The Essence of Yoga
Artistic, Therapeutic, Power, Hot, Sahaj, there are many contemporary prefixes to “Yoga”. Even though the prefix is only an adjective to imply a form of the versatile art, in the heat of making it artistic, therapeutic and powerful, one often tends to pay heed to the prefix more than the suffix. “Yoga”, a 4 letter word, represents a wholesome science, implying a powerful motive and simplified life. Yoga is an ancient cultural heritage of India and over a period of time, it has been accepted by various schools of thought as an effective mode to health, happiness and peace in everyone’s lives.
Tracing the history of Yoga can be a little tedious as there’ve been many yogis, who have time and again contributed to this science of living. Each of their contributions has been put forth in the form of sutras or slokas in the various texts on Yoga. Yoga is universal in its application as various aspects of Yoga over the years have been implied and applied in different ways for the benefit of the people in that era.
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Although in present times, Yoga is largely adapted as a medium of fitness and relaxation, it is so much more than that. It is a systematic system that teaches us ways to be physically healthy, mentally relaxed, emotionally stable and spiritually aware. Being so ancient it still holds immense contemporary value because of its uniqueness of being able to cover all aspects of human life by reaching the source of lasting happiness and peace by integrating one’s personality in totality and also explains the methodology to achieve the same.
It is, in this way regarded as a complete science.
EVOLUTION OF YOGA:
There are largely two interpretations of Yoga i.e. Academic and Traditional.
Academic Yoga – Meditation from the root (Yujsamadhau)
Academically the interpretation is arrived at, in direction of contemplation on the self and the nature of the atma. Hence, it is implied as a medium for dwelling in the deepest depth of ourselves and contemplating on the unfolding gyan.
Traditional Yoga – Union with the root (Yujir Yoga)
Traditionally, Yoga acts as a path to moksha/nirvana. Hence, it is implied as a path that leads to the unison between the atma and the paramatma (the root)
Patanjali Yoga Sutra
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Shiva Yoga Pradipika