Yoga promises the permanent solutions of ailments or disorders of body, mind and soul. Yoga is very Scientific, Safe, Easy-to-do, and highly effective techniques discovered by eastern Yogis.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is a Sanskrit word, made of ‘yuj’ dhatu (element), means ‘Union‘.
Sage Patanjali, a pioneer of Yoga Science, defines Yoga as ” Well Establishment in one’s Own Real Self”. Lord Krishna says Yoga is “Equilibrium, Equanimity, and Perfection in Action”. Buddha says, the complete eradication of seed of sufferings, i.e., Avidya (Un-enlightenment), is Yoga or Nirvana. Different masters have defined the Yoga, in different ways, and have introduced different methods to reach the same Single Goal i.e., Yoga, termed by different Yogis by different names such as, Nirvana, Kaivalya, Brahmanhood, Buddhahood, Paramhamsa, etc.
Sage Patanjali, a Scientist of Yoga Science, has introduced a form and methods of Yoga, named Ashtanga (Eight Limbs) Yoga, which are in sequence, as follows:
- Yama (Rules, imperative to observe in all conditions, time, and spaces)
- Ahimsa (Non-Violence)
- Satya (Truthfulness)
- Asteya (Pro-activeness)
- Brahmacharya (Celibacy)
- Aparigraha (Choicelessness)
- Niyama (Regulations)
- Shaucha (Purification)
- Samtosha (Contentment)
- Tapa (Austerity)
- Swadhyaya (Self-study)
- Ishwara Pranidhana (Surrender to the Truth, Existence, The Ultimate Principles of Reality)
- Asana (Postures)
- Pranayama (Extension / Expansion of Prana or Chi Energy)
- Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses)
- Dharana (Concentration)
- Dhyana (Meditation)
- Samadhi (Equanimity)
Lord Buddha has also introduced Ashtanga Path to reach Yoga State, as follows:
- Samyag-dristi, sammā-ditthi (Right Viewpoint) – Realizing the Four Noble Truths
- Samyak-samkalpa, sammā-samkappa (Right Mindedness) – Commitment to mental and ethical growth in moderation
- Samyag-vāc, sammā-vācā (Right Speech) – One speaks in a non hurtful, not exaggerated, truthful way
- Samyak-karmānta, sammā-kammanta (Right Actions) – Wholesome action, avoiding action that would do harm
- Samyag-ājīva, sammā-ājīva (Right Livelihood) – One’s job does not harm in any way oneself or others; directly or indirectly (weapon maker, drug dealer, etc.)
- Samyag-vyāyāma, sammā-vāyāma (Right Efforts) – One makes an effort to improve
- Samyak-smriti, sammā-sati (Right Mindfulness) – Mental ability to see things for what they are with clear consciousness
- Samyak-samādhi, sammā-samādhi (Right Mental State, Equanimity) – The Supreme Mental State where one reaches Final Enlightenment and the ego remains absolutely disappeared.
What Yoga is not?
Yoga is not Asana (posture practices), Pranayama (Breathing exercises), Bandhas (Muscular locks), Mudras (Gestures), Dhyana (Meditations) or any physical or mental exercise, are not Yoga. All these are supportive elements / parts of Yoga; they just prepare one’s body and mind to realize Yoga.