What Is The REAL Meaning Of Yoga?…


What Is The REAL Meaning Of Yoga?

Yoga Is it a set of Body-Stretching Exercises, an ancient Art, a quick fix for stress relief or a body of spiritual knowledge? The correct answer is, it is a perfect mixture of all these. Yoga is a Lifestyle!

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures and goes beyond a typical workout session. Patanjali’s eight-fold path illustrates how the physical practice is just one aspect of Yoga. Even within the physical practice, Yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Today, most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb- Asanas, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.

One who studies Yoga in detail, knows the ins and outs, its secrets, uses and significance in life. Sadguru, the great Yoga Master says “The moment you attach the word Yoga, it indicates it is a complete path by itself.”

There are 4 FORMS of Yoga- Karma, Bhakti, Jnana (Gyana) and Raja Yoga. Important point to note is these aren’t TYPES of Yoga.

The path of Karma Yoga is Yoga through action. Fulfillment in Karma Yoga lies not so much in doing many things as in acting more and more, even in little things, with the consciousness that it is the Divine who, truly, is the Doer.

The Bhakti Yogi thinks of the Divine first in personal, human terms: as Father, Mother, Friend, or Beloved. Such a personal view helps them to awaken and direct love towards the Divine.

Gyana means knowledge. Gyana Yoga is the path where reality is discovered through insight, practice and knowledge.

The main focus of Raja Yoga is meditation and similar techniques with the goal being yoga, or union. However a raja yogi often practices all the above Yoga as well in order to remain balanced

The Asanas in Yoga offers some calculated, or to state clearly, tested physical moves and positions. These positions have been created, tested and implemented by yogis from centuries.

Most people in the West are  familiar with Hatha Yoga, as it includes the physical practice of Yoga Asanas that have become so popular. In addition to Asana practice, there are other energy controlling techniques through the breath and cleansing rituals to purify and strengthen the physical body, enabling control of both our internal and external state of being. These were all formulated with the intent of preparing the body to be still in meditation.

Yoga is discovered in different phases of time and in different regions, so it was known by a lot of names. But the purpose or goal is the same. These moves or positions create space for the body to come to a “zero” point. A zero point is the co-existence of mind, body and soul together as one unit in a peaceful, spiritual space. The body loosens itself and the mind takes a reboot. It helps to increase stamina, confidence, strain, durability etc. The physical moves and steps are like a controlled or planned workout. It ensures weight loss, reduces risk of heart attack, abdominal and neurological issues and improves cellular and muscular condition of body. Yoga helps to increase the efficiency of the digestion and blood circulation system. In a way, yoga provides a complete health routine, which helps to increase your lifespan.

Source: Calm With Yoga

Yoga’s ability to shape a healthy body is only 30% of its power. It offers greater benefits on the mental wellness.

Yoga, as described, offers a complete package of physical and mental supplements for well-being. Physical and Mental fitness ensures that the difficulties of life can be handled with ease. Yoga teaches how to step up and find a solution to our problems in the quickest possible time and in an effective way. Physical, Mental, Social, Spiritual: Yoga helps to find answers to the life’s toughest problems. A person devoted to Yoga will use his patience, calmness, strain to overcome the situation and the result is tested to be 80% more effective than any normal man would approach to the same problem. So if you are not a Yoga person, grab those Yoga Tights (if they are comfortable), unfold your Yoga Mat and embark on the promised path of self-fulfillment.

Now, What Are Mantras In Yoga?

Mantras are one way to practice Mindfulness because we focus on a word or phrase as a way to calm and center the mind. In this sense, mantras help us slow down our brains and allow for more space in breath, mind, and body. In Ayurveda and Yoga, mantras are considered the most powerful technique for positively influencing the mind. They’re more than just repetitive sounds. Certain mantras carry vibrations that reverberate throughout the entire being and shift subconscious patterns.

Practicing Mantras throughout life can be helpful to keep you focused, but they become especially helpful during your yoga and meditation practices. When you keep your mind focused on your breath and a mantra during practice, it can help to reduce your chitta vritti, or mind chatter.

The best part? You can easily use a mantra anywhere you go. In fact, for many of the teachers, mantras are a way to help them experience the kind of peace they feel on their yoga mats, when they’re out in the real world.

The 3 Most Powerful Mantras

Aum

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“Aum” is the original sound and carries all sounds and vibrations throughout the universe. It uplifts for the upward transformation of the soul and harmonizes you with the world around you. It should be chanted at the beginning and end of a yoga practice, as well as at the beginning and end of all other mantras.

 

Sat Nam

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Sat Nam is used in Kundalini yoga much like yogis in other practices use “namaste”. It means “truth is my identity”. It reminds us that we are divine beings—the ultimate truth.

 

Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

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You may have heard “om shanti, shanti, shanti” chanted at the end of yoga class or at the end of a longer mantra. It means “peace, peace, peace” and is usually chanted to seal a class or prayer. It’s another universal mantra that has no religious attachment, so it can be chanted by all to open heart for love and bring in beautiful, peaceful energy.

The Bottom Line

Practising Yoga (and chanting mantras) is a lifetime endeavour. When you get on your mat, you’re not just performing a series of stretches. You’re strengthening your mind-body awareness, which can have a positive impact on every aspect of your life. When you first start, try to practice at least twice per week. This should initially be under the instruction of a competent instructor, but once you know the basics you can practice at home too.

The most important thing is to practice regularly. If you leave too long between sessions, you’re effectively starting again each time – which can make yoga frustrating.

Mentioning Yoga conjures up images of bendy people putting themselves in – sometimes -impossible positions. For most of us, Yoga means a home practice or a weekly Yoga class that makes us feel good in our body and our mind. But now you know it is only partially true! Yoga goes WAY Beyond what we do on the Yoga Mat. So the next time you are in the Yoga Studio, know that it is just a tiny unfolding of the many aspects of a True Yoga Lifestyle.

Embrace the art of Yoga, learn time-tested ways of handling daily stress and enjoy a balanced lifestyle. It does come with a “Happiness Guarantee” and a promise of never-ending bliss.

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Khushboo Singh

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Khushboo is an Entrepreneur, Writer and Founder of Divine Yoga Shop, London. With a background in Technology and passion for…

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