Yoga Paths

Since human beings began practicing yoga thousands of years ago, the symbol of a tree has often been linked with the discipline – and for good reason! Yoga has a multitude of branches when it comes to how you choose to practice and all of them are based on the same philosophy, or trunk, of spirituality. Hatha yoga is the one most well known to Westerners – the physical act of practicing poses. Here are a few other paths that you may choose to combine with your personal yoga practice. Raja Yoga In raja yoga, the main goal is a calm and spiritual, meditative state. There are eight principles that are followed strictly and in order in raja yoga and, …

Yama And Niyama In Yoga

Yoga defines yama and niyama as the positive and negative aspects of behaviour respectively. Traditional texts mention ten yamas and ten niyamas but Patanjali’s Yogasutra, which is considered the original treatise on yoga, defines five yamas and five niyamas. It has been mentioned that in Manusmirti that it is more important to follow yamas than niyamas. Here we give a brief description on the yamas and niyamas to be followed: • Ahimsa (Non-violence): this is one of foremost yamas. It means the lack of intention to hurt others. This intention need not be just physical but includes mental and emotional cruelty. Here the attitude is more important than the actual act of killing. You should not even have the intention …

Yama And Niyama: The Foundation Stones Of Yoga

Yoga is more popular now than it has ever been. Famous entertainers and other celebrities practice it and thousands or perhaps millions of other people are also doing yoga exercises in one form or another. Yet, despite this widespread popularity, yoga is still misunderstood. Many people think that yoga is primarily a physical activity, something that they can use to get their body in shape. While it is true that yoga has a great role to play in the physical realm, yoga is much more than this. Yoga is, in its deepest sense, the science of human perfection. It is the means by which a person can attain his or her fullest development: physical, mental and spiritual. Human perfection? This …

What Is Yoga?

Yoga can seem like a complicated concept – or, at the least, a dizzying array of physical manipulations that turn seemingly happy-looking human beings into happy looking human pretzels. Even more disconcerting, a stereotype does exist in places where the term yoga is synonymous with cult, or some kind of archaic spiritual belief that compels one to quit their job, sell their house, and go live in the middle of nowhere. In actual fact, Yoga is a very basic “thing”. If you’ve had the opportunity to visit a country where it has been established for generations – India, Japan, China, and others – it’s really rather, well, “ordinary”. The practice of yoga came to the west back in 1893 when …

Six Branches Of Yoga

Hatha Yoga Hatha Yoga is the path of Physical Yoga or Yoga of Postures is the most popular branch of Yoga. Hatha Yoga considered the body as the vehicle for the soul. It uses Physical Poses or Asana, Breathing Techniques or Pranayama, Meditation in order to bring the body in perfect health and for the more subtle spiritual elements of the mind to emerge freely. The practice of Hatha Yoga will result to the union of the body and the soul, it aims to make the body perfect and fill it with life force. Bhakti Yoga Bhakti Yoga is the path of heart and devotion or the Yoga of devotion. Yogis who practice Bhakti Yoga sees the Divine in everyone …

The 5 Divine Sheaths of the subtle human body.

he trend of 5-faced photographs and images of Gayatri is seen, so that those who take recourse to the spiritual practice of this MahaMantra, ask a pertinent question as to what we should do in future? Mantra chanting, meditation, eulogies to God, reading religious texts, sacrificial fire rites etc. are preliminary practices. As a result of this, the preliminary goal of purification of the body and concentration of the mind is achieved. Yet there are more milestones to be reached. For its attainment spiritual seekers should look out for necessary information and then imbibe alertness, steadfastness and capability, to walk on that path. If a spiritual seeker remembers all this always, then know for sure that the aim behind creating …

Tenets Of Yoga Philosophy

In the ancient India, philosophy has been traditionally divided into two main groups. These groups are called as the orthodox group and heretic group. The orthodox group believes in the authority of Vedas in all the philosophical matters. These orthodox systems are six in all. One of the most popular systems of philosophy is yoga. It shares the following common beliefs with the other orthodox systems: • Belief in the permanent soul, which forms the basis of life. • Soul is supposed to discard one body at the time of death and enter a new one at the time of new birth. • A strong belief in the karma, which states that the events happening in a person’s life are …

Tantra Yoga

Overview A kind of primordial religious practice that originated in India which is considered to have esoteric roots, tantra yoga is a group of Asian beliefs based on the principle that this world human beings are living in is a concrete representation of divine powers. This ancient spiritual practice further states that the godhead is the one responsible in maintaining the universe that seeks to distribute the energies within the microcosm of man. Individuals who observe tantra yoga are under the direction of a guru. There are various tools being used in the process of this primordial religious practice. Bodily control is one which is vital in realizing the methods of connecting one’s self with the ethereal. Other elements include …

Namaste Yoga

How It Started History would relay that this system of healing dated back about three thousand years ago, namaste yoga is a kind of Thai massage with roots that can be traced back in India. This primordial religious practice is actually a fusion of Buddhist customs and Ayurvedic medications. With a local name of “nuad boram,” the teachings of this ancient spiritual routine came from the Vedas and Upanishads, original settlers in an Asian country blessed with rich cultures. Folk legend has it that namaste yoga can be well attributed to a physician, Jivaka Kumar Bhaccha. If you can obtain a copy of the holy book of the Buddhists, you will learn that he is mentioned in Pali Canon. His …

The Yoga Philosophy

The practice of yoga, as you may realize, has been around for thousands of years. Several researches have claimed it to be around for more than 5,000 years, actually. It was first developed in India as a philosophical practice that is centered significantly on obtaining union with the mind and body; hence it is named “yoga” from the Sanskrit word “yuj’ meaning “to unite”. Yoga is an interesting practice that maintains an interesting principle. According to its followers, what are taught in yoga are self discipline and the realization that not all things in this changing world can give you satisfaction. The money and relationships you are keeping right now will not produce a sense of purpose and even happiness, …

Yoga for Modern City Life: Yoga is now a Lifestyle

Is it any surprise models are wrapping their wrists in mala beads, fashion designers are heading off to India for yoga retreats and there’s a new line of active wear that takes its name from the Sanskrit mantra om. To the uninitiated, yoga is pretzel-like poses and a dim memory of the Beatles visiting the Maharishi in the 1960s. Gurmukh Kaur, the Center for Living’s white-turbaned founder, travels by limo — in a blaze of camera strobes — with one of her students, singer Courtney Love. What she does is kundalini yoga, Ms. Love told a reporter covering the bash for fashion-bible Women’s Wear Daily. It’s better for me than Prozac — and the clothes are nice, too. Ms. Love …

Yoga – meaning

Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning “to yoke.” yoga is a group of primordial religious practice where its roots can be traced in India. Among the six institutions of philosophy in Hindu, this is most of the time paired with Samkhya which is considered to be the oldest of the theoretical systems in the country. This ancient spiritual custom is also central to Buddhism and Jainism as well as with other established faiths. There are actually four major paths of this primordial religious practice namely Karma (action), Jnana (knowledge), Bhakti (devotion) and Raja (meditation). Karma is founded on the teachings of the holy book of Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita which presents a summary of the process. This classification of yoga …

How To Meditate With A Mantra

These days whenever a politician repeats a promise over and over again commentators say that this promise has become a “mantra” for that politician. For the journalists, the word “mantra” means a meaningless phrase that is repeated endlessly. For yogis however, a mantra is a word or collection of words, which has the power of liberating a human being from all limitations. How can the repetition of a word or a few words have the capacity to bring about such miraculous results? It is all based on a simple psychological principle, “as you think, so you become.” If you someone tells you “You’re stupid,” that’s of course a bad insult and will hurt you. However if you start to think …

Importance Of Controlling Your Mind

Since ancient times, the human philosophers have realized the importance of the mind in governing the human affairs. They knew that a person’s external circumstances were the result of his internal thoughts. They were aware that if the person thinks of riches, he would have riches, while if the thoughts are of poverty, success and failure would produce the corresponding effects in the person’s circumstances. Today, modern science has acknowledged the truth of these findings. Hence, it becomes crucial for a person to control his mind. Yoga has specific techniques which deal with the science of mind control. We will study the nature of the mind as is recognized by yoga in this chapter. Shankaracharya has defined the mind in …

Foundations of Yoga, Part 3: Satya (Truthfulness, Honesty)

Satya: truthfulness, honesty (A continuation of an explanation of the aspects of Patanjali’s Yama and Niyama) “Satya is said to be speech and thought in conformity with what has been seen or inferred or heard on authority. The speech spoken to convey one’s own experience to others should be not deceitful, nor inaccurate, nor uninformative. It is that uttered for helping all beings. But that uttered to the harm of beings, even if it is what is called truth, when the ultimate aim is merely to injure beings, would not be truth [satya]. It would be a wrong.” So says Vyasa. Shankara says that truthfulness means saying what we have truly come to know is the truth-mostly through our own …

Foundations of Yoga, Part 2: Ahimsa (Harmlessness)

Ahimsa: non-violence, non-injury, harmlessness In his commentary on the Yoga Sutras, Vyasa [Vyasa was one of the greatest sages of India, author of the Mahabharata (which includes the Bhagavad Gita), the Brahma Sutras, and the codifier of the Vedas.] begins his exposition of ahimsa: "Ahimsa means in no way and at no time to do injury to any living being." Shankara expands on this, saying that ahimsa is "in no capacity and in no fashion to give injury to any being." This would include injury by word or thought as well as the obvious injury perpetrated by deed, for Shankara further says: "Ahimsa is to be practiced in every capacity-body, speech, and mind." We find this principle being set forth …