What is the meaning of Yoga ?

The word 'Yoga' reminds many people of a person wearing saffron clothes and doing 'dhyana' at some secluded place. But we claim that this belief is in actuality an erroneous one, and that Yoga has relevance even to a modern-day working man. Yoga is very important for each and every person, from a child to an aged one. Yoga not only keeps one fit but also cures many diseases.

YogasanaYoga entered the West mainly through the missionary work of Swami Vivekananda, who spoke at the Parliament of Religions in 1893. Since then Yoga has undergone a unique metamorphosis. Unfortunately, yoga in the west has come to mean "hatha" yoga which is mainly physical exercise and postures (asanas). In fact,asanas is only one step in the eight step path (Ashtanga yoga of Patanjali).
Yoga has been tailored to suit the specific needs of their countrymen and -women. Thus, by and large, Yoga has been secularized and turned from a rigorous spiritual discipline into an "instant" fitness system.

What is the real goal of Yoga ?

Yoga's highest purpose is to help it's practitioner in realizing true happiness, freedom, or enlightenment.

However, Yoga has a number of secondary goals, such as physical health, mental harmony,and emotional balance. In its most integrated form, Yoga seeks to unlock our full human potential.

Benefits of practicing yoga:

1] Physical fitness : People view Yoga only as a curing therapy, but in reality involvement in Yoga will ward off any disease and keep oneself fighting fit.
2] Personality Development : by performing Yoga one can attain peace of mind, boost self-confidence, and gain more energy for work.
3] Freedom from Habits : Many people want to give up habits like smoking, drinking etc. but they are unable to do so. Practising Yoga helps to get rid of all these habits.
4] Stress relief : Today you can hear words like Stress, Tension from everybody, from youth to an aged person. Everybody has his own tensions of work. We advice to go for Yoga and get relief from stress.
5] Competition : There is a lot of competition in the education life of every student now a day. Yoga works there too. After performing even some basics of Yoga like 'Omkara',any student can feel the improvement in his concentration as well as in his inherent ability to memorize. Thus Yoga helps them a lot.

Definition Of Yoga

Yoga is from the Sanskrit word 'Yug' meaning union {with the Divine}.

Different types of yoga

There are various types of yoga. Before we examine the differences,we should Remember that all of them lead to the same goal, unification with the Divine.

The yoga paths can be broadly classified into
Bhakti yoga : Path of Devotion
Karma yoga : Path of Selfless Action
Dnyana yoga : Path of Transcendental Knowledge
Ashtanga yoga: Path of Patanjali(eight step path)

Unfortunately,yoga in the west has come to mean "hatha" yoga which is mainly physical exercise and postures (asanas). In fact, asanas is only a single step in the eight step path (Ashtanga yoga of Patanjali). Ashtanga yoga is sometimes referred to as Raja yoga . However, Ashtanga yoga is more of a philosophy like basic research while 'Raja yoga' usually refers to specific techniques which are based on not only Ashtanga yoga but also on various [minor] upanishadas.

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