What is Yoga?

In its traditional form Yoga is a spiritual life path.

Yoga can be traced as far back as 3,000 B.C. The earliest reference was found during archaeological excavations in the Indus Valley where findings from two of the largest cities, Mahenjo-Daro and Harappa, revealed artworks that showed a human being or God meditating in what looks like a Yoga posture. The Rig Veda work, that describes different Yoga methods, is believed to be derived from the Indus-Sarasvati people (civilization) dating back to 3,000 to 5,000 B.C.

Yoga as we know it today is therefore the result of a complex evolution that has been going on for at least 5,000 years. 

In the West today, Yoga has become wildly popular as a purely physical exercise routine often completely divorced of its original purpose... spiritual enlightenment. But in India the traditional practice is still to be found. The guru-shishya (teacher-student) relationship that exists without need for sanction from non-religious institutions and which gave rise to all the great yogis who helped Yoga make its way into international consciousness in the late 20th century, has been maintained in India, Nepal and Tibet.

In India, where the Hindu population combines to a staggering 800-million, Yoga is a commonly used word. It isn’t unusual to see people performing Surya namaskara, a set of asanas (poses) and pranayam (breath exercise) dedicated to Surya, the Sun, in the morning or body therapy based on Yoga. While a majority of the populace does not necessarily practice Yoga in its totality, many have in their lives numerous practices and beliefs derived from Yoga. For Hindu holy-men, Yoga is a fundamental part of life as a spiritual practice.

Yoga is a science that consists of ancient theories, observations and principles about the mind and body connection which is now being proven by modern medicine. Substantial research has been conducted to look at the health benefits of Yoga - from the Yoga Postures (Asanas), Yoga Breathing (Pranayama) and Meditation (Bhavana).

The practice of Yoga is beneficial for Physiological, Psychological and Biochemical health and wellness of individuals as well as bringing calmness, tranquility, peace and spiritual wisdom to the practitioner.  

Shanthi Bhavana Meditation & Yoga

Holistic Health, Fitness & Wellness                                                       

 

© Shanthi Bhavana 2016