Showing posts with label Yoga definition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoga definition. Show all posts

Yoga Demystified

Yoga may seem to be a difficult idea – or, at the very least, a bewildering series of physical manipulations that turn apparently relaxed people into happy-looking human pretzels.

Even more alarming, there is a stereotype that yoga is associated with cult or some sort of archaic mystic belief that compels people to leave their jobs, sell their homes, and move to the middle of nowhere.

Yoga is, in truth, a very simple “thing.” If you've ever visited a country where it's been practiced for centuries – India, Japan, China, and others – you'll notice that it's very, well, "common."

When Swami Vivekananda, one of India's most revered gurus, was accepted at the World Fair in Chicago in 1893, the art of yoga was introduced to the west. He is now credited with igniting yoga's popularity in the West.

Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit term Yug, which literally means "to yoke, tie, connect, or guide one's focus." Yoga may also connote terms like convergence, alliance, and discipline at the same time.

According to experts Georg Feuerstein and Stephan Bodian in their book Living Yoga, the holy scriptures of Hinduism (an ancient Indian belief tradition with a global presence) often describe yoga as "unitive discipline"; the kind of discipline that leads to inner and outer union, peace, and pleasure.

Yoga is most widely understood as mindful life, or tapping into one's inner capacity for pleasure (also known as ananda in Sanskrit).

What Yoga Isn't: 

  • Although widely treated as such, Yoga is clearly not a form of exercise.
  • When grappling with a subject that is easily confused, such as Yoga, it may be useful to understand things by what they aren't.
  • Yoga is not calisthenics (as evidenced by headstands, lotus postures, or pretzel-like poses). While yoga does have several postures, particularly in hatha yoga, these are only meant to help people connect with their inner feelings.
  • Many people are mistaken to think that yoga is a therapy system or a philosophy. Meditation is just a small aspect of the overall method of entering the divine world. 

What really is Yoga's essence?

Almost all yogic science and philosophy claims that a human being is merely a speck in the vastness of the cosmos, and that when this human being learns to "communion" with it, he or she achieves unity with something greater than himself.

As a result of this attachment or tapping into something larger, one will walk the true road of happiness. The entity is able to explore reality by flowing with the force.

And with reality comes realization; moreover, in order to achieve understanding, we must focus our sentences, emotions, and actions on truth. 

People take yoga classes and go to studios to practice new methods, but according to yoga instructor Tim Miller, "true yoga starts when you leave the studio; it's just about being awake and aware of your behavior."