What is Yoga?
Methods of Yoga have its origin in the East, particularly India. India remains the sole power house of Yoga. It’s believed that, the enlightened masters of yester years created yogic techniques with guidance from the Gods themselves. Even though, volumes of books were written on the subject, until now, these techniques were guarded in secrecy and the knowledge was transferred across generation, only through word of mouth. These yogic techniques were so powerful that there was a need for profound secrecy to prevent these techniques from falling into wrong hands, which could be catastrophic.
In the earlier days, a person seeking to learn Yoga had to enroll in an ashram, serve the Guru and the ashram on menial jobs for some time, even years, until his or her behavior instills trust in the Guru. Once the student comes out successful under this deep scrutiny, the student is introduced to the methods of meditation, yoga, and austerity.
However, today, we are lucky, that yogis have changed to be more flexible. Enlightened masters have realized that in the fast world, as it is today, an aspiring student wouldn’t have patience or time to learn yoga in this manner. Imagine, what would happen if Yoga is forgotten for the fact that there is little time. The world sure would loose a great spiritual science that had a positive effect on humankind. Considering the situation and its results, the yogis have developed fast modes of yoga suitable for the current conditions in the world. Are these forms of Yoga effective? Yes they are! We all know, it was carts yesterday, but planes today for travel. Likely, yoga used to be slow yesterday, but scientifically refined to be fast, yet result oriented, today.
Idea is to teach everyone a basic yoga and in case the aspiring student successfully crosses this stage, then reveal the deeper secrets Yoga to him or her. It’s expected that the person reaching the second stage, will by then have his or her life disciplined to that extend that he or she will have a natural instinct to safely guard the secrets of yoga imparted to them in the second stage.
What is Yoga?
Idea is to teach everyone a basic yoga and in case the aspiring student successfully crosses this stage, then reveal the deeper secrets Yoga to him or her. It’s expected that the person reaching the second stage, will by then have his or her life disciplined to that extend that he or she will develop a natural instinct to safely guard the secrets of yoga imparted in the second stage.
Types of Yoga:
There are various types of yoga available from India. The most prevalent ones are:
1. Raja Yoga
This is a form on Yoga practiced and disseminated by Swami Vivekananda. Raja yoga consists of following disciplines. They are,
Yama – self-restraint
Niyama – religious observances – commitments to practice, such as study and devotion
sana – integration of mind and body through physical activity
Pranayama – regulation of breath leading to integration of mind and body
Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses of perception from their objects
Dharana – concentration
Dhyana – meditation
Samadhi – superconscious state
2. Kriya Yoga
This form of yoga involves controlling your breath (pranayama) while holding different postures and circulating your concentration across the body. Kriya yoga, found by 2000 years old living master Babaji and was made famous by Swami Sri Sri Yogananada, a disciple in lineage with Babaji, in his book “Autobiography of an Yogi”. This book is a must read for all those aspiring to meditate.
There is another form of Kriya, Sakthi Chalana Kriya as practiced and taught by Sri Sri Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev. This form of yoga once again, involves pranayama and holding different mudras.
3. Hatha Yoga
Hatha yoga is the preparatory yoga, to strengthen the body for long periods of meditation. Hatha yoga consists of holding various postures while manipulating the breathing. It strengthens the body from within and does lead to calm still mind to a certain extent. Hatha yoga if practiced with any of the above mentioned yoga form is beneficial.