For many people Yoga means folding yourself in different postures, on a mat and in a crowded fitness room. But Yoga goes further than that, it is more a lifestyle choice that involve a certain self-discipline involving meditation, diet and physical exercise in order to reach a total well-being with and optimal health and a purpose in our life.
Technically Yoga is the some of the 8 limps that are : Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. If this sound “Chinese” to you, this article if for you.
Yama – Restraints, moral disciplines or moral vows
Discipline in observing ourselves and the world around us and having a positive reflection about it. Having the knowledge that our reflections and actions today have a impact for tomorrow. The action of keeping our body and mind healthy and conscious of wonders and also issues arising helping us to transform the future with serenity.
Niyama – Positive duties or observances
It is the action of keeping ourselves and our environment pure and heathy – this including food, drink, friends, entertainment, home furnishings and transportation. This is for not to bring any impurity into our mind and body. Not craving for what we do not have and not conveying the possessions of others. It is the ability to discover our true divine nature though the contemplation of our life, discovering ourselves.
Asana – Postures
The well-known physical workout that the western people call Yoga is actually call Asana, which means “seat still” at the origin those poses where probably used as medicine as prevention and to help to solve some conditions that people had – and it is still used nowadays.
Pranayama – Breathing techniques
“Prana” refers to “energy’, ‘source of life’ this daily practice of breathing has the purpose to purify our body and mind, balancing our physical, mental and emotional well-being. It helps to bring our mind in the present moment as we have the tendency to keep regretting or glorifying the past and getting anxious about the future.
Pratyahara – Sense withdrawal
Generally, it is the action of being able to focus on an action or meditation without being distracted by our environment, sounds, smell or feelings – as we could switch all our sense off.
Dhahran – Focused concentration
Closely related to ‘Pranayama” and ‘Pratyahara’ as this is merging the breathing and focusing together getting you in a stage of meditation. One of the most common practice is called “Tratak” candle gazing.
Dhyana – Meditative absorption
It is basically the fruit of meditation that lead you forward a self-knowledge.
Samadhi – Bliss or enlightenment
It refers to Sama ‘equal” and Dhi ‘to see” the ability to see equally, ability to see things without any judgment or distortion from our mind as emotions, dislikes, likes, pleasure, desires, habit or pain. A kind of wise state that is not permanent and difficult to maintain.
Practice of Yoga was developed in India around 4000 years BCE, before the rise of religions. Later on it has slowly merged with Hinduism. If Yoga follow a certain philosophy it is not a religion in the first place. It helps people to grow freely, becoming a better person within a certain discipline and moral for the body and mind. It also engages a certain responsibility on the world around us especially on the environment.
by Celine F / March 2018