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What is Yoga

26 Nov 2011 8:33 PM | Anonymous

What is Yoga


The term ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’, meaning union - the union of body, mind and spirit/consciousness. The word hatha comes from the Sanskrit terms ‘ha’ meaning sun and ‘tha’ meaning moon. ‘Ha’ refers to the solar nadi/channel (pingala) in the subtle body and ‘tha’ the lunar channel (ida). Yet ‘hatha’ means ‘powerful workout’.


On a physical level, yogic exercises strengthen, lengthen and replenish muscle tissue, which helps to hold bones and to align the whole body. Holding postures burns fat and reduces cholesterol. Yogic breathing brings more oxygen to the heart and nourishes the whole system. The breath also aids in reducing toxin levels in the body by expelling unwanted stresses and is known to increase the subtle life enery (Prana). Yoga’s greatest benefits are felt in the mind. We all know that peace of mind is more valuable than an attractive figure. Although the practise of yoga, will definitely improve one’s physical appearance - the best rewards are radiance of a Yogi’s smile and energetic eyes.

Yoga brings the mind to the present moment, improving clarity and alertness in the mind. The mind becomes peaceful and is able to deal with day-to-day stress.

Scriptures suggest numerous means of attaining this union with the Self, to name a few:

  • Through knowledge, Jnana yoga
  • Through acknowledging, honoring the Divine, through devotion, Bhakti yoga
  • Through selfless action, service to the society, Karma yoga
  • Through determined effort to achieve wellbeing of body and mind, Hatha yoga
  • Through meditation, Raja yoga
  • Through practices to awaken and regulate the flow of pranic energy*,
  • Kundalini yoga

* Pranic energy is derived from prana, a sanskrit word meaning vital, life-sustaining force and vital energy in the natural processes of the universe.

Here are some of the beneficial Yoga Poses/Asana





Sri Sri Yoga Blog:





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