What is Yoga?

By Eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, yoga ashram, yoga school in rishikesh, Yoga Teacher Training

Yoga is actually one of the six classical systems of the ancient Indian philosophies with the others being Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Sankhya, Mimamsa, and Vedanta.

As a discipline, Yoga focuses on bringing harmony between body and mind, eventually leading to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal one. The ultimate aim of Yoga is self-realization and attaining a state of liberation. The great Sage Maharshi Patanjali laid down the eight-fold path, also called eight limbs of Yoga, for self-discovery and attaining the state of liberation by overcoming all kinds of sufferings of life.

The simplest definition of yoga is the union of mind, body, and soul. When the mind and body are purified, the seeker is ready for the journey to moksha.

Yoga has been in existence for over 5,000 years and is now the hottest wellness trend at any point of the year across the world but its true spirit has to be understood in order to learn and adapt it in your life effectively.

When we think of Yoga, we mostly think of a person sitting comfortably in sukhasana away from the worries of life or visualize people trying out various postures as a form of physical exercise. However, without following the proper steps, asanas alone would not bring the benefits. For the uninitiated, Yoga is not just about practicing asanas, pranayamas, or meditation.

 

 

We cannot understand the contents of a book by reading it from the middle. Similarly, one cannot call himself/herself a yogi by just mastering the postures but not understanding the science behind them. Yoga is not just exercise or one-time relaxation drill, it is a lifelong commitment, a way of life that you choose for a happy, healthy, and contented journey.

Before embarking on this powerful journey one needs to understand that one step leads to the other and only when we are comfortable with the first step can we proceed further.

 

Maharshi Patanjali’s eight limbs of Yoga are

  • Yama (abstinences)
  • Niyama (observances),
  • Asana (postures),
  • Pranayama (breath control)
  • Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses)
  • Dharana (concentration)
  • Dhyana (meditation)
  • Samadhi (absorption)

Learn Complete Details about –  8 Limbs of Yoga

 

 

The journey may look tough in the beginning, but with the right guidance or the right direction, one can successfully make yoga a part of his/her life and transform it unbelievably with its many benefits. As the body grows stronger with asanas toxins and stress are released, and the mind becomes powerful with daily practice of meditation, the world may seem like a magical place full of unlimited joy.

Himalayan Yoga Association (HYA) has been at the forefront of spreading Yoga far and wide. Having its principal center in the sacred town of Rishikesh, the HYA has established centers in various parts of the world. It now runs Yoga Teacher Training centers and Retreats in Bali, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Germany. Under the guidance of experienced teachers, thousands of learners have benefitted from various courses over the years.

 

 

The various Yoga forms – Hatha, Ashtanga, and Multi-style Vinyasa are taught in the most authentic way at these centers.

Learn More – Yoga Objectives and Benefits