What Is This Thing Called Yoga ?
by D Stevens
Yoga is a system of physical and mental practices that originates in India more than 5000 years ago. What is the purpose of yoga? The purpose of yoga is to help yourself and other people to achieve your highest potential and to experience a healthy and happy life. By using the practice of yoga you can extends your healthy and happy life for far beyond the accepted known. And more importantly improve the quality of your life.
There are different kinds yoga. The main focus of yoga is to benefit your physical and mental health. Yoga is a practice that will focus on the harmony between mind and body. Even though the philosophy of yoga comes from India, now it is practiced all the over the world.
The actual word yoga is a Sanskrit word. That means union or merger and the ultimate goal of the practice of yoga is to strike a balance between the mind and body. In order to achieve this balance between the mind and the body the practice of yoga will use movement, breath, posture, relaxation and meditation in order to establish this balance. This in order to live a healthy, lively and balanced life.
There are many types of yoga, one of the most popular forms of yoga is called Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga deals mainly with physical postures and breathing exercises. Another form of yoga is Karma Yoga which emphasizes the spiritual practices to help you unify your body mind and daily life through certain practices. The other form of yoga is called Bhakthi Yoga. Bhakti Yoga is a devotional form of yoga and generally includes chanting, reading scriptures and doing worship.
Most people have heard of the word yoga as yoga is a very popular practice that is practiced all over the world. The ancient yogis had the believe that in order for somebody to be in harmony with themselves and his environment he have to find a balance between the mind that the body and the spirit with in. Yoga was used to find a balance between those three. The yogis formulated the way to achieve this balance. And this is done through breathing techniques and meditation.
Lets look at the 5 different kinds of yoga.
Hatha yoga is a yoga of postures. Probably when you think of yoga you will be thinking of Hatha yoga. Hatha Yoga is the most popular form of yoga in the west. Hatha yoga uses physical postures or Asana and different breathing techniques and meditation. All of this is combined to achieve a better health as well as in understanding of spirituality.
Bhakthi yoga is the yoga of devotion. It is yoga for the heart and devotion of the people. The practice over Bhakthi Yoga teaches a person to have devotion for his spiritual being or God and to develop this love and acceptance for all living things.
Raja Yoga is the yoga of self control. The word Raja actually means Royal. By using the practice of Raja Yoga one sees oneself as central. It means to respect oneself. To achieve this kind of self respect one has to gain control over oneself and the senses.
Jnana Yoga is the yoga of the mind. Jana yoga is a kind of yoga that will deal with the mind. It will focus on the persons wisdom and intellect with the aim to unify these two to surpasses limitations in life.
Karma yoga is the yoga of service. Karma yoga mainly uses the Law of Karma meaning that the present situation is based on your past actions. So by doing selfless service now you are choosing a future that is free from negativity.
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