The author and spiritual master Amit Ray says “Yoga means addition, addition of energy, strength and beauty of body, mind and soul.” Let’s see what yoga can do in everyday life.
Yoga is a term for mental, physical and spiritual discipline. It is a 5000 year old teaching of the practice of breathing, meditation, relaxation and spirituality. It originated in the glorious land of India.
The word yoga has been derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuj”, which means “to unite”, Yoga refers aw the union of individual and universal consciousness or spirit.
There is a myth related to yoga that is just a physical exercise where one is involved in stretching, twisting, spinning, and breathing in difficult ways. It is what it seems by its outward appearance, for it is a science that unfolds endless capacities of the human mind and soul as well as increasing flexibility, strength and mastery of postures.
While according to the main religions prevailing in India such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, Yoga means “spiritual discipline”.
It is the most holistic form of the union of all elements for physical, mental and spiritual integrity. One can achieve harmony and restore balance of mind, body and soul with a cycle of easy and effective breathing practice, postures and proper meditation. When the inner part of a person is in harmony with life, he becomes happier, calmer and happier.
The busy schedule and unusual lifestyle has brought great changes in people’s lives these days, resulting in chronic illness, stress and behavioral changes. Yoga brings noticeable changes in the life of an individual who strengthens the body, helps focus, improves the level of tolerance, reduces stress and improves self-confidence.
With the change of time, yoga has also developed to unfold the secret of healthy living and happiness.
The traditional purpose of yoga is to heal people in society, providing inner peace, creating opportunities for healthy and happy living through Pranayama (breathing practices), knowing the philosophy of yoga, meditation, moral principles, Chanting, Karma Yoga (selfless service / charity / volunteer work) and visualization exercises.
In ancient times, yoga was a practice for understanding the world. But, now it has been transformed for self-illumination.
The concept of modern yoga began in 1893 with the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago. It was then that Swami Vivekananda, a famous disciple of Sri RamakrishnaParamhansa, left a persistent impression on the American public by calling them “Brothers and Sisters of America. With these beautiful words that ruled millions of hearts in America and attracted many students to join yoga and Vedanta.
The five basic principles of modern yoga created by SwamiSivananda include
- Proper respiration
- The right exercise
- An adequate diet
- Adequate relaxation
- Positive thinking and meditation
The most used terms in Yoga:
Especially people hesitate to join yoga classes as it seems difficult, but in order to get better results, it is essential to understand and follow the various terms referred to by yoga books and instructors.
Mentioned below are the words commonly used in yoga along with their descriptions. All of them maintain importance in Yoga.
- The asanas or postures
- Dhyana or meditation
- Chakras are energy centers between the base of the spine and the crown/head.
- Padmasana or lotus posture (position)
- Pranayama or breathing exercises
- OM is used as a mantra in Yoga
- Abhinivesha or instincts without letters used for survival
- Prana or soul
- Pingala is a channel to the right of the spinal column through which prana moves.
- Samadhi is the goal of yoga that is carried out of physical awareness
- Tantra or Technique
- Tapas or self-discipline
- Upanishads are scriptures of Hindu philosophy that describe the trajectory of Jnana Yoga.
- Yogi is the person who practices yoga
- Vinyasa means grouping of yoga postures
- Bhakti Yoga emphasizes devotion
- Mantra Yoga includes the chanting of the sounds
- Hatha Yoga (Ha: SunTha: Moon) is a form of yoga to have controlled the physical body to achieve enlightenment.
- Jnana Yoga emphasizes meditation and exploration
- Kriya Yoga emphasizes action and participation in life
- Raja Yoga concentrates for enlightenment through brain management
- Yoga Tantra consists of different rituals
Origin of Yoga:
Yoga is considered to be the art of living, it originated in India some 5000 years ago. It is believed to have originated in the east and its evidence was found in shamanism (religious practice) and Rig-Veda (sacred collection of ancient Sanskrit hymns). Yoga postures were exhibited in the artifacts of 3000 B.C.
It is believed to have originated in India long ago during the ‘Satyuga’ period, which is also known as the Golden Age. The period is known as a period of blessings, eternal peace and truth. It was the extraordinary period of saints, sages and hermits.
The origin of yoga centered on the discovery of the greatest civilization called the Indo-valle civilization. The existence of Yoga became known through excavations during this period.
During this period, soapstones with yogi engravings were found. It is believed that the Aryans migrated from the northwest to discover yoga.