Article by Shovan Adhikary
What does Yoga mean?
Yoga means Joined together. The word comes from Sanskrit root word yug, which means to unify. A Yogi is one ho consciously unifies the body, mind, emotions and spirit so that they work in harmony. Yoga is designed to enable people to begin from their present state of consciousness and move forward day by day, into a state of wholeness, well being and enlightenment.
How do most people live?
* The average person lives in a mental hurricane with a mind so turbulent that the usual concentration span is limited to only six seconds
* Most people live in a storm of ideas: Constructive thoughts fight against biases, superstitions, fantasies, unremitting memories, dreads, doubts and occasional frustrating blankness. People become so accustomed to this mental turbulence that they think it normal
* Almost everyone is influenced by emotions such as anger, jealousy, grief, fear and guilt. These invariably create anxieties, which often deprive oneself from peace, joy and love.
Kinds of Yoga
* Hatha Yoga
* Mantra Yoga
* Bhakti Yoga
* Karma Yoga
* Jnana Yoga
* Kundalini Yoga
* Kriya Yoga
* Raja Yoga
* The term Hatha Yoga has been commonly used syllable “ha” denotes the pranic (vital) force governing the physical body and “tha” denotes the chitta (mental) force, thus making Hatha yoga a mean to awaken the two energies that goven our lives.
* The techniques described in the hatha Yoga harmonize and purify the body systems and prepares the mind for more advanced charka & Kundalini practices.
* Mantras are actually the verses in Vedas and it is said that any person who can recite Vedas can achieve salvation or union with supreme consciousness. Mantra Yoga precisely aims to achieve that.
* Bhakti is a yoga of devotion or compl ete faith. This faith is generally in God and supreme consciousness in any of the forms. It may be lord Rama, Krishna, Christ, Mohammed, Buddha etc. It may be a Guru for disciples.
* Karma Yoga is a path of devotion to the work. One loses his identity while working only selfless work remains. This state is very difficult to achieve. Generally, one is attached to some rewards or incentives that follow the work. This is not karma Yoga. Non-attachment with the work and becoming the perfect instrument of the super consciousness in this manifested universe is the ultimate aim of Karma Yoga.
* Jnana Yoga is the process of converting intellectual knowledge into practical wisdom. Jnana literally means knowledge but in the context of yoga it means the process of meditation awareness which leads to illuminative wisdom. It is not a method by which we try to find rational answers to eternal questions, rathu it is a part of meditation leading to self enquiry and self realization.
* This system of Yoga is concerned with awakening individual. There are six main charkas in the human beings. The mind is made of different subtle layers. Each of these layers progressively is associated with the higher levels of consciousness. Each of these levels is related to the different charka or psychic centre located throughout the psychic body. There are a number of other charkas apart from the main, which are associated with planes below the human level. In all, we have charkas that connect us to animal levels of mind, to the instinctive realms of being or to the sublime heights of consciousness.
* The word Kriya means activity or movement and refers to the activity or movement of consciousness. Kriya Yoga does not curb mental fluctuations but purposely creates activity and awakening in consciousness. In this way, all faculties are harmonized and flower into their fullest potenti al.
* Raja Yoga usually refers to the system of Yoga that is described in the Yoga sutras of sage Patanjali. Raja Yoga is a comprehensive Yoga system, which deals with the refinement of human behaviour and personality through the practice of Yamas (restraint) and niyam (discipline), attainment of physical health and vitality through asanas (postures) and pranayamas, management of mental and emotional conflicts and development of awareness & concentration through pratyahara (sensory withdrawal) and dharana (concentration), developing the creative aspect of consciousness for transcendental awareness through dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (absorption) in the universal identity.
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