YOGA – BEING A BUZZWORD
Yoga is being a buzzword for last few years in the youth, where it is considered more of a tool to showcase a different lifestyle than a necessary holistic approach to make body healthier in a natural way. People do various kinds of exercises and tricks with their bodies without understanding the intricacies of what they are doing. I am not discouraging it as at least in the name of yoga some kind of body exercise is being done, which is better than doing nothing for the body.
The only point is, without understanding the basics of Yoga, either we will be too casual, irregular to gain the advantages associated with it and may not be able to aim for our actual yogic goals, Or we will be reaching the other extreme end by imitating the most difficult postures (asanas) of the highest level from the books and Hindu Scriptures without any proper guide which may harm us rather than helping us.
TOP FOUR MYTHS OF YOGA
There are certain myths associated with various types of Yoga, most of them are because we do not follow any one scripture but our knowledge is based on scattered reading material from different books and from internet. Some of the most believed myths are as follows:-
- Yoga is another synonym of physical body exercises done as given in Hindu Scriptures.
- Yoga is something related purely to Hinduism.
- Yoga is a set of certain postures should be/can be done by anyone just like aerobics or exercises at gym.
- By doing Yoga we attain supernatural powers and we can do things which are not possible by an ordinary being.
FACTS OF VARIOUS TYPES OF YOGA
Fact on the contrary is entirely different, Yoga is neither a set of physical exercises nor it is some thing which can be practiced only by
Hindus. Yoga is a pure science which is driven by certain specific and predefined processes to be practiced by any aspirant sincerely and not casually unlike any aerobic exercise. There has to be a specific goal/purpose determined before starting any kind of Yoga treatment. As there are different Yoga postures/processes for different goals. Does it mean that generally as a part of wellness campaign can some one not pursue Yoga? The answer is YES. The Yoga exercises can be done by someone as his wellness exercise without aiming for anything specific. But at the same time the utility of Yoga should not be underestimated and it should not be limited to regular exercises only done by casual health conscious aspirants.
Yoga is one of the best gifts to the mankind given by ancient sages which not only helps in keeping the one strong and healthy at physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels but also act as a medium to tap the infinite source of divine energy within, also called self realisation. Yes it is true that people may also get supernatural powers by the help of Yoga in the long course of attaining self realisation, if guided by a capable Guru. But it is also true that Hindu Scriptures never advocate practice of Yoga for these powers as goal of attaining these supernatural powers, which is also considered as underutilisation of this powerful science.
WHAT IS YOGA
Yoga is a term taken from Sanskrit Language, which is also considered to be the language of Gods, literally means Yoke taken from its root word yuj means to unite. Hence the actual goal of Yoga is to unite ourselves as one with the Divine Power and to realise the infinite and eternal Brahman – GOD within us. As per Hindu Scriptures, we all are having infinite powers as we all are actually Divine from inside and the source of Divine energy is within us which can give us all the peace and happiness eternally, but due to our Ego, worldly affairs, we are not able to realise this thing and are in continuous pursuit of sense pleasures mistaken as true happiness outside the world.. By the help of Yoga we try to achieve the goal of Self Realisation ie- the Divine Communion, where various processes are scientifically adopted step by step to reach the final goal.
PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS – ASHTANGA YOGA
Among various types of Yoga mentioned in Hindu Scriptures, Patanjali’s ‘Ashtanga Yoga’ or the Eight Fold Yoga is the most referred Yoga. Patanjali is an ancient and great sage who introduced for the first time the organised and scientific ways of Yoga to achieve Self Realisation through various steps also called Patanjali Yoga Sutras. The Yoga is to be done in eight stages in the order, also termed as Ashtanga Yoga or Eight Fold Yoga as follows:-
- Yama:– Practice of Moral Values to purify the Mind from bad thoughts.
- Niyama: Practice of disciplined lifestyle.
- Asana: Practice of sitting for a long duration in a chosen pose for the purpose of meditation/achieving spiritual objectives.
- Pranayam: Practice of controlling prana shakti (Life Energy) through yogic breathing
- Pratyahar: Practice of diverting mind away from the subject of worldly objects at will.
- Dharana: Practice of guiding mind to the object of meditation on will
- Dhyana: Practice of meditation on Divine.
- Samadhi: Ultimate realisation of The Divine.