What is Yoga?

During last 5 years yoga became very popular and everyone can tell you what he thinks yoga is. But the answers will be surprisingly different: from “Indian sequences of exercises” to “religious philosophic teaching”. And that’s quite confusing.

Yoga is an ancient teaching and here I would like to introduce you some definition of yoga that we can find in some old sources of yoga. (These is information I’ve recently pick up on the lecture “History of Yoga”, conducted by Ukrainian Federation of Yoga)

According to Hatha Upanishads, Yoga is a steady control of senses, control of mind.

According to Yoga Bhagavadgita, from Mahabharata:

“The serenity is called yoga”;

“Yoga is wisdom that help you to avoid enslavement of karma”;

“Yoga – adeptness in actions”.

According to Patanjali: Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah. That has many different translation, like:

Yoga is retention the matter of thoughts from investment into different imagery. (Vivekananda)

Yoga is ability to guide the mind exceptionally on the object and to hold this direction without distraction. (Krishnamacharya)

Yoga is termination of mind activity that asks “Who am I?”. (Mishra)

Yoga is termination of  consciousness modification. (Dyachenko)

I found it very interesting and inspiring to dig this theme  deeper. Lots to learn!

According to aforecited definitions it is clearly seen that yoga is not sequences of exercises or religious or philosophic teaching.

By Kateryna Lemeshko

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