Yoga is an historical art that is going manner beyond the exercise of asanas – postures. It is a philosophy that is going lower back to the instances before the religions existed more than 2,000 years in the past. It is a philosophy that talks about union. It talks about union between all humans and additionally approximately union with a more strength that itself connects us all.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient art that has the purpose of bringing the practitioner back to the actual self. The historic scriptures tell us that the real self is the state of bliss. It is a nation of inner happiness. The sage Patanjali who wrote the ‘Yoga Sutra’ – an historic recorded textual content on yoga codifying the system to date – gave the definition of yoga as ‘Yoga chiti vriti nirodha’. This translates from the original Sanskrit into English to that means that yoga is the stopping of the fluctuations of the psyche. Historically there had been two major paths of yoga — raja yoga and hatha yoga – and those each in the end intention for manipulate over the thoughts. Asana practice – the practice of yoga postures – was created that allows you to stabilise us for sitting throughout meditation. Yoga changed into created in the end to deliver us into meditation and for this reason deeper states of consciousness.
Now the following query arises what’s meditation or dhyana in Sanskrit? Meditation is the stilling of the mind by the stilling of the body.
Also pranayama – the respiration strategies of yoga – intention to nevertheless the breath and therefore nonetheless the mind.
Our meditational practices in yoga help us to triumph over the ego. The ego is individuality. But in truth we are all connected and with yoga we recognise this connection. The definition of yoga is union. Through the exercise of yoga one realises the union between the you who you watched you’re, this is your person recognition, and the you who you in reality are – this is you are part of a supreme consciousness. In order to transcend between the man or woman recognition and the splendid focus one needs to conquer the ego. And in order to overcome the ego we need what the Upanishad texts describe as Vivek Chudamani. This is the crown jewel of the strength of discrimination over what is real and what isn’t. Hence we need with a purpose to see that really there is no I but that we’re all connected.
We want to establish what it approach to come again to the true self – or what’s self realisation. Self realisation is in essence identifying yourself as peace and happiness. Once you have got made this actual identification you’ll just radiate peace and happiness.
One way of looking at yoga is in terms of the chakras (power factors inside us). Now yoga ambitions for the final functioning of all the chakras within us. This lifts us from individual recognition to perfect consciousness.
Now the Vedas – the scriptures which talk approximately understanding – say that there are 3 defects in the thoughts. These are mala that’s dust, waste, excessive thoughts and emotions. Then there is vikshep that’s instability and then there may be avaran because of this cowl. The presence of avaran means that it’s miles very difficult for us to look the truth.
The ancient philosophy of India was named Sanathana Dharma which can be translated as meaning the eternal law. It noticed the whole lot inside the universe as being connected, as having a non secular union – that is man, animals, nature, the whole universe. In Vedic times – the times in which the Vedas were written – the sector turned into referred to as Vasudevakudambakam which means one global own family. When we don’t forget the arena as one family, we enjoy genuine spirituality. The international at that point become visible as being beyond the variations delivered approximately via race, united states of america or religion. Spirituality is about seeing the harmony in all things.
The Paths of Yoga
Moving on from this knowledge, it is critical for us to remember that there are several distinctive paths of yoga all of which lead us again to self realisation or inner happiness.
Karma yoga is the yoga of action. It is about removing mala. There are specific sorts of action or karma. Sakam involves seeking out the fruit of one’s actions while nishkam is purer. It includes no longer searching out the fruit’s of one’s movements but performing through a pure heart and natural thoughts without a concept for expectation. Living a lifestyles of nishkam karma results in a happier, greater nicely balanced and non violent life.
Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. There exists conditional devotion, but unconditional devotion is what is wanted to cast off vikshep or instability.
Gyana yoga is the yoga of understanding. It exists on the way to do away with avaran or cover. Gyana yoga talks lots about the character of cognizance. Now the nature of consciousness can be defined as ‘sat chit anand’. ‘Sat’ is existence or fact. We are all immortal in the feel that we’re all souls and the soul itself is immortal. This is our authentic nature. We are all on the lookout for our authentic immortal selves – our souls. This is why we continuously intention to live an extended existence – we try to connect to our genuine selves – our immortal souls. ‘Chit’ is knowledge – consequently we are all searching out knowledge, we’re searching out the know-how that inherently is internal each one folks. ‘Anand’ is bliss. Happiness is that which we’ve got all continually looked for and in the private center of our beings we are all essentially happiness or bliss. On the basis of sat chit anand we are all searching out self realisation or internal happiness via information.
Raja yoga is the kingly route. Just as a king brings regulation and order into his country, the practitioner of raja yoga regulations the dominion within – the dominion of the senses, so as opposed to being ruled with the aid of the senses, the yogi is in a state of peace and has his/her senses under control. The yogi brings regulation and order inside.
After the Vedic duration of Indian philosophy, the Vedantic duration began. Vedanta way the stop of the Vedas – the time in which expertise ceases and self realisation starts.
Within the Vedantic way of life of philosophy, we examine that there are five layers above the cognizance which stop us from identifying with who we’re. We are all actually so stuck up in those five layers that we suppose we are these 5 layers. These layers are recognised in Vedanta as the ‘panch kosha’. The word ‘panch’ method five and the word ‘kosha’ method envelopes or coverings over our cognizance. With the exercise of yoga we circulate toward the innermost layer.
The first layer is known as the meals frame or the bodily body. This is called the annamaya kosha. It is our physical frame composed of the nutritients we’ve got eaten – protein, minerals and so forth. Many times we become aware of ourselves with the physical frame and do no longer appearance past that. Even when we are handiest searching at the bodily body it is important to realize that the food we consume makes up our body and our brain. Therefore through eating healthily and also by exercising we hold a healthful and subsequently glad bodily and mental state.
The 2nd layer is referred to as the pranamaya kosha and this is the energy or etheric frame. Prana may be called breath, oxygen or vital power and relates to the chi of Chinese philosophy. Oxygen is needed for every cell of our frame. Trees and plant life launch oxygen for this reason we experience alive while we are surrounded with the aid of and at one with nature.
The third layer is called the manomaya kosha or the intellectual frame. From this understanding we will respect that the thoughts and the body are connected. This is why we’re bodily extra healthy while we keep a effective outlook. Laughter and happiness always create proper health.
The fourth layer is the gyanamaya kosha or intuitive body. This is wherein we enjoy our 6th feel. The solutions to all of our questions are observed in reality inside the fourth layer.
And to be inside the cognizance of the 5th layer is our final purpose as yogis — this is the bliss frame -or anandmaya kosha. We experience this when we’ve got transcended the ego absolutely and feature end up aware about who we clearly are and our reference to the whole thing. Yoga is a journey that takes us from annamaya kosha to anandmaya kosha. Once we have reached anandmaya kosha we then stay inside the bliss body.
It can be said that meditation is a exercise that permits us to head beyond the mind and senses to the deeper ranges to look who we definitely are.
Within the practices of yoga, asanas work at the food frame, pranayama works at the strength frame and dhyana or meditation works at the mental frame. Hence the 3 practices of yoga push us in addition and similarly toward the deepest kosha.
A ‘turiya’ is a person who has transcended the 5 koshas. The Turiya kingdom is the transcendental self. It isn’t always suffering from some thing – neither likes nor dislikes. It is in a balanced country. When we reach this nation – when we’re within the bliss frame – then we’re beyond each pleasure and pain. We exercise yoga in order to move away from being the frame, the thoughts and the breath and just circulate to being the person at the internal.
The raja yoga of Patanjali talks about controlling the mind and as a result the breath and consequently the frame. It has 8 limbs connected to it – the asthanga. The phrase asht way 8 and the word anga way limbs. The first steps of the asthanga are yama and niyama. Yama are social policies and policies and niyama are private policies and rules. Just these two limbs alone are sufficient to provide one self realisation. The other paths of yoga also take one to self realisation. To discuss those in addition, yama includes ahimsa (non violence), satya (truth and honesty, asteya (non stealing), bramacharya (functioning consistent with the very best consciousness – which results in appearing in balance) and aparigraha (non accumulation or a sense of non possession).
Niyama includes sauch (cleanliness together with intellectual cleanliness), santosh (contentment), tapa (austerity or self area), swadhyaya (self take a look at) and Ishwar parnidhan (notion in the Supreme or seeing the Supreme in everything).
The 8 limbs of yoga, the asthanga, are as follows – yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharna, dhyan and samadhi.
Dharna is one pointedness wherein one is so centered on the object of concentration that each one different thoughts disappear.
Pratyahara is withdrawal from the senses. Continuous practice of asanas and pranayama brings one to pratyahara. All the strategies of meditation are pratyahara.
Samadhi is oneness with the universe. Once one has crossed dhyan and reached Samadhi, the awareness of ‘I’ disappears. There is handiest oneness with the focus of your meditation, and ultimately with the universe. At Samadhi the ego disappears and there may be a realisation that we are all related.
Within Samadhi there’s savikalpa samadhi where a few seeds of ‘I’ are left and there may be nirvikalpa samadhi wherein no seeds are left. In yoga the purpose is to transport toward nirvikalpa samadhi.
According to Patanjali the remaining aim of yoga is closer to kewalya wherein there’s no return from samadhi. This is the nation of oneness with the universe in which there may be no feel of self, no sense of ‘I’, no ego and no consciousness of it to return to. It is just a kingdom wherein we understand how we are all linked and it’s far a country of bliss because it is where we’ve got overcome all of the attachments of the pleasures and pains that attachment to this cloth international brings. It is wherein we connect to the best self and revel in our natural nation of bliss. It is at this factor in which we’ve realised our true self through the exercise of yoga.
Yoga is going beyond the mere practice of asanas, beyond even meditation and pranayama and in reality brings us closer to our unique country of self realisation.
Yoga teaches us to go deeper inside ourselves and in this deeper consciousness there is a superb sense of shanti or peace we can all draw from. Ultimately as accurate yoga college students it is this experience of peace inside which we’re all trying to find.
Namit Kathoria has a Bachelors Degree from King’s College London in Pharmacy and a Masters Degree in Clinical Pharmacy from Queen’s University Belfast. He is also a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and has labored the Pharmacist Advisor to NHS Direct. He therefore has a sizable information of health and vitamins and has studied and practiced nutrients as a part of his work. He has studied yoga the world over such as numerous components of his local India which include Dharamshala, Rishikesh and Mysore. He presently runs yoga retreats in Spain at Yoga Sutra Shala in Sayalonga.