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What is Yoga?

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In this world, there are different variety of people who do not have clear understanding about Yoga. So, they have given their own definitions to Yoga. Some say Yoga is Asanas, some say it is Asanas and Pranayama both, some say it is for physical fitness, many others say it is for both physical and mental fitness. There are many different concepts of Yoga going nowadays, some say Yoga is exercise, some say it is a religion, many say it is a philosophy while some others say it is for mental peace and many others say it is just an idea. Some other people say it is totally a different concept. But what actually Yoga is? Let us see.

Actually, The word Yoga has come from the Sanskrit word many centuries before, “YUJ” which means union. It is something that brings you to reality.

Now, what is the meaning of word, Union?

In Yoga, word Union is used in 3 places: physically(body), mentally(mind) and spiritually(soul).
Yoga has basically two paths: Bhavana Yoga(1. Gyan Yoga, 2. Bhakti Yoga, 3. Karma Yoga) and Prana samya mana Yoga(1. Ashtanga Yoga, 2. Hatha Yoga).  Rest all other types of Yoga that are going nowadays have come from the Ashtanga Yoga and Hatha Yoga like Kundalini Yoga is a part of Hatha Yoga only and Raja Yoga also came from Ashtanga Yoga, etc… The Yoga that are prevailing nowadays like Red Yoga, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, Sun Yoga, Moon Yoga, etc… is not complete Yoga. The people have taken only Asanas from Yoga and have given different variations to that and named different types in that. But these are not complete Yoga. It is only based on Asanas.

Here, our main focus is on Pranasamya mana Yoga. Because Bhavana Yoga tends to be more religious rather than Pranasamyamana Yoga. So, for nowadays, this type of Yoga is more popular because it is not bounded in religions. There is no word like religion mentioned in this type of yoga as in Bhavana Yoga.  

There are 3 types of people in this world: Sattvic, Rajastic and Tamastic. So, Pranasamyamana Yoga is followed by these 3 types of people depending upon what suits their mental level. Those who follow spiritual path are pure sattvic, those who follow mental path, are both sattvic and rajastic mixed, and those who follow the path of physical path are mixed rajastic and tamastic.

There are different definitions of this word:

  1. In Yoga, with the help of Asanas, we connect mind with the body.
  2. With the help of Pranayama, we connect mind and breath.
  3. With the help of meditation, we tend to connect ourselves with soul.
  4. And with deep meditation(Samadhi), we tend to have self-realization. The meaning of word self here is only soul. And meaning of self-realization is to realize, “I am peace, bliss, joy, energy”. Entire universe is one. I am in everyone and everyone is in me.THIS IS UNION.

What are physical benefits of Yoga?

With the help of Asanas, we connect mind with this body. Mind which is so disturbed because of too much stress in modern life that it is not aware is not conscious about this physical body. Because of no relaxation , mind is always wondering outside. So when we do Asanas, we focus our mind on stretches of body, breath and then maintaining the final position of asana for a little longer time, our mind acquires stability. With the help of which, our mind becomes conscious of this physical body which helps in healing the body just merely by concentrating on it. Whatever problems we have in our body, those problems gets healed by developing concentration upon them. So, Asanas help in solving physical ailments, increasing stamina and patience, helps to increase concentration, positivity, stability and flexibility. Makes our skin more brighter by purifying the blood inside. Tones up all the internal organs and muscles of the body.

Mental Benefits of Yoga

Mental benefits are achieved more by Pranayama. With the help of Pranayama, our mind focuses on breath, Mind which has a direct connection with breath. By controlling breath, we control mind and by controlling mind, we control breath.

So, in Pranayama, by doing different breathing exercises, by concentrating on breath in them, we tend to control mind by controlling the breath. And by controlling mind, all activities of life comes under our control, we are no longer slave to this mind. As we want, we can live our life as we have capability to control our feelings, emotions, our thought process. This makes our life more happier and peaceful. With the help of this, person learns “Art of Living” only by merely controlling the mind. This is what each and every person requires in their life.

This is one of the main topic in all our Yoga Courses that we emphasize upon and teach each and every person who comes to study Yoga here to teach them, Art of Living.

Spiritual Benefits of Yoga

There are no words to list spiritual benefits of Yoga. Because it is a state of deep meditation and samadhi, where person becomes silent, as there are no physical and mental activities at that stage. Mental level becomes empty at that stage. So, when yogi reaches this stage, there is no mind at that stage to experience what feelings he has there, yogi there experiences everything in his soul. So, because there is no mind at that stage, one cannot explain that stage. Because for explanation, mind is required, feelings are experienced by mind but this stage mind is empty so one cannot list the experience. That is why spiritual path is a very deep path. One cannot explain that, so we are not listing it in detail here because it only our own experience that we have which can be only transferred through feelings and not through words.

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What is Yoga


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