Yoga is an ancient art that goes way past the exercise of asanas – postures. It is a philosophy that goes back again to the occasions right before the religions existed more than 2,000 many years in the past. It is a philosophy that talks about union. It talks about union concerning all human beings and also about union with a larger electrical power that alone connects us all.

What is Yoga?

Yoga is an historical art that has the purpose of bringing the practitioner again to the legitimate self. The ancient scriptures explain to us that the accurate self is the condition of bliss. It is a condition of internal contentment. The sage Patanjali who wrote the ‘Yoga Sutra’ – an historic recorded textual content on yoga codifying the program to date – gave the definition of yoga as ‘Yoga chiti vriti nirodha’. This interprets from the unique Sanskrit into English to meaning that yoga is the stopping of the fluctuations of the psyche. Historically there have been two most important paths of yoga — raja yoga and hatha yoga – and these both of those in the long run purpose for control about the intellect. Asana apply – the practice of yoga postures – was created in purchase to stabilise us for sitting through meditation. Yoga was created eventually to bring us into meditation and that’s why deeper states of consciousness.


Now the next query arises what is meditation or dhyana in Sanskrit? Meditation is the stilling of the head by the stilling of the human body.

Also pranayama – the breathing strategies of yoga – aim to even now the breath and as a result still the thoughts.

Our meditational methods in yoga enable us to overcome the ego. The moi is individuality. But in truth we are all related and with yoga we realise this link. The definition of yoga is union. Via the practice of yoga just one realises the union among the you who you think you are, that is your personal consciousness, and the you who you really are – that is you are a section of a supreme consciousness. In get to transcend between the person consciousness and the supreme consciousness just one requires to overcome the ego. And in get to overcome the ego we have to have what the Upanishad texts explain as Vivek Chudamani. This is the crown jewel of the electric power of discrimination around what is serious and what is not. Consequently we require to be able to see that definitely there is no I but that we are all linked.

We need to have to build what it indicates to occur back again to the legitimate self – or what is self realisation. Self realisation is in essence determining oneself as peace and contentment. At the time you have manufactured this real identification you will just radiate peace and joy.

The Chakras

One particular way of searching at yoga is in phrases of the chakras (electrical power factors inside us). Now yoga aims for the greatest operating of all the chakras within just us. This lifts us from individual consciousness to supreme consciousness.

The Vedas

Now the Vedas – the scriptures which discuss about awareness – say that there are a few problems in the head. These are mala which is grime, waste, excessive views and emotions. Then there is vikshep which is instability and then there is avaran which means include. The presence of avaran means that it is incredibly difficult for us to see the truth of the matter.

The ancient philosophy of India was named Sanathana Dharma which can be translated as indicating the eternal legislation. It observed almost everything in the universe as getting connected, as having a spiritual union – that is person, animals, mother nature, the entire universe. In Vedic periods – the moments in which the Vedas ended up published – the entire world was termed Vasudevakudambakam which implies just one earth family. When we contemplate the planet as one particular loved ones, we expertise real spirituality. The planet at that time was viewed as staying outside of the distinctions introduced about by race, region or religion. Spirituality is about seeing the unity in all things.

The Paths of Yoga

Transferring on from this information, it is vital for us to understand that there are many distinct paths of yoga all of which guide us back again to self realisation or internal happiness.

Karma yoga is the yoga of action. It is about getting rid of mala. There are two diverse styles of action or karma. Sakam will involve hunting for the fruit of one’s actions whereas nishkam is purer. It consists of not on the lookout for the fruit’s of one’s actions but performing by a pure heart and pure brain with no thought for expectation. Dwelling a everyday living of nishkam karma qualified prospects to a happier, far more properly well balanced and tranquil lifetime.

Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. There exists conditional devotion, having said that unconditional devotion is what is necessary to clear away vikshep or instability.

Gyana yoga is the yoga of information. It exists in order to get rid of avaran or address. Gyana yoga talks a large amount about the nature of consciousness. Now the nature of consciousness can be described as ‘sat chit anand’. ‘Sat’ is existence or truth of the matter. We are all immortal in the perception that we are all souls and the soul itself is immortal. This is our legitimate mother nature. We are all in lookup of our accurate immortal selves – our souls. This is why we consistently goal to stay a longer lifestyle – we are hoping to connect with our true selves – our immortal souls. ‘Chit’ is wisdom – as a result we are all on the lookout for wisdom, we are looking for the wisdom that inherently is within every single a person of us. ‘Anand’ is bliss. Happiness is that which we have all constantly appeared for and in the deepest main of our beings we are all essentially happiness or bliss. On the foundation of sat chit anand we are all seeking for self realisation or internal contentment by means of expertise.

Raja yoga is the kingly path. Just as a king delivers regulation and get into his kingdom, the practitioner of raja yoga rules the kingdom within just – the kingdom of the senses, so rather than remaining ruled by the senses, the yogi is in a condition of peace and has his/her senses underneath regulate. The yogi provides legislation and order within just.


Just after the Vedic time period of Indian philosophy, the Vedantic time period commenced. Vedanta implies the end of the Vedas – the time in which expertise ceases and self realisation starts.

In the Vedantic tradition of philosophy, we read that there are five levels higher than the consciousness which halt us from figuring out with who we are. We are all actually so caught up in these 5 layers that we assume we are these 5 layers. These levels are identified in Vedanta as the ‘panch kosha’. The phrase ‘panch’ suggests 5 and the phrase ‘kosha’ means envelopes or coverings around our consciousness. With the practice of yoga we move toward the innermost layer.

The 1st layer is identified as the food physique or the physical body. This is recognised as the annamaya kosha. It is our physical physique composed of the nutritients we have eaten – protein, minerals and so forth. Quite a few situations we detect ourselves with the actual physical body and do not seem further than that. Even when we are only seeking at the physical body it is vital to realise that the food we try to eat will make up our human body and our mind. Hence by consuming healthily and also by doing exercises we manage a nutritious and for this reason delighted actual physical and psychological point out.

The 2nd layer is acknowledged as the pranamaya kosha and this is the strength or etheric overall body. Prana can be known as breath, oxygen or essential power and relates to the chi of Chinese philosophy. Oxygen is desired for each and every mobile of our physique. Trees and vegetation release oxygen as a result we truly feel alive when we are surrounded by and at a single with nature.

The third layer is identified as the manomaya kosha or the psychological physique. From this comprehending we can value that the thoughts and the human body are related. This is why we are bodily extra wholesome when we continue to keep a beneficial outlook. Laughter and joy always generate good wellbeing.

The fourth layer is the gyanamaya kosha or intuitive overall body. This is exactly where we knowledge our sixth perception. The answers to all of our inquiries are discovered in actuality in the fourth layer.

And to be in the recognition of the fifth layer is our ultimate purpose as yogis — this is the bliss overall body -or anandmaya kosha. We expertise this when we have transcended the ego wholly and have turn into conscious of who we truly are and our relationship with anything. Yoga is a journey that normally takes us from annamaya kosha to anandmaya kosha. When we have achieved anandmaya kosha we then live in the bliss physique.

It can be explained that meditation is a observe that lets us to go further than the mind and senses to the further degrees to see who we truly are.

In just the procedures of yoga, asanas perform on the meals system, pranayama is effective on the power entire body and dhyana or meditation is effective on the psychological human body. For this reason the a few procedures of yoga drive us additional and additional to the deepest kosha.


A ‘turiya’ is a man or woman who has transcended the five koshas. The Turiya state is the transcendental self. It is not afflicted by just about anything – neither likes nor dislikes. It is in a well balanced point out. When we get to this state – when we are in the bliss overall body – then we are past the two enjoyment and pain. We observe yoga in purchase to transfer absent from currently being the system, the brain and the breath and just transfer to becoming the particular person on the within.

The Ashtanga

The raja yoga of Patanjali talks about managing the brain and for this reason the breath and therefore the human body. It has eight limbs connected to it – the asthanga. The term asht means eight and the word anga implies limbs. The initial methods of the asthanga are yama and niyama. Yama are social procedures and regulations and niyama are personalized rules and laws. Just these two limbs by yourself are adequate to give a person self realisation. The other paths of yoga also get one particular to self realisation. To examine these even more, yama incorporates ahimsa (non violence), satya (real truth and honesty, asteya (non stealing), bramacharya (operating in accordance to the supreme consciousness – which prospects to performing in stability) and aparigraha (non accumulation or a sense of non possession).

Niyama features sauch (cleanliness together with psychological cleanliness), santosh (contentment), tapa (austerity or self self-discipline), swadhyaya (self research) and Ishwar parnidhan (belief in the Supreme or viewing the Supreme in every little thing).

The 8 limbs of yoga, the asthanga, are as follows – yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharna, dhyan and samadhi.

Dharna is a single pointedness where by a single is so centered on the object of concentration that all other thoughts disappear.

Pratyahara is withdrawal from the senses. Steady practice of asanas and pranayama brings a single to pratyahara. All the techniques of meditation are pratyahara.

Samadhi is oneness with the universe. Once a single has crossed dhyan and reached Samadhi, the awareness of ‘I’ disappears. There is only oneness with the target of your meditation, and in the long run with the universe. At Samadhi the moi disappears and there is a realisation that we are all related.

Inside of Samadhi there is savikalpa samadhi where by some seeds of ‘I’ are remaining and there is nirvikalpa samadhi where no seeds are remaining. In yoga the aim is to go towards nirvikalpa samadhi.


According to Patanjali the greatest goal of yoga is to kewalya where there is no return from samadhi. This is the condition of oneness with the universe in which there is no feeling of self, no sense of ‘I’, no moi and no awareness of it to return to. It is just a point out where by we realise how we are all linked and it is a condition of bliss mainly because it is in which we have prevail over all the attachments of the pleasures and pains that attachment to this content world brings. It is exactly where we connect with the supreme self and working experience our normal state of bliss. It is at this point in which we have realised our real self via the practice of yoga.

Yoga goes past the mere follow of asanas, over and above even meditation and pranayama and in point delivers us closer to our authentic state of self realisation.


Yoga teaches us to go deeper within ourselves and in this deeper recognition there is a fantastic perception of shanti or peace we can all draw from. Eventually as fantastic yoga college students it is this sense of peace inside of which we are all searching for.

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