What is the meaning of yoga?

(July 1, 2010)

Yoga originated in ancient India and this body of knowledge was developed by yogis. Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which literally means to integrate or unite. Yoga is supposed to be the union of the universal consciousness and an individual’s consciousness.

The ancient yogis of India believed that if man had to be at peace with himself as well as with this surroundings, he had to be able to unite the mind, body and the spirit. This can be done through a combination of yoga postures, meditation and pranayama breathing. In yoga, the body give a lot of respect and treated with care. The exercises in yoga are supposed to stimulate the organs of the abdomen, improve circulation and put some pressure on the glandular system – all of which keep a person in good health.

Breathing techniques have their own positive effects too. Breath is a source of life and yoga students need to gain control over their breathing by focusing on their breath work. Pranayama is the name of these breathing techniques and it prepares the body and the mind for the next step, which is meditation.

Branches of yoga: There are six branches of yoga.

Hatha yoga: This type of yoga is known as yoga of postures. It is the most popular form of yoga. Hatha yoga poses are a combination of Asanas, Pranayama or breathing techniques, and meditation. All this together helps to keep a person healthy and attain spirituality. Jiva Mukti, Kripalu, Astanga, and Iyengar are different styles of Hatha yoga.

Bhakti yoga: Also known as yoga of devotion, this is a popular kind of yoga in India. People who practice Bhakti yoga, see Divine power in everyone. This form of yoga teaches people to be devoted to the One, and develop acceptance for everything in life.

Raja yoga: This is also known as the yoga of self-control. Raja means royal and this type of yoga is supposed to be the King of Yoga. This form of yoga bases its teachings on the Eight Limbs of Yoga that can be found in the Yoga sutras. People who follow this path respect themselves and all creation around them.

Jnana yoga: This is known as the yoga of the mind. This kind of yoga is about the mind and its main focus is a person’s intelligence. Intellect and wisdom is very important in this from of yoga.

Karma yoga: Yoga of service is based on the belief that your present situation in life is based on what you’ve done in your past. If you are selfless and generous now, then in future you will be less likely to encounter negativity.

Tantra yoga: This yoga of rituals is about experiencing what is sacred. Sex is part of Tantra yoga, but it is not everything. People who perform Tantra yogs need to have qualities like dedication, devotion, humility, and purity. Truthfulness and cosmic love are some of the other things that are essential in Tantra yoga.

Submitted by A on July 1, 2010 at 05:06

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