Overview of Yoga
Every human being, young and old alike, longs for a healthy living and longevity as a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. The physical body perishes within a short period, whereas the mind and intellect is not so easily perishable though it may degenerate in its functioning when the physical body, through which it expresses and functions, is affected by lack of exercise, nourishment or old age. It is therefore necessary to keep up and maintain a healthy body to allow the other faculties to function properly.
Yoga is an ideal choice to attain this goal, as it is time-tested and universally accepted. Regular practice of yogasanas and pranayama will lead to physical revitalization, relaxation and mental calmness.Regular practice of yogasanas and pranayama will do physical revitalization, relaxation and mental calmness.
Apart from playing a vital role of physical wellbeing and calm and sound mind, yoga plays a crucial role in revitalizing our society. Although the word ’Yoga’ is multidimensional in structure, the usage has wider ramification; suffice it to say that it stands for fusion. The word ‘yoga’ is generally understood by the common man as a means to unite with God or achieve Godliness. ‘Yoga’ basically means ‘union’, a method by which an individual may become united with the Godhead.1
The term ‘yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning to join. ‘Yujyathe Anena iti Yogaha’. Hence, yoga is a leading passage to union with God.
Our sages of yore performed penance to arrest the wandering mind and focus it on the unknown Tat’ and ‘Sat’, and this is nothing but yoga. Patanjali Maharshi’s yoga sutras like ‘Yogaha Citta Vritti Nirodhaha’ and ‘Yogaha Karmasu Kausalam’ point to this indisputable enunciation. Yogic exercises based on the principles of Maharshi Patanjali enable the practitioner to blend body and mind into a perfect disciplined unit. It transcends the barrier of age, sex, caste and religion.
Yoga is one of the systems of philosophy established in India thousands of years ago and was systematized by Patanjali Maharshi, the father of yoga, in his classical work ‘Yoga Sutras’ consisting of 186 aphorisms.2 Spiritual harmony of the human being can be developed through the control of mind and body.
Next page: Yoga history and evalution
Date last updated: March 26, 2012