Yoga

Origins of Yoga​

The Sanskrit word Yoga – can translate to mean to unite or harmonize.  Yoga means working towards a level where the activities of the mind and body function together harmoniously.

Yoga is a system that originated in India circa 5000 years ago and is a system of personal enquiry and experience.  Knowledge of nature and the human body and mind were the first discoveries.

The Yogis formulated practices to keep the mind and body healthy and is one of the few systems that encompasses the whole body.  Yoga is made up of regular exercise in the form of physical postures, proper breathing, sufficient rest and relaxation, meditation to cultivate mental focus and well-being, positive thinking and a healthy balanced diet.

The science of yoga is vast and there are many ways to practice Yoga and these include Hatha Yoga, Meditation, Study, Self-Enquiry, Love and Devotion, Self-less Action & Service and Mantra.

What is Yoga

Sanskrit word Yoga has several translations and can be interpreted in many ways. It comes from the root YUJ and originally meant “ To Hipch up” , as in attaching horses  to a vehicle . Another definition was ” To Put To active and purposeful use”. Still other translations are “YOKE, Join , or Concentrate.” Essentially, yoga has come to describe a means of uniting , or a method of discipline. A male who practices this discipline is called A Yogi or a female practitioner a Yogini.

Yoga comes out of an oral tradition i n which the teaching was transmitted directly from teacher to student.The Indian Sage Patanjali has been credited with the collation of this oral tradition into his classical work, the Yoga Sutra, a 2000 – Year – Old treatice on Yogic Philosophy. A collection of 195  statements, Sutra Provides a kind of philosophical guide book for dealing with the challenges of the human.

Giving guidance on how to gain mastering over the mind and emotions and advice on spiritual growth. Yoga Sutra provides the frame work up on which all yoga practiced today is based. Literally meaning “thread”, Sutra has also been translated as “Aphorisi”, which means a tersely phrased statement of truth. Another definition of sutra is “The condensation of the greatest amount of knowledge into the most concise description  possible”. Keeping this meaning in the mind , we might think of the art science of yoga as a kind of magnificent tapestry that is oven together by the threads of universal truth. 

The Different Schools of Yoga

Throughout the ages, yoga masters who wanted to share their blissful way of living have run into many challenges. As humanity has progressed, so have the levels of stress and deviations from our natural way of living. Hence, yoga masters have invented new systems of yoga to attempt to counteract these. As yoga has developed throughout the ages, it has become increasingly diverse. However, it’s important to keep in mind the end goals of each are all the same: a blissful, meditative life.

There are many different Types, Branches, Schools, Paths of Yoga. Each path utilizes a different emphasis to help perfect a different aspect of human personality, in different stages of an aspirant’s development. All these should be seen within the single framework of Raja Yoga, which is the eight limbs yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

Jnana Yoga
(Yoga of Enquiry)

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Mantra Yoga
(Yoga of Recitation)

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Bakthi Yoga
(Yoga of Devotion)

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Kundalini Yoga
(Yoga of Energy)

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Karma Yoga
(Yoga of Action)

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Kriya Yoga
(Yoga of Action)

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Swara Yoga

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Raja Yoga
(Yoga of Meditation)

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Iyengar Yoga

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Relationship Of Yoga With Life

Historically yoga was more than just a method of teaching, it was a way of life.

With yoga, you dedicated yourself to a lifestyle and culture that surpassed meditation techniques and included healthy eating habits, bathing habits, social interaction and work.

Yoga’s philosophy is rooted in a physical culture of health and well-being that is still emphasised today and explains why over 15 million people in the world now practise this ancient tradition.

What Are Yoga Postures?

Every Yoga Asanas / Poses has a different name and includes:

Standing Postures

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Seated Twists

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Back Bends

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Arm Balances

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Inversions and Core holds.

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The downward facing dog for example, is in itself said to calm the brain, energize the body, improve digestion, strengthen arms and legs and be therapeutic for high blood pressure.

The practice of yoga as a whole, provides many more benefits.

Benefits of Yoga​​

Yoga Teaches Breathing Techniques, Exercise and Meditation. It helps to improve health and happiness. There are many benefits for practicing yoga and each person will be able to tell you how yoga has helped them. Regular Yoga Practice.

Yoga is not about tying yourself up in a knot!  There are some challenging yoga postures but these are not suitable for everyone, a suitably qualified Yoga Teacher will design the class with the students’ capabilities in mind offering alternatives as required.  In my experience the ideal postures, stretches, breathing, relaxation and meditation techniques are simple, relaxing and suited to the experience of the ordinary person providing “Yoga Tools” that can be taken away from the class to be practiced in daily life.