What is Yoga ?

 What is Yoga ?

The Sanskrit metal derives from 'yuj', which means personal consciousness or soul's union with universal consciousness or spirit. Yoga is a five thousand year old style of Indian knowledge. However, many people consider yoga only as a physical exercise, where people move, twitch, pull and adopt complex ways of breathing. These are really only the most superficial aspects of this profound science revealing the infinite potential of the mind and soul of man, the meaning of yoga is far greater than all this. The complete essence of lifestyle has been imbibed in yoga science.
Yoga has gradually emerged as a concept and along with Bhagavad-gītā, a detailed mention of yoga is found in the Shantiparva of the Mahabharata.
What is Yoga ?

Yoga has been in circulation for more than ten thousand years. The earliest mention of contemplative tradition is found in the Nasadiya Sukta, the oldest living literature in the Rigveda. This again brings us to the Indus-Saraswati civilization. Exactly from the same civilization, the Pashupati seal (coin) on which is a figure enshrined in yoga posture, which reflects the prevalence of yoga in that ancient period. However, in the oldest Upanishads, Brihadaranyaka, various physical exercises are mentioned, having become part of yoga. In the Chandogya Upanishad, Pratyahara is mentioned in a sthava (Veda mantra) of Brihadaranyaka, the practice of pranayama. As for the present form of "yoga", as mentioned, the first mention probably comes in the Kathopanishad, it is the first time in the last eight sections of Yajurveda's Katha Shakha which is a main and important Upanishad. Yoga is seen here as a process of traveling within (inner) or developing consciousness.

The famous dialogue, "Yoga Yajnavalkya", which (described in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad), mentions a number of breathing exercises, postures and meditation for cleansing the body between Baba Yajnavalkya and the disciple Brahmavadi Gargi. Gargi also talks about yogasana in the Chandogya Upanishad. Tweet: In the famous dialogue, "Yoga Yajnavalkya", which includes several breathing exercises between Baba Yajnavalkya and the disciple Brahmanical Gargi, to cleanse the body.

A group of ascetics mentioned in the Atharvaveda, by dialogue (sabha), emphasizes the physical posture that can develop as yogasana. It is also mentioned in the Samhita that in the ancient times rigorous physical conduct, meditation and penance were practiced by sages, mahatmas, various sages and saints.

More than twenty Upanishads and Yoga Vashishtas are available, including the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad-Gita, which have already been said to be about the Yoga, the union of the mind with the Supreme Consciousness.
To know what yoga is, we have to go to its core. The word yoga originates from the Sanskrit word 'yuj', which means to connect. There are basically two meanings of yoga, first- joining and second- samadhi. Until we can connect with ourselves, it is difficult to attain the level of samadhi. It is not just an exercise, but a science based physical activity. In this, the brain, body and soul meet each other. At the same time there is a harmony between human and nature. It is a way to live life properly. Sri Krishna has also said in the Gita that Yoga: Karmasu Kaushalam means that yoga brings skill in actions.

To understand this, we have to know the statements of eminent philosophers, knowledgeers and yogis. Who have defined yoga according to their respective ways.

Swami Shivdayal Singh Ji Says
What is Yoga ?

"Yoga is the way of connection of soul to God"

Osho Says-
What is Yoga ?

"It is wrong to tie yoga in the realm of religion, faith and superstition. Yoga is science, which is the art of living life. Also it is a complete medical system. Where religion binds us with pegs, yoga is the path to freedom from all kinds of shackles."

Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev Says-
What is Yoga ?

When you learn to hold the entire body properly, you can feel the energy of the entire universe inside you. This is the sum. 

Maharshi Patanjali Says-
What is Yoga ?

"Chittavruthirodhodha: That is to stop the mental instincts from becoming fickle. In easy language, yoga is not to let the mind wander and keep one place stable."

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says, 
What is Yoga ?

"Yoga is not just exercise and posture. It is a spiritual height with emotional integration and a touch of mystic element, which gives you a glimpse of something beyond all imagination."


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