Yoga is the Sanskrit word for union.
Patanjali was a pioneer of classical yoga. He defined yoga as "the cessation of the modification of the mind". (stopping changing the mind).
A person doing yoga will move from one posture (called asana) to another. For example, the "sun-salutation" contains 12 poses of asanas, one after the other, and is said to help balance body and soul. The "sun-salutation" is popularly known as "Suryanamaskar".
The Vedic Samhitas contain references to ascetics. Ascetics are people who avoid pleasure. Ascetic practices (tapas) are referenced in the Brāhmaṇas (900 to 500 BC), early commentaries on the Vedas. Several seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization (~3300–1700 B.C.) sites in Pakistan depict figures in positions resembling a common yoga or meditation pose. The pose shows "a form of ritual discipline, suggesting a precursor of yoga", according to archaeologist Gregory Possehl. Scholars think there must be some type of connection between the Indus Valley seals and later yoga and meditation practices, though there is no conclusive evidence.
- Jonathan Mark Kenoyer describes one figure as "seated in yogic position".
- Karel Werner writes that " Archeological discoveries allow us therefore to speculate with some justification that a wide range of Yoga activities was already known to the people of pre-Aryan India".
Important yoga words (Eight Organs of Yoga)
- Yama: Positive Rules of meditations
- Niyama: Prohibitory Rules of meditations
- Asanas: physical postures and movements
- Pranayama: breathing techniques
- Prtyahar: controlling the mind
- Dharana: gazing inward
- Dhyan: meditation with object
- Samadhi: meditation without object
- Dhyana: meditations
Types of yoga
- Classification based on mind and body.
- Rajayoga: Emphasizes the most on exercise
- Hathayoga: Emphasizes the most on exercise of physical body.
- Classification based on way of spiritual life.
- Gyanyoga: It is a way of knowledge.
- Karmayoga: It is a way of work.
- Bhaktiyoga: It is a way of worship.
- Classification based on a way of other things.
- Swaryoga: Emphasizes the most on breathing.
- Kriyayoga: Emphasizes the most on blending Karmayoga (Tapa), Gyanyoga (Swadhyay) and Bhaktiyoga (Ishwar Pranidhan).'
Some popular Yogasanas
A yogasan is a pose in which a man can sit. The intention of yogasan is to exercise the body and making it free of pains and problems.
Yogi is a person who has mastered yoga or has achieved great success in yoga. Yogasanas are also called as Asan or Asanas (plural). A Yogi can sit in any asan for a given time.
This yogasan helps to release gas in the stomach.
- Flood, Gavin D. 1996. An introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge University Press, p94.
- Possehl, Gregory 2003. The Indus Civilization: a contemporary perspective. AltaMira Press, 144/5. ISBN 978-0-7591-0172-2
- Around the Indus in 90 Slides by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
- Werner, Karel 1998. Yoga and Indian philosophy. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 81-208-1609-9 
- "Ushtrasana". Yoga Point. Yoga Vidya Gurukul. http://www.yogapoint.com/yoga-poses/ushtrasana.htm. Retrieved 23 July 2016.
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- Kriya Yoga Mahavatar Babaji Website of the yogi Mahavatar Babaji