Yoga, the science of man, based on ancient Indian wisdom and culture, is an art of living a healthy, balanced, peaceful and contented life. Yoga, being a total integrated system, studies man in his wholeness - body, mind and spirit and is integrated to certain principles, ideas, values, attitudes and a way of life for personal and social benefits.
Conceived by the great sages in their quest for self-realisation, it has come to be recognised during its; long travails from the hermitages to the cities, as the science of man, a philosophy old life, a code of conduct, an attitude and an approach, as well as an art of living which is capable not only of ensuring physical well-being, mental peace harmony, moral elevation and spiritual uplift of man but also of transforming man from his gross animal existence to the sublime heights of divinity.
It must, however be kept in mind that it is a long and arduous journey calling for perseverance, persistence, dedication and total surrender.
There is no instant yoga. It is not a question of merely closing one's eyes or of sitting in a posture. It involves cultivation of an attitude and approach to life. It must not only be a philosophy to be imbibed but a practical philosophy which must be lived. It is therefore, not enough to think of yoga but to do it and to live it in our lives. It is also necessary to understand that yoga is not a substitute for action. Human effort is indispensable. The transformation is not at the cost of action but to enable us to perform our duties more efficiently, more effectively and honestly.
Yoga had recognised and accepted the importance of the mind and the subconscious over the total human personality much earlier than modern psychology did in its present form. Yoga is a stepwise, stage wise eight fold path to final liberation from pain and suffering. These steps progressively take us to the highest state of creativity, of discriminative knowledge and towards attaining the desired perfection.
Eight stages in ashtangayoga :
Disciplined behaviour (yama)
Self purification (niyama)
Bodily postures such as the lotus position (asana)
Control of breathing (pranayama)
Control of the senses (pratyahara)
Fixing of the mind on a chosen object (dharana)
Samadhi - a state of being where you experience absolute tranquility and well being.
The Eight Steps are:
YAMA : Conditional yoga behaviour, personal and social
NIYAMA : Attitude sublimate to yoga norms
ASANA : Discipline of the physical body
PRANAYAMA : Control over bio energy through respiratory action
PRATYAHARA : Withdrawal of the senses inwards through abstraction
DHARNA : Concentration
DHYANA : Meditation
SAMADHI : Tranconsciousness
Of these, the first five, which border on the Psychosomatic Approach, are referred to as External (Bahiranga) yoga, popularly known as Hatha Yoga, while the latter three, which directly affect the psyche are known as internal (Antaranga) yoga, popularly known as Raja Yoga. It is almost impossible to try internal yoga (Raja Yoga) for the average man before accomplishing the external one (Hatha Yoga). The respective sequence of the eight steps as the standard methodology of yoga.
Yoga is based on a deep understanding of man and his position in this world and was the first system evolved in the world to recognise the connection and the interaction between body and mind. It studies in depth the very structure of the human personality, through analysis the psychological complexities and the cause of human pain, sorrow and suffering. It has laid down psychosomatic means through its various psycho-physiological processes for dealing with the body mind complex and tries to harmonize and integrate the human personality at all levels and stages of life.
Yoga is basically a way of LIFE which has been evolved as a system to go beyond the personality - complex and achieve absolute freedom-liberation of the spirit from the matter.
Some Renowned Yoga Centres are:
- Neyyar Yoga Centre
- Somatheeram Ayurvedic Hospital & Yoga Centre
- Ideal Yoga Centre
- Manaltheeram Yoga Centre
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