Friday, August 7, 2009
Yoga is an ancient science. Nobody know it’s origin. It is true that it began with gods. Lord shiva is described as first great yogi. Truth, non-violence, honesty, self discipline and simplicity are the roots of yoga.
Foremost among those wise men of the old age was the great sage Patanjali. Sage patanjali was the first person to present the ancient tradition of yoga in a systematic way. Thus he is considered as the founder of yoga. Patanjali lived around 200 B. C. Sage patanjali was the authour of 3 brilliant works on literature, ayurveda and health. One was on Sanskrit grammar, second on the Ancient Indian medicine “AYURVEDA”, and the third and the most important was on “YOGA”. It is called the “Yoga sutras of patanjali”.
Patanjali says the word “YOGA” means to join or “unite”. Yoga means nothing but union of our conciousness with “GOD”. Yoga is our way of life and that life is “Yoga”. Patanjali laid down an eight fold path to enable us to cultivate the good habits, and to overcome the hurdles of our life. This unique path is known as the “ASTHANGA YOGA OF PATANJALI”. A person who follows this path is called yogi.
ASTHANGA YOGA;THE EIGHT FOLD PATH.
Asta means eight and “anga” means limbs or parts. The eight limbs of yoga are,
1. ”YAMA” :- Forberance and restraints of passions, feeling-s etc. . and including the best moral rules in all religions.
2. ”NIYAMA” :- It refers to personal discipline.
3. ”ASANAS” :- In yoga it means postures or stances.
4. ”PRANAYAMA” :- Means disciplining of prana, the control of breathe using our own prana as instrument.
5. ”PRATHYAHARA” :- Prathyahara means control of our five senses.
6. ”DHARANA” :- Concentration or steadiness of the mind.
7. ”DHYANA” :- Means meditation or contemplation of mind.
8. ”SAMADHI” :- Samadhi or kaivalya is the goal of life, where in the yogi unites with god. The union of an individual conciousness with god or universal conscio-usness is known as “Samadhi”
What is “YAMA”?
Yama is nothing but purity in thoughts, deed, and action. By following and applying yama in our personal life, one can achieve peace and harmony. Therfore the whole universe can be in peace. So, practicing yama is necessary to keep one’s soul, body, and mind in balance to be always peaceful and happy in our life. Yama is divided into 5 acts or disciplines as;
1. Ahimsa :- non-violence.
2. sathya :- truth or truthfulness.
3. Asteya :- Non-stealing.
4. Brahmacharya :- Self control or self discipline or non desirous.
5. Aparigrah :- Unselfishness, selfless, and non desirous.
What is “NIYAMA”?
The external and internal cleanliness is called niyama. The body as well as mind should be kept clean and pure. A dirty person can never be an “YOGI”Cleanli-ness of mind more important than body, though it’s as equal. ”NIYAMA” is subdivided into 5 acts such as;
1. Soucha :- Cleanliness.
2. Santhosa :- Contentment, Greed is the major obstacle for “contentment”.
3. Tapas :- Great effort called Austerity. The practice of austerity strengthens our body and mind.
4. Swadhyaya :- Self study of Vedas, Upanishads, script-ures and holy books.
5. Ishwara pranidhana :- Faith in god. Without faith in god, we cannot reach our goal.