Learn the Basics of Yoga

By: rajaneesh
Before becoming a regular practitioner of Yoga, before gearing up your soul to receive the multitude of virtues that Yoga is likely to impart, you ought to know its basic lessons. So here comes the question “what is Yoga?"

One has to travel back a giant distance of some 3000 years to trace the origin of Yoga. Yoga had its first cry in the India. ‘Yoga’ owes its origin to the Sanskrit word “yuj" which means to bind, attach, join or yoke. It is also interpreted as “union, to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use and apply". Didn’t get it yet? In the simplest sense, Yoga is all about establishing a bond between your soul and God, by means of constant concentrating procedures. Indian mythologies say that one’s inner self or individual spirit- ‘jivaathma’ is a part and parcel of the eternal supreme universal spirit- “paramaathma" (simply what we call God!). Once born into this world, we are likely to get unplugged from that master spirit. What Yoga does is balancing our mind, soul and emotions and thereby disciplining our ‘selves’ so that we can regain that lost communion. Yoga effectively channelizes the flow of our energy for constructive purposes. An individual who follows the teachings of yoga is known as a “yogi".

Yoga is never synonymous with just the stretchy exercises that we offer our body. Actually, there are countless types of Yoga which differ from each other.The term “yoga" can refer to any of these things:
Karma yoga — focuses on the giving of one’s self without expecting any reward
Jnana yoga — a philosophical approach to unveil the illusions of the world
Bhakti yoga — channelizes emotional energy into one’s spiritual practice
Rhaja yoga — focuses on concentration and mind control
There are many forms of yoga. The interesting thing is this that, a new one might be developing right now, as a teacher puts his or her own stamp on a specific technique.

Current popular yoga styles include:

Gentle Yoga, which is also called in a broader sense as “hatha yoga". The usage of “hatha" has proved a bit controversial. For some folks believe that the term should only be used to refer to the general idea for all physical yogas where as the term has got a colloquial reference to the gentler style. The focus of Gentle yoga is on long stretches and flexibility, accompanied by slow, deep breathing. Yogic breathing is known as “Pranayama". This practice can be a soothing experience for the mind. Most people assume the picture of this placid posture whenever they think of yoga.

Kundalini yoga: kundalini energy is one’s spiritual energy which is dormant. It is visualized as a coiled-up serpent. Human body has eight “charkas". Through the use of “breath of fire" or rapid breathing, one can heat up the body in a bottom-up manner. This is the basis up on which the Kundalini Yoga works. This heating up of the body eventually results in the raising and release of the dormant “kundalini". This release of “Kundalini" helps the yogi to achieve a feeling of high enlightment that which offers liberation from the illusionary spectacles of this unstable universe.

Power yoga: A very active and popular form of Yoga. The Sanskrit term for Power Yoga is “Vinyasa Yoga". Vinyasa is a series of rapid movements which warm up the entire body. Power yoga differs from other Yogas in the sense that, unlike other yogas, here the yogi assumes quick movements or poses called “Asanas". The result is that it guarantees the yogi a pretty good sweating. Power yoga challenges your inactive muscles.

Don’t take Yoga for a gym exercise! It’s not just a way to melt away your excess fat. What yoga demands from you is the dedication of your attitude and spirit entirely into it for your own sake. Yoga is indeed a spiritual affair rather than a physical exercise.

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