What is Yoga

YOGA
Yoga means union.
Union with the Divine.
Union with our own inner truth.
Being true to our own true nature.
Realizing that our own true nature
is Divine.
Choosing to reflect that Divinity in
our lives
 
Yoga is a group of ancient spiritual practices originating in India .As a general term in
Hinduism it has been defined as referring to "technologies or disciplines of asceticism
and meditation” which are thought to lead to spiritual experience and profound
understanding or insight into the nature of existence

WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” (“yoga”) which means to unite or to join, which is
translated to mean "union". The ancient yogis practised meditation to join their inner spirit with
the spirit of the universe. If they achieved this unity (often after many years of practice) they
became enlightened. All the yoga postures that we now do were originally devised to prepare
the body so that it can sit perfectly still for long periods in meditation.
Even though, people tend to think that yoga is a series of exercises with twisted body poses, it
is not so. Basically, it helps you to connect with your inner spirit, which is essentially divine and
is connected to the universal spirit or God.
Yoga teaches us that our true self is the soul and that our self identity is an illusion to be
overcome

AN INTRODUCTION FOR BEGINNERS
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice dealing with the well being of human mind, body and spirit.
The principles of yoga, called Yoga sutra, were given by Patanjali, a saint philosopher and a
physician, who lived around 3 centuries before Christ. He is known as the founder of yoga
The earliest written accounts of yoga appear in the Rig Veda, which began to be codified
between 1500 and 1200 BC.

LORD SHIVA BUDDA

THE SCIENCE OF YOGA
Yoga is a science of life, developed over thousands of years. It promotes health
and happiness by working on the mind, body and spirit. Yoga originated in
India, and has spread all around the world. It is not a religion. Yoga deals with
universal truths and is therefore compatible with all faiths and none.
Over the years, several distinct paths of yoga emerged, although they all
ultimately lead to the same destination. Hatha yoga is the main form of yoga
practiced in the West. Hatha yoga involves asana's (the yoga postures) and pranayama
(breathing exercises). Most hatha yoga classes also include periods of relaxation and
meditation.
Hatha yoga is very practical. The asana's loosen joints and stretch muscles to improve posture
and maintain strength and flexibility. The exercises improve circulation and have a wide range
of therapeutic benefits. Breathing exercises boost energy, calm the mind and the nervous
system and improve the efficiency of the bodily systems. Relaxation counteracts the effects of
stress and allows the body to recharge. Over time, yoga will make you suppler, stronger and
relaxed, and promote health and well-being
Hatha Yoga simply works because it follows a systematic system designed to develop and unite
all aspects of the individual (mind, body and emotions):
• Attitudes towards others and learning to live in harmony in society (yamas)
• Attitudes towards ourselves and keeping our body, mind and spirit in health and
happiness (niyamas)
• Practising physical postures to release tension of mind and body (asanas)
• Breathing properly in order to balance energy (pranayama)
• Exploring the senses in order to gain mastery over external influences (pratyahara)
• Developing and maintaining proper concentration (dharana)
• Resting in effortless meditation (dhyana)
• Becoming one with the infinite (samadhi)
 

THE BENEFITS OF YOGA
Yoga improves fitness, lowers blood pressure, promotes relaxation and self-confidence, and
reduces stress and anxiety. People who practice yoga tend to have good coordination, posture,
flexibility, range of motion, concentration, sleep habits, and digestion. Yoga is a complementary
therapy that has been used with conventional therapies to help treat a wide range of health
problems, but it is not a cure for any particular disease.
The Headstand - Sirsha-asana