Stuck in between meeting our daily nutritional requirements and maintaining some sort of healthy homeostasis so one can avoid doctors and pharmaceutical drugs, our lives are so consumed by this fast paced, over burdening lifestyle that we have little or no time to dwell deeply on finding our true purpose of being here.
Yoga is more than doing Asanas for physical strength and flexibility. It is the opening of a deep inner dialogue between the self and universal consciousness ... a re-connection with the source of all as some might say.
"The traditional purpose of Yoga, however, has always been to bring about a profound transformation in the person through the transcendence of the ego."
As per the Yoga Sutras, the purpose of Yoga is to gain control over one's own mind or consciousness. In other words, it helps us break free from repetitive patterns of the Ego which keep our true self (the Atman or the Soul) from emerging !
"Yogaschitta vritti nirodhah" [ Yoga Sutras 1.2 ]
Yoga means "Union" and its purpose is to integrate all aspects of consciousness ... the body, mind and soul. There are many different forms of Yoga practices such as Raja Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Asthanga Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga ... The following documentary film called "Enlighten Up" takes us on a journey to understand Yoga and its spiritual interjections from a skeptic's view point, deeply rooted in the modern, scientific, evidence based paradigm.
Featuring: B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Norman Allen, Sharon Gannon, David Life, Gurmukh, Dharma Mitra, Cyndi Lee, Alan Finger, Rodney Yee, Beryl Bender Birch, Shyamdas, Diamond Dallas Page and many more!
The central character from the film, Nick Rosen says he remained unchanged as a person in spite of his rigorous Yoga regime and experiences meeting other yoga masters and practitioners. He adds on saying that his experience is in no way a true reflection of what Yoga stands for. Quite rightly said, an accelerated course in understanding the self in context to the Yogic tradition is always going to be a challenge especially when one approaches it from a skeptical perspective trying to figure it all out in short span of time.
The 4 different paths of Yoga
1. Karma Yoga - the path of selfless service.
" Thy right is to work only, but never with its fruits; let the fruits of action be not thy motive, nor let thy attachment be to inaction." [Bhagavad Gita 2.47]
2. Bhakti Yoga - the path of devotion.
"Whoever offers me with devotion - a leaf, a flower, a fruit or a little water - that, so offered devotedly by the pure-minded, I accept." [Bhagavad Gita 9.26]
3. Jnana Yoga - the path of knowledge.
"But he who knows the Truth, O mighty armed (Arjuna) about the division of the qualities and (their) functions, knowing that the Gunas as senses move amidst the Gunas as the sense-objects is not attached." [ Bhagavad Gita 3.28 ]
4. Raja Yoga - the path of controlling the mind.
"Little by little let him attain to quietude by the intellect held firmly; having made the mind establish itself in the Self let him not think of anything." [Bhagavad Gita 6.25]
Who can do Yoga?
Yuva vrddho'tivrddho va vyadhito durbalo'pi va
abhyasat siddhim apnoti sarvayogesvatandritah
Whether young, old or too old, sick or lean - one who discards laziness, succeeds if he practices yoga. [1.66 Hata yogapradipika]
Yoga may be practiced by everyone regardless of age, sex or physical abilities.
“Although yoga has its origins in ancient India, its methods and purposes are universal, relying not on cultural background, faith or deity, but simply on the individual. Yoga has become important in the lives of many contemporary Westerners, sometimes as a way of improving health and fitness of the body, but also as a means of personal and spiritual development.”
― Tara Fraser, Yoga For You
Modern yoga is based on five basic principles that were created by Swami Sivananda.
Positive thinking and meditation
Some other terms related to Yoga :
Abhinivesha: survival instinct
Bhakti Yoga: it emphasizes the devotion to the divine
Chakras: centers of energy located between the base of your spinal column and the crown or your head
Hatha Yoga, Ha: Sun Tha: Moon a type of yoga primarily concerned with mastering control over the physical body as a path to enlightenment
Jnana Yoga: it emphasizes questioning and meditation
Kriya Yoga: focuses on action and participation in life
Mantra Yoga: involves chanting of sounds
Om: a syllable that is used as a mantra (Primordial Sound of Creation)
Padmasana: lotus pose
Pingala: a channel on the right side of the spine through which prana moves
Prana: soul of the universe
Pranayama: breathing exercises
Raja Yoga: it focuses on the control of the intellect in order to obtain enlightenment
Samadhi: goal of yoga, becoming aware of nothing
Tantra Yoga: made up of different rituals
Upanishads: ancient scriptures of Hindu philosophy that describe the path of Jnana Yoga
Yoga: to yoke or join together
Yogi: one who practices yoga
Vinyasa: grouping of yoga postures that flow together
“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.”
― Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
In these times Yoga helps us find the required balance and harmony we need to stay and act from a place of infinite love and joy ... connected with natural frequencies of the Earth and the Cosmos ... together we trans-mutate the old and embrace the new ~
This video may seem unrelated to Yoga ... sharing it anyway :)
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