- INTRODUCTION: –
Yoga this word is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means ‘to join’, ‘to yoke’, and ‘to unite’. It is the most valuable gift to us from our ancestors. It is a great technique by which one can unite the self with the universal spirit and can harmonize with nature. Therefore, It makes things easy and helps us in almost every field of our life. So in this article, we are going to discuss more and more about it, its meaning, type, history, its benefits, and its modern approach.
What does it mean?
Simply it’s a stretching exercise that involves the controlling of breath and greatly useful in relaxing your mind and body. According to Hindu philosophy, it’s a method to unite the self with the universal spirit. Anyone who practiced yoga is known as a yogi or yogini.
Types of yoga:-
‘Asthana’ a word composed of astha+anga. “Astha” means eight and “anga” means limbs. So it refers to the eight limb path. It is mentioned Patanjali’s yoga sutra.
Eight limbs of Asthana yoga:
1. Yama – It means principles and ethics. So it includes principles of non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, non-possessiveness, and celibacy.
2. Niyama – It means personal discipline. So it includes purity, contentment, endurance, self-exploration, and dedication.
3. Asana – It means right yogic positions and postures which help in attaining mental stability.
4. Pranayama – It’s a breathing exercise, in which we try to control our breathing.
5. Pratyahara – It’s a mental preparation to increase the power of mind.
6. Dharana – In this process we try to concentrate on one object.
7. Dhyan – It means meditating. In this method, we try to focus on one object, thoughts, and activity, In order to achieve mental and emotional stability.
8. Samadhi – This is the final stage and main motive of yoga. It’s a state of joyfulness and calm. In this state, we become free from any desire, anger, and ego.
(ii)HATHA YOGA –
It consists of ‘ha’ means ‘vital force that governing physical body’ and ‘that means ‘metal force’. This yoga simply purifies and harmonies our body, and prepares it for more advanced practices. So it includes Pranayama, yoga positions, physical and mental purification technique, and energy-releasing techniques.
(iii)JANNA YOGA –
It is the process of converting intellectual knowledge into practical wisdom. It also includes self-exploration, self-inquiry, and self-realization.
(iv)MANTRA YOGA –
In it, we chant the mantra to achieve ultimate salvation. It is also mentioned in the Vedas and Tantras. While doing it one should have all his faith in mantras. It is the easiest way to achieve Pratyahara. Chanting mantra has its own effect on our subconscious mind. It removes all types of negative energy and reduces stress and its effects. Usually, the mantra is given by Guru according to his disciple nature. If you don’t have any guru there is no need to worry you can chant the universal mantra “OM”.
There are mainly six chakras in the human body. These chakras are basically different layers of our subconscious mind or psychic powers. Through yoga, we aim to stimulate them. In It, we aim to awaken the higher level of chakras. Therefore activation of chakras is done by deeply focusing on them or meditating on them regularly.
(vi)BHAKTI YOGA –
It is the yoga of complete and doubtless faith in the supreme power of God. So yogi must have a strong bond of faith to follow this path. It helps us to release our suppressed thoughts. At the last stage of this, the yogi lost his own identity and becomes one with the object of faith.
(vii)KARMA YOGA –
Work without any kind of desire is an essential part of this yoga. Usually, we work to get some reward, incentives, appreciation, or anything. At later stages, work becomes worship to the god. Yogi becomes skilled and achieves mental stability. He does not appear to be sad or happy in any situation. Yogi becomes totally devoted to his God and to his work.
(viii)KRIYA YOGA –
The word ‘kriya’ means ‘activity or movement’. The full form of Kriya Yoga consists of over 70 kriyas. It is mentioned in numerous tantric texts (Tantra).
Hindu philosophy :
According to Hindu philosophy, Lord Shiva is the first yogi or Adiyogi. And he is the one who taught it to the legendary saptarishi or “seven sages”. He presented and explained one hundred and twelve ways through which one can unleash his true potential. These seven sages spread it to the world. And that’s how it can into the world.
Evidences: from civilizations and holy scripture
Apart from philosophy, we don’t have any evidence, which can conclude exactly from where and when the yoga practice begins. Until Archeological groups of India found some carved shapes on the stone template, looking like a yogi in an asana used for meditation (Mulabandhasana) on Indus valley civilization site. Other evidence or carved status in yoga mudras were also found in Harappa civilization sites. Some methods, asana, and scriptures were also found in Vedas, Tantra, and Upanishads. The evidence of the existence of yoga was mentioned in the great epics Mahabharata and Ramayana. Yoga and its importance are also motioned in Bhagwat Gita.
Patanjali: The father of modern yoga
The great sage Patanjali wrote the ‘yoga sutra’. He wrote the knowledge of yoga is a very simple possible way. The yoga sutra is one of the most valuable and important scriptures in the field of yoga. The yoga sutra includes four chapters. It also includes the knowledge of Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyan and Samadhi.
YOGIC CULTURE IN INDIA: –
India is known for its tradition, culture, and rituals. And one of these cultures is the yogic culture the most valuable one. It is believed to be originated in India. From overviewing all evidence, it can be concluded that the yogic culture in India is near about five thousand years old. It became more famous when the great sage Patanjali, who is also considered as the father of modern yoga, wrote his book called “yoga sutra”. In which he included all knowledge of yoga.
Unfortunately in India, yogic culture lost its importance in the sand of time in the medieval period. There were only a few who continue their practices i.e., yogis or yogic gurus. It became famous again when Swami Vivekananda highlights this or its importance and benefits. He is himself a living example of what you can become with yoga and meditation.
Initiative to revive yogic culture :
Later on, in 2015, our honorable Prime Minister Modi proposed a proposal of making a yoga day worldwide in the United Nations Organization. So that people can know more about it and get benefited from it. This proposal was supported by almost every country. It has been decided that the longest day of the year, 21 June will be celebrated as yoga day worldwide. Now in India there are numerous yoga centers where you can learn it from trained and professionals yogic gurus. Many training camps are also organized on yearly basis in Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world. Many people from various countries came to India to participate in these camps. So that they can get benefited from these camps. The feedback of the participants of this yogic camp is quite excellent. Yogic culture is growing more and more in India and gaining importance among the people of India.
YOGIC CULTURE IN COUNTRIES OTHER THAN INDIA: –
Swami Vivekananda brought yogic culture to the western country. He spoke about India and Hinduism in the parliament of religion in Chicago in 1894. His book known as “Raja Yoga” influenced a lot the western thinking about yoga and western understanding about what yoga was. Lord Buddha and his follower bring it to other Asian countries. Now a day more than a hundred countries worldwide celebrate yoga day. It becomes a trending topic among modern people. Peoples are showing their interest in it. According to their lifestyle and climatic conditions, there are many variations that can be seen in it in western countries
Benefits of Yoga :-
There are numerous benefits of it. you can do it anywhere anytime. It’s a great healing technique on both physical and mental levels for people irrespective of their ages. Many people shared their experience that they feel really good and relaxed after doing yoga. It improves your immune system, health level, strength, balance and flexibility, and purification of the human body. The yogic practice also acts as a pain killer and also helps you to increase your energy level.
It relaxed your muscles and helps you to reduce and manage stress. On psychological it helps you in self-exploration and self-realization. It helps you in almost every field and aspect of life by stabilizing on both the outer and inner levels. Now a day, it becomes mandatory for students and sportsmen. It has also done many miracles in the field of medical science. Some disease that is incurable according to medical science can be cured by doing it.
Yoga is an ancient culture that originated in India many thousand years ago. It is a great method to unite your body, mind, and soul. So many yogic gurus and practitioners spread the importance of it-like Patanjali, Buddha, Mahavira, Swami Vivekananda, and many more. Meanwhile, there came the great initiative by PM Narendra Modi as a celebration of yoga day. At present, it became famous in almost every country in the world. Therefore people know about it more than before. Peoples according to their lifestyle, tradition, and conditions adding more variation to the yogic form. Remember that, it is beneficial only if you have done it in the right way. So make sure that you are doing it right or not. At last, I would like to say, “Do yoga, stay fit, stay calm and enjoy its benefits”.