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About Yoga


1) Yoga: Meaning & definition.

2) Yoga: It’s Origin & development.

Yoga: In Pre-Vedic Period.

Yoga: In Early Vedic Period.

Yoga: In Veda.

Yoga: In Ayurveda.

Yoga: In Medieval Period.

Yoga: In Modern Time.

Yoga: For Health & Fitness Management.

Yoga: Yoga Therapy.

Yoga: In Present Education Set-up.

Yoga: As Profession.

Yoga: Meaning & definition:

YOGA is the science of life. It dose not belong to the East or West. It is not even a prerogative of the human being. It is the great process through which all creation has to pass, right from the lowest electron till solar system and the whole astronomical universe. The evolution of the cosmos is the greatest YOGA, and our participation in it, consciously, is properly called YOGA.

YOGA is the science of right living and as such, is intended to be incorporated in daily life. It works on all aspects of the person: the physical, vital, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual.

The meaning of the word YOGA, as prevalent in common, is ‘total’, ‘to add’, to unite, ’unity’, or ‘oneness’. But when we look for the root meaning of this word in Sanskrit root dictionary (Dhatu patha), we find that this word YOGA, from the Sanskrit word YUJ, which means ‘to join’.

;qt lek/kkS yuj samadhao (1202) ;qt la;e yuj samyama (1830) ;qftj ;ksx s yujir yoge (1469) Sanskrit root dictionary: (Dhatu Patha)

This unity or joining is described in spiritual terms as the union of the individual consciousness with the universal super consciousness. On amore practical level, YOGA is a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotions. This is done through the practice of ASANA, PRANAYAMA, MUDRA, BANDHA, SHATKARMA, and MEDITATION, and must be achieved before union can take place with the higher reality.

The science of yoga begins to work on the outermost aspect of the personality, the physical body, which for most people is a practical and familiar starting point. When imbalance is experienced at this level, the organs, muscles and nerves no longer function in harmony; rather they act in opposition to each other. For instance, the endocrine system might become irregular and the efficiency of the nervous system decrease to such an extent that a disease will manifest. YOGA aims at bringing the different bodily functions into perfect co-ordination so that they work for the good of the whole body.

From the physical body, yoga moves on to the mental and levels. Many people suffer from phobias and neuroses as a result of stresses and interactions of everyday living. Yoga cannot provide a cure for life, but it dose present a proven method for coping with it.

YOGA: ITS ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT

YOGA:-IN PRE-VEDIC PERIOD: - From the excavations of the Indus valley we find that yoga in some from was practiced during the period. The idol of mother goddess and the figure seated in the yogic postures suggest the antiquity of yoga. Some believe that yoga owes much pre-Aryan heritage. In ancient time yoga was found in the TANTRAS and VEDAS. The verses of YOGAs were heard by RISHIS seera in the state of deep yogic MEDITATION or SAMADHI and are regarded as revealed scriptures. In uprishadas. Yoga took a definable shape. These scriptures collectively form VEDANTA, the alimination of VEDAS and are said to contain the essence of VEDAS.

YOGA: - IN EARLY VEDIC PERIOD: -Although scholars differ in their opinion about the connection of Indus valley civilization with Vedic civilization, the source of yoga is undoubtedly found in the Vedic literature. In Vedas we find the description of mystic experiences. The very earliest indication through not a proof of the existence of yoga rather some form of it comes from the pre-Vedic Harappa culture which can be dated as far back as 2700BC. A number of excavated seals show pictures of a figure seated in a yogic position that has been used by the Indian Yogis for meditation till the present day. One of the depicted figures bear signs of divinity (which reappear in later centuries on picture of the hind god shiva himself worshiped as the lord of yoga yogi raj by some sectarian yogis), others are without them, being apparently human, many seals found in the Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa bear scenes from religious life and mythological events, which obviously were of great significance to people of the time. The seated deity and other figures, undoubtedly absorbed in meditation indicated the mental yoga exercises were known and played a substantial part in the religious or even philosophical out of the epoch.In the Vedas, the word yoga has occurred frequently in various forms. It is quite true that in that period, the vacid seers the must have experienced in the highest state of yoga, otherwise it is not easy to understand how such beautiful hymns could have been composed in the absence of its practical experiment.

YOGA: - IN RIG-VED:- Yoga as used in rig-ved has been derived from the root yujir yoga with the suffix ghan meaning kartr, the subject or karana the instrument. The terms used in rig-Veda meaning yoking and connection are yunajmi, yuje, yunjate, ayukta, ayogi, etc. the Vedic seers declare at several places that they make gods yoke their horses to their chariots for coming to sacrifices by means of a prayer.

“YONSIM TE BRHAMNA KESHINA HARI”           RV.I.82.6

Also the virtues as described in yamas and niyamas of PATANJALI’S Ashtanga yoga have deen found in RIG-VEDA. Ahimsa or non-violence has been mentioned as a virtue of god mitra (friend). The word satya occurs in both the senses as a noun and as an adjective of the niyaman ‘soucha’ meaning cleanliness ‘Tap’ meaning self torture, by which the Rishis have been ever conquered the heaven,’svad hyay’ meaning self study of mantras and lastly ‘Ishvar Pranidhana’ meaning meditation of God has been the act of the rishis, who by prayer or tapa, surrendered themselves completely to the almighty power.

YOGA: - IN AYURVEDA:-YOGA is well described in ayurveda. The description is correct elaborate and thought provoking. Original founder of yoga is MAHARISHI PATANJALI whose description of yoga is accepted as standard throughout the world. The two systems of yoga are partly similar and partly different. Here it is intended to describe yoga as it is described in ayurveda. The aims of yoga are described in Charak samhita in the following verse: “All pain (miseries) is relieved by yoga and moksh (i.e. salvation from rebirth); of these two, relief obtained by moksha is completing (i.e. eternal) and is the instrument for attaining moksh.” Thus the purpose of yoga is twofold- 1. To relief pain; 2. To accomplish moksha. Ayurveda has been influenced by yoga and Ayurveda has heavily influenced yoga, in turn. Maharishi CHARAK’S deep penetrating analysis of yoga and a related topic proves the yogic influence on Ayurveda. Ayurveda is so called because it helps in achieving longevity. That is the reason why Ayurveda regards maintenance of health as the primary issue for its analysis. No doubt ayurveda deals with removal of disease and also prescribes numerous Ausadhis (herdal medicine), but inspiteof all these, it seems proper to hold that the maintenance of health is the primary aim of ayurveda. All these characteristics and functions of ayurveda. Indicated that it is not only the therapeutic scientific practices but it helps in long run too. Ayurveda is also a part of yogic science. Ayurveda is the healing branch of yogic sciences. It is the therapeutic branch of yoga. The spiritual aspect of ayurveda is yoga through yogic exercise one aims at the spiritual development which lead to self-realization and discovery of our true nature. For achieving this, one’s mind and body needs to be force from disease. This can be attained through ayurveda. Ayurveda deals with the treatment of both physical and mental diseases. For treating the mental disorders yogic practices like meditation are included in the ayurvedic view of the mind seems to have derived from yoga physiophy and its understanding at different levels of consciousness. So, we can say that yoga was a part of ayurvedic treatment, which has now been separated into two different approaches can be useful but they work better when combined with ayurveda, which is the original yogic healing approach and provides the proper medical language for using yoga fully as healing science.

YOGA: -IN MEDIEVAL PERIOD: - There is a vast literature on trantras published and un-published. There are Hindu tantras and Jain tantras. Tantras are commonly associated by shakti-worship (power worship) with mudras, mantras, mandalas, five margas (way of practice), duk shina marga, vam-margaand magic practice for acquiring supernatural powers. It is difficult to say that which of these tantras the earliest ones are. There are a very large number of subject included in the tantra. The tantrikas substituted yoga of enjoyment for the yoga. The yoga of abstinence and asceticism. Tantrism developed into raja yoga and sahajayana of buddist raja yoga is very much confused with patanjali’s yoga. As an aid of raja yoga, Hathayogi was evolved and become very popular through the nath culture many of the hathayogic practices seem to have their origin in tantrism. Hathayogi laid a great emphasis on preparing the body as a vehicle for attaining the higher spiritual experiences. It is the yoga which has become so popular throughout the world. Some of traditional and important text may be mentioned as siddha siddhanta, paddhati, gorakha shataka, hatha pradeepika gherand samhita, shiva samhita, hatha-ratnavali, yoga-ghintamani etc.

YOGA: - IN MODERN TIMES: - Unless we refer the development of yoga times the survey of historical development of yoga would not be complete. The tradition of yoga continues even today without break. In modern times swami Vivekananda made yoga popular. Swami Ramtirth and Paramhansa yogananda continued their work to speard the knowledge of yoga out of India. Raman maharishi, shri Aurobindo and swami shivananda of Rishikesh are some other names of modern exponents. Swami Kewalyanand made the scientific aspect of yoga popular, he pointed out on the basis of scientific evidence, and how yoga could be useful in our day-to-day life. Bhagwan Rajneesh and Maharishi Mahesh yogi made yoga popular in the west in their own ways. Researches by scientists are still going on to show the effects of yoga on human being.

YOGA: -FOR HEALTH AND FITNESS MANAGEMENT: - Promotive aspect deals with maintenance of the health and fitness. The quotations like “Naya matma balanhinea labhyah”, “Sariramadhyam khalu dharma sadhanam “ from the classical or yogic literature indicate that health was considered as a pre-requisite for the spiritual pursuit. Yoga looks upon man as a whole consisting of body, mind and spirit. Yoga accepts body mind relationships. More weight age is given to the spiritual aspect. Yogic concept of health is not merely physically oriented but rather more mentally and spiritually oriented but rather more Mentally and spiritually oriented. Arogya, a synonym for health has been defined as ‘an absence of distractions or pull on the mind.’ Health may be considered in its promotive aspect, curative aspect and pre-ventive aspect; it would be interesting to note the contribution of yoga in developing these aspects of health and fitness on the basis of scientific observations, although limited research has been done in the area of promotion of factor of physical fitness and emotional stability through yoga. Yogic practices have been found best to contribute flexibility according to devries (1967), Smithels and Camerson (1962), Dhanraj (1974), and Gharote(1973). Other factors of physical fitness have equally and favorably influenced health as seem from the studies of Gharote (1973, 1976). Minimum fitness as judged by Kraus weder test on the school children was found improved by yogic training according to the studies of Gharote(1976) , and Moorthy (1982). Cardiovascular efficiency has been found to improve as a result of short term and long term yogic training program among the physically conditioned and unconditioned males (Gharote and Ganguly-1979). Residual and delayed effect on the improvement of physical fitness was observed by Gharote (1976). Emotional stability, which governs mental health, is an important aspect of personality. Various studies reported by Kocher and pratap(1971 and 1972), kochar (1972), Palsane and kochar (1973), showed favorable results of short term yogic training on mental health through the influence of automatic nervous system and endocrine system. The study of Gharote (1971) on school children evaluating the psycho-physiological effects of short term yogic training on the working of autonomic balance, brought evidence about the utility of yogic practices towards improved emotional stability. Recent experiences of introducing yogic practices in management programs shows that it may serve as a good relief in reducing organizational stress and in promoting a congenial work climate. The practice of yog-nidra, certain selected asanas, pranayamas and meditations are useful to relax quiten the mind (Bhole, 1981; Datey, 1978; Singh etal, 1978). They can be conveniently introduced in an organizational set up to promote alertness, congenial feeling, and job satisfaction and work proficiency. On the basis of some of the scientific investigations with yogic training program mentioned above , it would be clear that yogic practices can play an important role in promoting health and fitness. On the other hand health and fitness are very much essential as a promotive approach of yoga.

YOGA THERAPY: - Therapy is not the field of yoga. However Patanjali mentions, Vyadhi meaning disease, which he consider as a hindrance to personality integration. But he never refers to the treatment of diseases simply because of his approach is holistic rather than analytical that is he prefers to integrate rather than occupy himself with the symptoms of disintegration. The modern trend towards systematic yoga therapy really began in 1920. Early scientific investigations were made by SWAMI KUVALYANANDA, the founder of the kaivaladhan yoga institute throughout the many years of research into yoga therapy at kaivalyadham, many discoveries were made about the therapeutic effects on certain ailments later, attempts were made by many organizations and individuals, both in India and aboard. “Yoga Therapy; Its basic principles and methods by swami Kulvalyananda and S.L. Vinekar was published by the Govt. of Indian 1961.

YOGA PSYCHOTHERAPY: -In recent years swami Rama a spiritual leader of distinction had inspired some of his psychologist disciples at the Himalayan International Institute of yoga science and philosophy in USA, to formulate and practice a system of psychotherapy based on the classical Indian thought. Yoga and psychotherapy, the evolution of consciousness of swami Rama, Ballantine and swami Ajay (1984), prescribed a fully fledged system of yoga psychotherapy based on samkhya-yoga, hatha-yoga, advait Vedanta and tantra. Yoga has always remained a growing displine and has adjusted to the need of the day. It never prescribed the same approach to everyone. This special feature of yoga will also govern the trend of future development of yoga.

YOGA: FOR PRESENT EDUCATION SET-UP:-Yoga as swami Vivekananda has said, “may be regarded as a means of compressing one’s evolution into a single life or a few months or even a few hours of bodily existence and education too, when rightly understood, would mean a rapid psychological process towards perfection.” Education is a search of knowledge, and it is a search for values. It is also an uncovering of the layers of faculties, cultivation of them and perfection of them. It is a process of the discovery of self and it aims at a true self-knowledge, which gives libration from ego and imperfection.

“SA VIDHYA YA VIMUKTAYE”Education is a search for that knowledge which would fulfill oneself individually and make him as a harmonious member of the universe. But is this all, the meaning of yoga. By yoga, says Shri ARUOBINDO, “ we mean…..a methodized effort towards self perfection by the expression of the Potentialities latent in the being and a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent existence we see partially expressed in man and in the cosmos.” YOGIC research affirms that there are a principles and means by which these can be achieved, a greater perfection of the body, life and mind that can ordinarily be convinced of imagined. It is also affirmed that these are great hidden faculties and power which can be awakened by a methodized effort. Finally there is a supreme affirmation that there are great psychological super conscious states that power, which are central to the creative and integral perfection of personality. Yoga is essentially a creative process of flowering of personality, and yogic research gives us the secret of the perfection and integration of the personality. In recent times, stress is being laid on education for an all round development of the personality. As mentioned above, yoga is itself in a process of self education of an individual consciousness and proper spiritual growth; however it can be of enormous help in the present set up of education for its utilitarian nature.

Today a child needs:Good memory, Quick recollection, Sharp intellectual, Quick decision, Clear perception, Keen observation, and high capacity to absorb and assimilate the heavy package of information and knowledge under the pressure and stress all around a graded set of yogic practices can be of immense help in under taken as a daily routine along with adoption of yogic pattern of behavior with due emphasis or moral values and outlook towards all living beings. Faith in almightily, reciting universal prayers attending devotional meeting will provide an additional dose of peace of mind. It would be worthwhile to maintain a few scientific studies that have shown favorable result in alleviating anxiety, hostility, neuroticism (pratap 1968; kochar, 1972; 76,Wallace 1970; green and green 1971, 1973) and in improving the emotional stability, steadiness, immediate memory and recovery from fatigue (Malletal,1977; kocher and pratap 1968,72). Relaxation through yogic practice have been found to be facilitating in learning of the skills in painting, music, dance, writing, swimming, etc (coville, 1979). It has been pointed out that this entire domain of the secrets of the growth of the personality has remained ignored, and the consequence are that most of us possess smothered personalities, and most often we are engaged in the work that has no correspondence with our real genius, with our inner delight of existence. Most of us live in deep suffering, alienated from ourselves. It is the inner suffering that causing aging and even in our youth we feel so often worn out. These are indeed excellent ideas they will have a valuable place in a education.

YOGA: AS A PROFESSION: -It is a sad fact that expert in the yoga practices who can give the right kind of advice are actually very rare. Most of the persons who take to yoga as a profession do not usually have a scientific attitude, and thus what they seem to propagate is their personal likes and dislikes and idiosyncrasies. An element of mystery is found to be Rampant in their activities and sincere, honest people are often cheated and deceived by the so-called masters in yoga. It is a happy sign, however that some intelligent and good natured people are also now getting attracted towards the art and science of yoga. Today, govt, semi-govt, private recognized institutions and universities in India and abroad run a number of teachers training courses. After passing out, many of them take up yoga as a profession of teaching at the school, college and universities level. Some yoga teachers are running their own centers for the treatment of psychosomatic disorders through yoga.
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