtras (aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Yoga.
The practice of Yogasanas is a spiritual and ascetic discipline, which includes breath control, simple meditation and the practice of specific bodily postures that can confer spiritual upliftment, mental relaxation and health benefits. These practices aim to help the practitioner gain better control over his / her mind and body. With proper control of the mind and body, practitioners will experience oneness with the inner Being. The practitioner then experiences the state of bliss.
Apart from the four main pathways of Yoga, Patanjali illustrated eight limbs (or steps) in Yoga practice:
1) Yama: Universal morality
2) Niyama: Personal observances
3) Asanas: Body postures
4) Pranayama: Breathing exercises, and control of prana
5) Pratyahara: Control of the senses
6) Dharana: Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
7) Dhyana: Devotion, meditation on the Divine
8) Samadhi: Union with the Divine
When one practices Yogasanas (yoga postures), one is taught to breathe correct to allow the correct flow of oxygen (or subtle energy) to flow through the body. One is also encouraged to watch one's conduct to oneself and others, diet, lifestyle and senses. A Yogi is one who has a well-developed Dharana (concentration) and who is able to meditate on the breath, which will eventually brings him/her to experience the state of Samadhi (Oneness).
Yoga is therefore not only confined to physical and mental strength building exercises through various postures, but an inner transformation of one's self whether it is through Yogasana practices, meditation, character transformation, sense control, serving humanity etc.
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