Yoga – Yoga Information- Yoga Techniques – Yoga’s Types
Yoga Sanskrit: योग; pronunciation) is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy.There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.
The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; it is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India’s ascetic and śramaṇa movements. The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.
Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the West, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise; it has a meditative and spiritual core. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.
Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease. The results of these studies have been mixed and inconclusive. On December 1, 2016, yoga was listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.
The spiritual sense of the word yoga first arises in Epic Sanskrit, in the second half of the 1st millennium BCE, and is associated with the philosophical system presented in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, with the chief aim of “uniting” the human spirit with the Divine. The termkriyāyoga has a grammatical sense, meaning “connection with a verb”. But the same compound is also given a technical meaning in theYoga Sutras , designating the “practical” aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the “union with the supreme” due to performance of duties in everyday life
According to Pāṇini, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga (to yoke) or yuj samādhau (“to concentrate”). In the context of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the root yuj samādhau (to concentrate) is considered by traditional commentators as the correct etymology. In accordance with Pāṇini, Vyasa who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras, states that yoga meanssamādhi (concentration).
According to Dasgupta, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga (“to yoke”) or yuj samādhau (“to concentrate”).[Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi (may be applied to a man or a woman) or yogini (traditionally denoting a woman).
Definition in classic Indian texts
The term yoga has been defined in various ways in the many different Indian philosophical and religious traditions.
|Source Text||Definition of Yoga|
|Katha Upanishad||“When the five senses, along with the mind, remain still and the intellect is not active, that is known as the highest state. They consider yoga to be firm restraint of the senses. Then one becomes un-distracted for yoga is the arising and the passing away”|
|Bhagavad Gita||“Yoga is said to be equanimity”; “Yoga is skill in action” ; “Know that which is called yoga to be separation from contact with suffering”.|
|Yogacarabhumi – Sravakabhumi||“Yoga is fourfold: faith, aspiration, perseverance and means” .|
|Yoga Sutras of Patanjali||“Yoga is the suppression of the activities of the mind”|
|Vaisesika sutra||“Pleasure and suffering arise as a result of the drawing together of the sense organs, the mind and objects. When that does not happen because the mind is in the self, there is no pleasure or suffering for one who is embodied. That is yoga”|
|Kaundinya’sPancarthabhasya on thePasupatasutra||“In this system, yoga is the union of the self and the Lord”|
|Linga Purana||“By the word ‘yoga’ is meant nirvana, the condition of Siva.”|
|Brahmasutra-bhasya of Adi Shankara||“It is said in the treatises on yoga: ‘Yoga is the means of perceiving reality.”|
|Yogabija||“The union of apana and prana, one’s own rajas and semen, the sun and moon, the individual soul and the supreme soul, and in the same way the union of all dualities, is called yoga. “|
The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha (liberation), although the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated.
According to Jacobsen, “Yoga has five principal meanings:
- Yoga, as a disciplined method for attaining a goal;
- Yoga, as techniques of controlling the body and the mind;
- Yoga, as a name of one of the schools or systems of philosophy (darśana);
- Yoga, in connection with other words, such as “hatha-, mantra-, and laya-,” referring to traditions specialising in particular techniques of yoga;
- Yoga, as the goal of Yoga practice.”
According to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the core principles of “yoga” were more or less in place, and variations of these principles developed in various forms over time:
- Yoga, is a meditative means of discovering dysfunctional perception and cognition, as well as overcoming it for release from suffering, inner peace and salvation; illustration of this principle is found in Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gitaand Yogasutras, in a number of Buddhist Mahāyāna works, as well as Jain texts;
- Yoga, as the raising and expansion of consciousness from oneself to being coextensive with everyone and everything; these are discussed in sources such as in Hinduism Vedic literature and its Epic Mahābhārata, Jainism Praśamaratiprakarana, and Buddhist Nikaya texts;
- Yoga, as a path to omniscience and enlightened consciousness enabling one to comprehend the impermanent (illusive, delusive) and permanent (true, transcendent) reality; examples are found in Hinduism Nyayaand Vaisesika school texts as well as Buddhism Mādhyamaka texts, but in different ways;
- Yoga, as a technique for entering into other bodies, generating multiple bodies, and the attainment of other supernatural accomplishments; these are, states White, described in Tantricliterature of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the Buddhist Sāmaññaphalasutta; James Mallinson, however, disagrees and suggests that such fringe practices are far removed from the mainstream Yoga’s goal as meditation-driven means to liberation in Indian religions.
White clarifies that the last principle relates to legendary goals of “yogi practice”, different from practical goals of “yoga practice,” as they are viewed in South Asian thought and practice since the beginning of the Common Era, in the various Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophical schools.