The History of Yoga

The History of Yoga

Yoga is probably the oldest defined practice of self development. It originally came from India it dates back over five thousand years ago. The Indian sage Pantajali, in his Yoga sutras defines yoga as the control of activities of ones minds. Yoga is founded on the belief of the progress of self awareness. Through the practice of yoga an individual can gain information about physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being. In the course of knowledge and practice of yoga the awareness encourages the individual to adjust and changes the aspects of their nature and become more aware of your attuned and life. The methods of yoga includes ethical disciplines, physical postures, breathing control and as well as meditation.   As defined by Patanjali, classical yoga has an eight stages process of spiritual development known as the ‘eight limbs of yoga”. Yoga is not a series of consecutive steps, but a continuous and changing process that helps to clears away the mental obscurities that prevent us from seeing clearly. The Sanskrit names for the eight limbs of yoga are:  

Yama - attitudes towards other people and our world

Niyam - attitudes about ourselves

Asana - practice of using/improving the body

Pranayama - practice of using/controlling the breath

Pratyahara - use and self-control of our senses

Dharana - capability to direct the mind

Dhyana - capability to interact with the object of our concentration

Samadhi - incorporation within the object of our concentration

Out of the eight limbs only two are specific practices to be consciously done with an object in the mind. All the others evolve as the results of the practices and the changes that make our lives.
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