Instead of pressuring yourself to think you have to aim for the eradication of these obstacles, think of them as a tool to help you practice and live the 4 Pillars of Yoga. Instead, start noticing and catching yourself the moment you come up against one of these kleshas.
The most popular notions of yoga involve going to the studio, getting your mat out and moving your body according to specific physical postures and flows. The 4 Pillars offer us alternative ways to practice yoga in our daily lives without the need for a mat or a studio. The physical yoga, or Hatha yoga, was primarily designed to facilitate the real practice of Yoga— namely, the understanding and complete mastery over the mind.
So the actual meaning of Yoga is the science of the mind. Traditionally, the word Yoga by itself refers to Raja Yoga, the mental science…. Its ultimate aim is to bring about a thorough metamorphosis of the individual who practices it sincerely. As a king reigns over his kingdom, Raja Yoga teaches us how we too can reign over our inner kingdom — our mind, emotions, body, and energy. The below image outlines each of the 8 limbs and their English translation:.
We can begin to incorporate the practice of Raja Yoga in our lives by:. Every moment of your life you perform action — physically, mentally, emotionally, and energy-wise. Who you are is the result of who you have been. And who you will become is the result of who you are now….
There are two aspects of karma, or cause and effect. Both of these together lead to the effect or outcome…. The internal aspect — what you do with whatever is coming to you — has a very profound effect on the final outcome. So, why this is so powerful is because it implies that if I change how I internally am, with any circumstance, I could change the effect. I could change my karma. We can begin to incorporate the practice of Karma Yoga in our lives by:. Bhakti yoga is a way of transforming your emotion from negativity to utmost pleasantness. As the path of devotion, Bhakti yoga inspires us to give of ourselves to a cause greater than our present circumstance.
Besides the path of devotion, Bhakti yoga is also the path of love , but not love as we generally know it. When we love, we become present and expand our space and time horizons or spheres of awareness and influence. Love is the ultimate growth factor. Heinrich Zimmer , the great German Indologist, a man of penetrating intellect, the keenest esthetic sensibility. He describes:. Alain Danielou founded the Institute for Comparative Music Studies in Berlin and Venice, author of several books on the religion, history, and art of India, defines:.
A former Catholic monk, he is also an ordained Pandit in the Himalayan tradition. He lived with Swami Rama - the master of yoga, spirituality, meditation and Ayurveda for over 20 years. He says:. Max Muller German philologist and Orientalist. He speaks of Yoga as of "the feeling of wonderment. All that strikes me is the simplicity on the part of those who relate this. Of course we know that such things as the miracle related here are impossible, but it seems almost as great a miracle that such things should ever have been believed and should still continue to be believed.
Apart from that, however, we must also remember that the influence of the mind of the body and of the body on the mind is as yet but half explored; and in India and among the yogins we certainly meet, particularly in more modern times, with many indications that hypnotic states are produced by aritificial means and interpreted as due to an inferference of supernatural powers in the event of ordinary life.
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He observes:. In India, Yoga was adopted and valorized by all religious movements, whether Hinduist or 'heretical. In the universal history of mysticism, Yoga occupies a place of its own, and one that is difficult to define. It represents a living fossil, a modality of archaic spirituality that has survived nowhere else. Yoga takes over and continues the immemorial symbolism of initiation; in other words, it finds its place in a universal tradition of the religious history of mankind.
With a rigor unknown elsewhere, India has applied itself to analyzing the various conditionings of the human being. To such a degree is this true that Yoga has ended by becoming a characteristic dimension of Indian spirituality. Joseph Campbell was one of the foremost interpreters of myth in our time and a prolific writer.
One type of yoga I have already mentioned: that of stopping the spontaneous activity of the mind stuff. But there is another called Bhakti Yoga, Devotional Yoga; and this is the yoga generally recommended for those who have duties in the world , tasks to perform, and who cannot, therefore, turn away to the practice of that other, very much sterner mode of psychological training.
This much simpler, much more popular, yoga of worship consists in being selflessly devoted to the divine principle made manifest in some beloved form. Bhakti Yoga will then consist in having one's mind continually turned toward, or linked to, that chosen deity through all of one's daily tasks. Tranquil, one should worship It through , for one comes forth from It. Thomas Berry. As a spirituality it has influenced the entire range of Indian religion and spiritual development.
In a specific and technical sense, Yoga is counted as one of the six thought systems of Hinduism. Alan Watts a professor, graduate school dean and research fellow of Harvard University. For the intellectual type there is the Gnana Yoga, the way of thought; for the feeling type there is Bhakti Yoga, the way of love; for the worker there is Karma Yoga, the way of service.
But for those exceptionally gifted, there is a fourth which comprises the other three — Raja Yoga, the royal way, and this contains not only the trinity of thought, love and service, but also that mainly psychic form of yoga known as Hatha….. Richard Hittleman founded his first school in Florida and pioneered Yoga instruction via television with the "Yoga For Health" series, which premiered in Los Angeles. These programs, televised throughout the United States and in many foreign countries, have been instrumental in generating the significant growth of Yoga practice in the western world.
Usha Chatterji has written:. This is, Yoga undertakes to give to the spirit the supreme good, whereby material obstacles become auxiliaries to such an extent that Nature herself is shorn of her light and retires beaten from the field. Tom MacArthur who ran courses on yoga for the University of Edinburgh, says:. For example, the very antiquity of the subject.
The Greek philosophers and the Roman legions are no more, the Arab-Muslim expansion has come and gone, and the European maritime empires on which the sun wasn't supposed to set have all been dismantled. Some kind of yoga was there when all that was happening, and many kinds of yoga are here now - some even being considered for use abroad starships.
That is continuity and it is worth a little thought. Yoga is embedded in the literature of the Hindus as well as in their age old practices, and that literature is in turn one of the richest seams of recorded language anywhere on the planet. The sheer volume of stories, treatises, and commentaries challenges the imagination. Har Bilas Sarda states:. The existence of this system is another proof of the intellectual superiority of the ancient Hindus over all other peoples. Jung the eminent Swiss psychologist in , described yoga as 'one of the greatest things the human mind has ever created.
Jung formulated his archetypes in terms of the karma theory. Says Jung: "We may accept the idea of karma only if we understand it as 'psychic heredity' in the very widest sense of the word. Michael Pym author has observed:. There is more to it than vague speculation or iridescent dreams. Not less but more, hard, daily grind; not less but, at times, more discouragement and flatness; not less but more, study, more patience, more self-control.
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Modesty, purity, complete and unostentatious sincerity, that inward loveliness which perfumes the whole being — that is something of yoga. Nothing is more quickly felt, more remarkable, than the intense sweetness, the touching simplicity of the true yogi. Brahaspati, the God of the Planet Jupiter.
Yoga as a " spectacularly multifaceted phenomena ". Yoga is thus the generic name for the various Indian paths of ecstatic self-transcendence, or the methodical transmutation of consciousness to the point of liberation from the spell of the ego-personality. It is the psycho-spiritual technology specific to the great civilization of India. But nowhere on Earth has the impulse toward transcendence found more consistent and creative expression than on the Indian peninsula. The civilization of India has spawned an almost over whelming variety of spiritual beliefs, practices, and approaches.
These are all targeted at a dimension of reality that far eclipses our individual human lives and the orderly cosmos of our human perception and imagination. For more on Georg Feuerstein refer to Quotes Both evolved from a Vedic background in ancient India, based on the same philosophy, sharing many practices. Ayurveda, the 'yogic form of healing', is aimed at bringing us back into harmony with our true Self or Atman. The great Ayurvedic teacher Charaka defines Ayurveda as the harmony of body, prana, mind and soul.
Patanjali defines yoga as controlling the mind in order to realise the Purusha. Ayurveda is the therapeutic branch of Yoga. Emma Hawkridge states: "Yoga is a philosophy, and a stern and relentless one. The word yoga means yoke - to yoke or harness the wild horses of the senses or to join the individual to the All. Yoga intends not merely to expound a theory, but to practice it to the extreme conclusion. It is a philosophy plus a technique believed to give intuitive realization. Yoga follows more nearly the Sankhya which saw Creator and Creation as separate realities, like a dancer and his audience.
Yoga believed that matter - which is real - and mind stuff - which is also real though changeful and sorrowing - enmesh the unchanging soul. The system of Yoga, which follows the main Sankhyan views, the real being of man is the spirit, and that the spirit is free. The system of Yoga, which follows the main Sankhyan ontological principles, is a discipline meant to help man realize his spiritual nature and discover his own freedom. The living conditions of the man-in-the-world are seen by Yoga, man gets lost in the effort to acquire more and more things, in becoming more powerful, in gaining more appreciation and love.
So he alienates his freedom in exchange for objects of gratification. In this way he gets entangled in the world nexus. Yoga says that discipline is the path to freedom. It does not propose a discipline that leads man away from nature, but a discipline leading man away from the alienating attachments to false natures, i. This means that yoga is a discipline which enables man to discover his true Nature. As is the case with Sankhya, Yoga concepts are present in the Upanishads, where the term Yoga signifies the union of the personal soul with the soul of the universe. Also Refer to Yogaunveiled.
Lord Krsna - Master of Yoga. His desires washed away, the yogi easily achieves union with the Eternal. He sees his Self in all beings, and all beings in his Self, for his heart is steady in Yoga.
The Bhagavad Gita, the most popular and authoritative work on the subject of transcendence in India. Most of the principles of Hindu philosophy are summed up in the Bhagavad Gita as the sermon of Lord Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. The Gita, as it is commonly known, is a poem of seven hundred verses spread over 18 chapters in the great Hindu epic of the Mahabharata which narrates the story of the descendants of King Bharata, popularly known as Kauravas and Pandavas, who fought a destructive civil war about five thousand years ago.
The greatest book on Yoga, the Bhagavad Gita was delivered by Lord Krishna on the eve of one of the fiercest battles fought on Indian soil. The Gita is held to be the textbook of theistic Yoga par excellence. Each chapter propounds a different type of Yoga. Lord Krishna has been addressed as Mahayogi in the Mahabharata.
Lord Krishna's teaching in the Bhagavad Gita have inspired some of the greatest mystics of the Hindu tradition. Simply stated, the human being only achieves union with God in all of His aspects through a fusion of contemplation and action. God is after all both Eternal Being and Eternal Becoming; in contemplative knowledge of our eternal identity with Brahman, we rest in God's Being, like a drop of water in the all-surrounding ocean; in enacting the divine will selflessly, we participate in the transforming activity of God.
The Bhagavad Gita is sometimes described as being in some sense a book of yoga. It emphasizes self-discipline and control over the senses as essential techniques of a yoga that it defines as the "balance" of the individual and universal consciousness. Yoga is a harmony, he later continues, "a harmony in eating and resting, in sleeping and keeping awake: a perfection in whatever one does.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Krsna explains to Arjuna the various routes by which to achieve full consciousness of Atman and therefore perfect unity with Brahman. Lord Krishna was called Yogesvara because he was able to think of Yoga as means of achieving the goal by way of self realization. Vivasvat imparted it to Manu, and Manu declared it to Ikshvaku. Thus handed down from one to another, the royal seers learned it.
The Gita suggests four important ways to attain moksha - salvation. Jnana is the ultimate state, but it has to be reached with the help of other yogas such as Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga, the latter two being more popular. Even each of these yogas are independently capable of getting moksha to the practicant; but as the aspirant proceeds in his yogic experience, he necessarily tends to acquire elements of the other yogas and attains perfection because perfection is the ultimate goal of all the yogas.
Lord Krishna - The Master of Yoga. Refer to Deva Premal music - Dakshina. Lord Krsna says:. Listen, and you'll start to realize just what I am. They are the virtuous sattva, the passionate rajas and the dark and heavy tamas. They are in me, but I am not in them. They serve to snare and delude the whole world, which can't perceive that I lie beyond them, unchanging and undying. Out of these gunas is woven my maya, a power that is hard to escape.
Only those that trust me can get beyond that uncanny force. The Bhagavad Gita speaks about very high level of reality. The basic setting of the Gita is a battle ground. In the middle of the most significant battle of his life, on the field of dharma responsible action , Arjuna, who is by type and deep inclination a warrior, is confused about right action and about his responsibility in the face of the conflicting demands of the different levels of dharma.
He turns to Krishna, now acting as his charioteer, for help and instruction. The Bhagavad Gita, which means song of the Blessed One, contains the teaching given by Lord Krishna to Arjuna in his hour of crisis of conscience. Listen, and you'll start to realize just what I am". It is clear right from the very beginning of the book that the teaching is about dharma. Dharma is essentially at all scales; at the scale of the entire cosmos, of society, of the family, and of the individual.
The central subject of the Gita is dharma and the part we have in maintaining order — at all scales! Thus the Gita is a dialogue between the Dark Lord and the white pupil, between the Infinite and the finite, between the Unknown Mystery of the other shore and a wayfarer setting out from this shore, apprehensive and unsure. It is an exchange between different levels, within ourselves as well as outside. In these and in similar expressions, Krishna indicates that he operates at the largest scale and at the highest level.
Arjuna, on the other hand, is confused about action in a particular situation, at a very different scale and level. The general outlook of the Gita is that every action, even the smallest, has a cosmic background, even though we may not be aware of it. The idea that a human being has the possibility - not the actuality but the possibility of being a microcosmic image of the whole cosmos is an idea which is central to Indian thought.
A human being is called a Kshudra Brahmanda, a small Brahmanda, the little egg of the Vastness. The whole universe is Brahmanda the egg of Brahman, the Vastness and a human being is a small Brahmanda. Arjuna must do on his human scale what Krishna does on a cosmic scale namely, he must assume responsibility for the maintenance of order. The Bhagavad Gita preaches reintegration through the way of action karma yoga. Having removed all attachment and established oneself in the path of realization, one should remain in action, keeping an even mind, whether, one's actions bear fruit or not.
It is this equanimity of mind which is named yoga. The Blessed Lord said: "Fearlessness, cleanness of life, steadfastness in the Yoga of wisdom, alms-giving, self-restraint, sacrifice and study of the Scriptures, austerity and straightforwardness; Harmlessness, truth, absence of wrath, absence of crookedness, compassion to living beings, uncovetousness, mildness, modesty, vigor, forgiveness, purity, absence of envy or pride Lord Krishna speaks again and again of the evil of contact with externals and exhorts all to cut down the tree of worldliness with the axe of non-attachment. The world is sustained by desire and affection for things perishable.
Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, three primordial properties of Prakriti, constitute the stuff of the world of the senses. Lord Krishna is the Supreme Self, and everyone should seek shelter under Him, this is the path to Perfection, to Immortality. The gist of Krishna's teaching is given in the following stanza: "Steadfast in Yoga perform actions, abandoning attachment and remaining the same in success and failure, O Dhananjaya. Yoga is called 'even-ness' samatva BG II. The advice of Krishna is designed to draw the attention of the devotee from the external to the inner world, for the Lord, the intangible and ineffable "Knower", the wonder of creation, resides in us.
The crude material instruments of science, however delicate, precise, and sensitive they might me, cannot reach this holy of holies, this Knowing principle which, lying disguised in the savants, is himself their inventor, designer and architect. It is no material science, but a loftier discipline that alone can hope to explore this most mysterious inner universe.
Yet, like a modern teacher, Krishna, the God incarnate, does not impose this doctrine on his disciple or on his audience, for that matter. He only counsels Arjuna, and after giving all his lecture, in the end, He tells that "It is my opinion; you are at liberty to do whatever you think is right for you. This is the greatest example of the freedom in God worship in Hinduism when the Lord God Himself does not compel people to have faith in only Him or incite in them fears of doom and damnation as punishment for disbelieving.
The Royal Path of Devotion. Sri Krishna said:. Whatever you do, make it an offering to me - the food you eat, the sacrifice you make, the help you give, even your suffering. In this way you will be freed from the bondage of karma, and from its results both pleasant and painful. Then, firm in renunciation and yoga, with your heart free, you will come to me.
Yoga: The Royal Path to Freedom. Ascetic - yogic exercises having attained a detachment of senses which makes him impervious to the surrounding snow and ice in the Himalayas. When your thoughts are stilled, your consciousness experiences only itself. But when thoughts begin to flow, you get caught up in them and the images they place before you. Patanjali's Yoga Sutra says" Yoga consists in the intentional stopping of the spontaneous activities of the mind-stuff. The mind, by nature, is in constant agitation. According to Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, the classical text on yoga, the purpose of yoga is to lead to a silence of the mind.
This silence is the prerequisite for the mind to be able to accurately reflect objective reality without introducing its own subjective distortions.
Yoga does not create this reality, which is above the mind, but only prepares the mind to apprehend it, by assisting in the transformation of the mind - from an ordinary mind full of noise, like a whole army of frenzied and drunken monkeys - to a still mind. According to the Hindu theory, it is continually transforming itself into the shapes of the objects of which it becomes aware. Its subtle substance assumes the forms and colors of everything offered to it by the senses, imagination, memory, and emotions. It is endowed, in other words, with a power of transformation, or metamorphosis, which is boundless and never put at rest.
The protean, ever-moving character of the mind, as described both in Sankhya and in Yoga, is comparable to Emanuel Swedenborg's idea that "recipients are images," ie. Swedenborg p. The mind is thus in a continuous ripple, like the surface of a pond beneath a breeze, shimmering with broken, ever-changing, self-scattering reflections. Left to itself it would never stand like a perfect mirror, crystal clear, in its "own state," unruffled and reflecting the inner man; for in order that this should take place, all the sense impressions coming from without would have to be stopped, as well as the impulses from within; memories, emotional pressures, and the incitements of the imaginations.
Yoga, however, stills the mind. And the moment this quieting is accomplished, the inner man, the life-monad stands revealed - like a jewel at the bottom of a quieted pond. Through yoga a person can become samskrita literally, well made, well put together and thus no longer be wholly at the mercy of natural forces and inclinations. The undertaking of yoga concerns the entire person, resulting in a reshaping of mind, body and emotions.
The aims of the royal or Raja Yoga, as it is called, are high and noble even from the physical side; and they are wide and high. The body and mind must be brought to heel as an obedient dog, the reasoning and logical mind the same. Kundalini - The Power of the Serpent. In Sanskrit, the coiled serpent is used to represent Kundalini, the energy that rises from the sacrum -- the bone at the base of the spine -- and results in enlightenment when it properly reaches the crown of the head through the practice of Kundalini yoga, which channels the energy along the six chakras, or energy centers, that correspond to the number of intersections of the serpent on the caduceus.
Literally, Kundalini means "The Serpent Power. The term Kundalini means "she who is coiled". This symbolism simply suggests that the Kundalini is normally in a state of dormancy or latency. The most significant aspect of the subtle body is the psycho-spiritual force known as the Kundalini-Shakti. What is this mysterious presence in the human body? The Kundalini in course of its ascension unfolds a perceptual flash of revelation. According to Kundalini Yoga, inner perception is possible by stimulating an eye center ajna-chakra in which the latest conscious energy is locked.
It is located between the eye-brows, in the middle of the forehead. By unlocking this energy the inward eye is opened and the Yogi has a vision of Shiva and Shakti and also of the truth of things. According to Indian tradition, Kundalini is not merely the energy system in the human body designed for the evolution of the brain and the rise to a higher dimension of consciousness, but also as the instrument of cosmic life energy, the stupendous power behind the ceaseless drama of life and the eternal motion of the stellar universe. Frank Walters author of Mexico Mystique , says: "The now famous Hopi Snake Dance in which the priests dance with snakes in their mouths is the most dramatic ritual still emphasizing the serpent.
The more likely position is that it must have travelled from one original source, where it was initially developed for centuries by a growing civilization, to other places on the earth. It is reasonable to conclude that the practices connected with this hidden force must have penetrated to America from India during the Vedic or pre-Vedic periods. For more information, refer to chapter India on Pacific Waves?
The picture has come unaltered from the remote past, perhaps from the time of the Vedas, and is a superb allegoric representation of the Serpent Power and the state of consciousness to which it leads. The word Patanjali in Sanskrit literally means "one fallen in the palm of the hand. Lord Shiva has the crescent moon and serpent symbol on the head and so did the Pharaoh Ramses II with serpent symbol on the headress.
Traditions of Saints. Gorakhnath , th century C. Bhartrihari , the royal saint in Vakyapadiya I. Sufism insists on quest of the One Supreme Eternal through "inner perception" and good conduct. Imam Ghazali the great Persian scholar refers to the pure eye of the heart without which the spiritual world cannot be seen. Intuition as integral insight in its essence is attributed to the Divine Mind. Galileo Galilei scientist, condemned of heresy by the Church for his belief that the Earth rotates round the sun, says: "We proceed in step-by-step discussion from inference to inference, whereas He conceives through mere intuition.
Giordano Bruno philosopher was excommunicated and suffered a cruel death for his dangerous ideas. H e was kept in a dark dungeon for eight years by the Church and roasted to death by fire. He observes: "The divine mind contemplates everything in one simple act at once and without succession, that is, without the difference between the past, present and future; To Him all things are present. However, the Divine is not alien to man but in a sense identical to man. Meister Eckhart Christian mystics declares:. Joseph Leeming - In a recent publication, Yoga and the Bible: the yoga of the Divine word , has endeavored to show that the basic teachings of the New Testament and some parts of the Bible are essentially similar to the fundamental truths taught for ages by the teachers of Shabad Yoga; Shabad, meaning divine or inner sound, refers to the power which in the Bible is called the Word or Logos.
The Yoga of the divine word, or Shabad Yoga, is a system of meditation and other spiritual practices, which takes its followers to the highest attainable states of spiritual consciousness. Evelyn Underhill mystic states:. Samuel Coleridge the well known British poet and critic says:. Nothing is wanted but the eye which is the eye of this soul. Ralph Waldo Emerson the eminent American transcendentalist, and writer states:. I become a transparent eyeball.
For more on Emerson, refer to chapter Quotes The inner perception or the divine eye - Divya Chakskhu is a vehicle of poise and perfection, prophecy and power, bliss and benevolence and of tremendous self-development and supreme fulfillment. Modern science, by narrowing the vision and attitude of man to the sensible domain and by neglecting the claims of the innermost being, has released only a lop-sided view of life and the universe.
This has stopped man's evolution from instinctual-intellectual to intuitional-psychic level. Yoga brings about inner discipline and inner equilibrium. Chandigarh p. In Yoga there are Chakras or certain psychic centers in our body which are connected with certain paranormal powers latent in Man. These powers or "Miraculous faculties" are called Siddhies, in a perfected Yogi or a Master known as "Siddha. The yogi who has attained complete mastery over the technique of breathing, and who has been able by this means to isolate himself totally from the external world, succeeds in "seeing" the interior of his body or, in other words acquires intuitive knowledge of the secret mandala that his subtle body forms.
Rather like electricity, the life force prana condensed in the subtle body travels along pathways called nadi, in Sanskrit. The nadis are energy currents. Commonly, the Yoga scripture mention 72, nadis in all. In this cave the yogi perceives three things: a fire of glowing embers, a sleeping serpent, and the threefold orifice of the three principal channels, the ida, the pingala, and the sushumna:. The great task is to awaken this serpent, which means, in symbolic terms, to achieve conscious awareness of the presence within us of shakti or "cosmic power" and begin to use it in the service of spiritual progress.
Seven Chakras are located within the subtle body. They are arranged vertically along the axial channel. Muladhara - situated at the base mula, root of the trunk Svadhisthana - located at the level of the sexual organs Manipura - located on the latitude of the navel Anahata - at the level of the heart Vishuddha - level of the throat Ajna - located at the level of the forehead Sahasrara - or thousand rayed.
By forcing the life energy prana along the axial energy until it rushes upward like a volcanic eruption, flooding the crown center and thereby leading to the desired condition of blissful ecstasy samadhi. The life force which is responsible for the functioning of the body-mind, and the Kundalini-shakti are both an aspect of the Divine Power or Shakti.
It we compare the life force to electricity, the Kundalini can be likened to a high voltage electric charge. Or if we regard the life force as a pleasant breeze, the Kundalini is comparable to a hurricane. Sir John Woodroffe the well known British scholar and author of several books including The Serpent Power has noted that Shakti is Power, or cosmic Capacity, and as such is Bliss ananda , Supraconsciousness cit , and Love prema. Some authorities call it "Divine Intelligence. World wide popularity of Yoga.
As many as 20 million Americans practice yoga in pursuit of physical or mental fitness, with a little Om along the way. Recent surveys reveal that more than eleven million Americans currently do yoga on a regular basis - in YMCAs, health clubs, private studios, senior centers, living room floors, and retreat centers around the country.
The Miami Dolphins and the Chicago Bulls are doing it. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are doing it. With almost alarming rapidity, practices whose secrets have been handed down for thousands of years from adept to student, have landed on Main Street USA. Walk through the halls of the University of Chicago 's Graduate School of Business during the school year, and along with students cramming facts for macroeconomics and operating strategy you may encounter some students stretching their bodies and doing something really unusual for business school students: relaxing.
They're members of Chicago 's yoga club, a student group founded earlier this year by two GSB students and which last term attracted 15 to 35 regular attendees to classes in the school's Harper Center. The classes are "time to shut your brain off," says Jody Kirchner, one of the group's founders. Yoga is also on the radar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management , where Matthew McGarvey, a rising second-year student, wants to start a yoga class during Sloan's Innovation Period, a week in the middle of each semester that allows students to explore outside interests.
At Harvard Business School , restorative yoga, a form of yoga designed to promote relaxation and stress relief, has become more popular among MBA students, according to Carolyn Gould, the program manager for Shad Hall, the gym for HBS students and faculty. It's not specific to Harvard. Aldous Huxley philosopher , J. Iyengar - the famous yoga teacher and author of Light on Yoga An increasing number of people have taken up the ancient eastern health and fitness practice.
It doesn't matter if actresses are doing it. People are responding to yoga on a deeper level. It's not a fad. Washington Times says that from suburban recreation rooms to the halls of justice, people in the Washington area are experiencing the benefits of a full-body workout with yoga while calming their minds. Doctors study the health benefits of yoga - Physicians in the U. Early results suggest that a regular yoga regimen -- involving a variety of postures, deep breathing and meditation exercises -- can offer relief for patients suffering from asthma, chronic back pain, arthritis and obsessive compulsive disorder, among other problems.
Most of the research has taken place in India where yoga originated 5, years ago. But today, several reputable American doctors are pursuing randomized yoga studies, and the National Institutes of Health is funding clinical trials of yoga for treating insomnia and multiple sclerosis.
Mental health: Doctors and researchers are increasingly intrigued by yoga's potential to treat mental-health problems. One study, published in CNS Spectrums, a peer-reviewed psychiatric medical journal, examined 22 adults who suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder, an often-disabling condition that causes odd compulsions, such as excessive counting.
Half the group used standard meditation, while the other half used "Kundalini yoga," which requires patients to focus both eyes on the tip of their nose, press their tongues to the roof of their mouths, open their jaws and breathe through their noses for at least six minutes.
After three months, the yoga group posted a 40 percent improvement, compared with 14 percent in the non- yoga group. Later both groups received the yoga treatment, and after a year posted an average improvement of 70 percent. Yoga gives immune boost to breast cancer survivors. In breast cancer survivors, the Iyengar method of yoga not only promotes psychological well-being, but seems to offer immune system benefits as well, according to research reported Monday at the American Physiological Society meeting in Washington , DC.
The Iyengar method, created by B. Iyengar, "is considered to be one of the more active forms of yoga," lead researcher and presenter Pamela E. Psychosocial tests showed that the "demands of illness," which reflects the burden of hardship of being a breast cancer survivor, fell in the yoga participants. Importantly, these improvements correlated with decreased activation of an important immune system protein called NF-kB, which is a marker of stress in the body.
NF-kB can be activated by any type of stress in the body, like physical stress and mental stress. Indian Military gurus turn to yoga - India's military research industry is to launch experiments with yoga to sharpen the skills of troops in modern warfare and help cope with the stress of battling domestic insurgencies. From Crime to Divine - Prison Yoga an alternative solution to anger, fear and violence - South Indian Yoga Master Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev is conducting yoga programs in prisons in the United States and India that transforms hardened criminals into beings becoming aware of their divine nature.
Even the country credited with the development of the ancient science of yoga resisted opening its prison doors to the practice — at first. But the longing to offer himself to an often forgotten segment of humanity propelled Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, a yogi, realized master and mystic from South India, to persist in an eight-month vigil in to obtain the opportunity to conduct his first yoga program in the Coimbatore Central Prison. From the amazing results of his initial contact with 67 life-term criminals grew the successful yoga programs that are currently offered in all prisons in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu at the request of prison authorities.
Cambodia Rediscovers Yoga. Cambodia was home to one of the greatest Hindu empires, until the fall of the Khmer empire in Ancient carvings in local temples show yogis in deep meditation. The art is long forgotten, but today, yoga studios in the capital are increasingly reaching out to disadvantaged communities to share the health benefits of this healing practice.
Refer to chapter on Sacred Angkor. Their objective is to train Cambodians in the meditation techniques and exercises of yoga, enabling them in turn to teach others, particularly through outreach activities to poor communities who might not otherwise have access to yoga and meditation-based support. Their students are feeling the benefits of this ancient practice which is so popular abroad.
Yoga and meditation in Tihar Jail in India - India has seen how humane means cut through better than the crack of a whip. Addressing the International Conference on Aerospace Medicine in Delhi recently, the Air Chief, noting that yoga is a great stress reliever, lamented the fact that it was not being used as extensively as it should be in India to grapple with various mental and psychological problems. Quoting examples from some Western Air Forces manuals, the Air Chief said they had included yoga as a stress buster.
Exercise, yoga can help multiple sclerosis patients: Study. Thoppu Karanam - Super brain Yoga. This practice involved crossing the arms in the front of the chest, and holding the right ear lobe with the left hand and the left ear lobe with the right hand, and performing a series of squats in front of Lord Ganesha, in the temple or the puja room at home.
It was also widely used in Hindu schools, especially in the old times, as form of punishment for a erring child. The misbehaving child, or one who has neglected to do his or her homework, would be asked by the teacher to stand in the corner and do series of Thopukkaranams. Super Brain Yoga - Now, the western scientists have found that this practice stimulates the brain, and increases and improves intelligence, reduces behavioral problems in children , and minimizes the risks of age-related Alzheimer's disease and Dementia.
Refer to The theft of yoga - By Dr. Aseem Shukla - Hindu American Foundation. Now, the western scientists have found that this practice stimulates the brain, and increases and improves intelligence, reduces behavioral problems in children , and minimizes the risks of age-related Alzheimer's disease and Dementia.
Yoga has been in vogue for some time among the likes of pop queen Madonna and celebrities like Sadie Frost but this month, it officially goes mainstream in Britain. Yoga expert Aina Wethal attracts at her Pineapple Fitness centre at Covent Garden in London, disciples who are as keen on fashion as much as they are on yoga. She believes that clothes must flow when one is doing yoga, so they must be light and breathable.
They now join the sportswear brands like Nike's and Adidas. Got Stress? Try Yoga, Study Suggests. Many people turn to yoga to relieve stress, and new study findings suggest they're doing the right thing. During the study, Dr. George Brainard of the Center of Integrative Medicine of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and colleagues measured levels of cortisol in the blood of 16 healthy yoga novices before and after a minute period of rest.
Try Yoga, Study Suggests - newsyahoo. Yoga festival attracts 1, at Loire Valley in France. An estimated 1, people from twenty countries are currently participating in a nine-day 26th Annual Yoga Festival here with its main theme "the spirit of India. Hostility to Yoga in Church. Prophetic monotheism and Sanatana Dharma. Dutch-speaking Belgian Catholic family. He has written about the threat of yoga to prophetic religions thus:. Consciousness is not turned inward, but is or believes it is communicating with another Being. Moreover, the mind is not being emptied of its contents and made to rest in itself, as it is in yoga; on the contrary, it is being filled with a message beyond one's control.
The prophet receives a certain information: prophecy is like talking, though with an unusual partner via an unusual channel; but yoga is silence. Lastly, if it is correct that prophethood is a mental aberration and a delusion , then that makes it the very antithesis of yoga, which is an undisturbed and realistic awareness of pure consciousness. Yoga is not an erratic and disturbing experience, which befalls you and drives you to tirades of doom and to outbursts against your fellow men. It is a systematic discipline and makes the practitioner calm and serene.
The word yoga means discipline, control it is also translated as "uniting": not the soul with an outsider called God, but the mind with its object, i. Since its field of working is consciousness, it is not interested in outward experiences such as recognition and glorification, or martyrdom. There is nothing dramatic about yoga, in stark contrast to the dramas enacted and encountered by the prophets.
The most remarkable difference between the prophets' discourse and that of the rishis, is certainly this. The prophets all talk about themselves a lot. They think they are very special, this one person in this one body is different from the rest and has an exclusive relationship with the Creator.
But the rishis talked about a universal way, a world order in which we all participate, a state of consciousness we can all achieve. I f God is defined as that which transcends all worldly differences, the One above the Many, then this universalism is far more divine than the prophets' exclusivism. Koenraad Elst writes:.
David Frawley Pandit Vamadeva Shastri has observed that:. A few years ago the Pope issued a proclamation telling Catholics, particularly monks and priests, to avoid yogic practices and mixing Catholicism with Eastern traditions like the Hindu and Buddhist. ISBN p. In the book Pope John-Paul II on Eastern Religions and Yoga: a Hindu-Buddhist Rejoinder was occasioned precisely by one of the Pope's statements Crossing the Threshold of Hope, condemning the incorporation of yogic practices in the spiritual discipline of Christian clerics and laymen.
Yoga is Hinduism's gift to humanity. Christians Trying to Hijacking Yoga. Subhash Kak has written:. This yearning for wisdom was expressed by Zimmer over fifty years ago when he said, 'We of the Occident are about to arrive at a crossroads that was reached by the thinkers of India some seven hundred years before Christ. This is the real reason, why we become both vexed and stimulated, uneasy and yet interested, when confronted with the concepts and images of Indian wisdom.
To speed the assimilation of the European pagan religions in the Middle Ages, the church specifically chose dates for Christian holidays that coincided closely with pagan holidays. Why do you think we celebrate Christmas so close to the winter solstice every year? You got to love the hypocrisy of Christians. Yule is a Germanic pagan holiday. A cknowledgement of yoga as one of Hinduism's great gifts to the World. F olks still don't get that it's not at all about ownership, but about origins. It's not about branding, but about acknowledgement.
It's not about conversion, but about self realization. It's about understanding that yoga is but one of Hinduism 's great contributions to humanity. Perhaps some of the confusion is a result of the many ingredients of our modern lives -- mass marketing, crass consumerism, the worldwide Web and a Twitter-soundbite culture. It's a toxic cocktail that can lead to quick and faulty conclusions. It started back in , with the Yoga Journal. The summer issue was not particularly different from any other -- the mantra of the month, the sacred Hindu symbol, Om, sprinkled throughout the magazine, advertisements for products like bottom-shaping yoga pants and sticky yoga toe socks, and, of course, feature articles offering advice, insight and wisdom on yoga.
What we did not find, however, was any reference to Hinduism. In fact, Buddhism, Christianity and Judaism were more overtly associated with the discipline. After writing a letter to the editor, HAF's suspicions were confirmed when, during a follow up phone call, the young woman answering said, " Yeah, they [the editors] probably avoid it [Hinduism]. Hinduism does, like, you know, have a lot of baggage. Hinduism has baggage and the world's other religions don't? As an advocacy group seeking to provide a progressive Hindu American voice and to promote a better understanding of Hinduism, we were compelled to act.
And so started a quest to bring awareness to the Hindu roots of yoga and, in turn, gain acknowledgement of yoga as one of Hinduism's great gifts. Hindus across America, including my school-aged boys, face ridicule, discrimination and uninvited proseltyization as a result of caricature, misinformation and false judgment about our "religion.
Thanks to Deepak Chopra, we can add "one-eyed" and "tribal" to the list too. At the same time, 15 million Americans, from all religions and no religion, are turning to the power and healing benefits of yoga; some are even going beyond the physical to study Vedanta and the Gita or other "yogic" texts. Refer to In U. Schools, Yoga Without The Spiritual - hinduismtoday. The latest fad at a spinning studio round the corner: "combination spin and Yoga", where the goal is to burn fat and loosen thigh muscles - ostensibly to decrease that pesky sore hamstring.
But that shouldn't be surprising when there already exists Yoga in the nude, yoga and food, and even "Doga" - i. Apart from the aforementioned distortions of a 5,year-old science, we now see the rise of "Christian Yoga", "Muslim Yoga", "Kabbalah Yoga" and what have you. Each of these "nuanced faith-yogas" have appropriated the knowledge of countless yogis without so much as a nod of gratitude towards Hinduism, the faith that gifted them this treasure.
Hinduism today is identified overseas more with holy cows than Gomukhasana , the arduous twisting posture and exotic and erotic gods rather than the unity of divinity of Hindu tradition - that God may manifest and be worshiped in infinite ways; as a religion of incomprehensible ritual rather than the spiritual inspiration of Patanjali, the second century BC commentator and composer of the Yoga Sutras , that has formed the philosophical basis of practical Yoga for millennium.
As Yoga becomes more "mainstream", its Hindu roots continue to be buried further and further by studios, practitioners and the media. While magazines such as Yoga Journal are replete with references to ancient India, new age blather and even Buddhism, it is only logical to ask why is there so much resistance to openly acknowledging Yoga's inextricable links with Hinduism. Firstly, perhaps because not all of the great Hindu Yogis who introduced the West to this ancient philosophy took the uncompromising path of a Swami Vivekananda in his open assertion and embrace of his Hindu faith.
From Ayurveda to meditation and Yoga to pranayama and riya, the path of least resistance for acceptance in the West is seen to simply indulge the consumer with homilies to wellness, holistic healing and rewiring the mental hard drive without eliciting the baggage of that pariah term: "Hinduism. They end up grabbing the transcendent philosophical fruits of the ancients, leaving Hinduism with stereotyped detritus of incomprehensible ritual and the cliched "caste, cows and curry.
Even more baffling are the practitioners who learn to master asanas such as Hanumanasana or Natarajasana while simultaneously denying the Hindu roots of Yoga. Lord Nataraja's eternal dance precedes creation of this universe itself, but when will the Deepak Chopras of the world concede that the spiritual tradition moving to His divine rhythms is what we all accept as Hinduism?
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Aseem Shukla and Sheetal Shah - dailypioneer. If you have the root of Hinduism, then the stem is Hinduism, and the flower is Hinduism. Yoga uncoupled with a moral construct leads nowhere, except towards being more physically fit. Hinduism provides that moral construct. It is wrong to deny that yoga's Hindu origin. He has expressed his views on the theft of yoga thus:. But as yoga became more popular, and as the industry grew to be worth nearly six billion dollars , and as a variety of savvy marketers begin branding their "special" yoga techniques, it was hard not to notice that few yoga teachers and journals mentioned the origins of the practice and its connection to Hinduism.
Yoga was "secularised" to rid it of any taint of a "pagan" tradition. The practice, the savvy marketers claimed, was "a spiritual path, but not a religious one", to calm the committed Christian who wanted to hang on to Jesus while doing the " surya namaskara " obeisance to the Sun. Hindus are an accepting lot, and they believe that each should be able to follow whatever spiritual path they chose, according to one's "ishta" desire and "adhikara" qualifications.
And as one scholar elegantly put it, Hinduism itself was "a rolling conference of conceptual spaces, all of them facing all, and all of them requiring all", enabling it to accommodate everyone in this grand cosmic munificence, label or no label. Hinduism which is a "rolling conference of conceptual spaces" got neatly pigeon-holed as a religion — a religion, very soon marked and demonised as "heathen", "pagan", "kafr", and so on.
Thus, when a neophyte yoga student, hanging on to Jesus, anxiously queried, "Is yoga part of Hinduism? Joining these local marketers were the Indian-origin marketers , with the lead being taken by the savvy Deepak Chopra — the glib, red-sneakers-and-red-designer-glasses-wearing Hollywood guru who would make PT Barnum proud. Thus, when Aseem Shukla of the Hindu American Foundation wrote an essay in The Washington Post in April this year arguing that there had been a deliberate attempt to represent yoga as separate from its origins in Hinduism, Chopra came pouncing.
Ironically, he was joining hands with those demonising Hinduism and disemboweling it of its grand traditions. And when The New York Times , in a front-page article , recently commended the Hindu American Foundation for its intelligent activism , the nay-sayers screamed: "Hindu fundamentalists!
What should also be acknowledged is that most of the yoga that is taught and practiced in the West is "hatha yoga", and that the focus on the body was only a very minor aspect of yoga delineated by the great compiler of the yoga aphorisms, Patanjali. In fact, of the sutras in Patanjali's Yogasutras, only three focus on the body.
The 4 Pillars Of Yoga - Calm With Yoga
The primary aim of yoga, Patanjali stressed in the second sutra, is to still the mind for a transformation of consciousness. Yoga is a complete psychological system, with clear and definite answers to explain the human condition and relieve us of our psychological burdens. Alas, in the modern, westernised, noise-making world, the argument presented by Hindus is under attack from the professional anti-Hindu brigades , homegrown and foreign, whose aim is to proclaim yoga as "anaatha" — an orphan.
Allergic to the H-word? Honor Thy Heritage - Dr. Deepak Chopra. Yet none of the plethora of his book titles, that include several devoted to Jesus and one entire book devoted to the Buddha, even skirt the word "Hindu. The rishis did not call themselves Hindu. The moniker "Hinduism" is of relatively recent origin, but it is accepted today as a handy substitute for the perhaps more accurate but difficult to pronounce name, Sanatana Dharma, the eternal religion.
Christian Yoga is an Oxymoron? Yoga is dealing with the entirety; it is a union. S Iyengar. Now while Christians can practice yoga, I am not aware of any Christian teachings about yoga. It is not a part of the Roman Catholic teachings and certainly not a part of protestant teachings. It is not found within the King James Version of the bible.
http://atlantic.cerebralgardens.com/sangri-saga-demon-torithnatos-n-2.php It is a Hindu word, or more correctly a Sanskrit word from the Vedic civilization. So how did we get 'Christian Yoga'? Could it be due to the decline of members within the Christian church within the last 60 years? Is it an attempt to water down the teachings of yoga and import their own teaching. I think the best reason might be that yoga, and eastern spirituality, offered answers to the spiritual questions that the spiritually hungry masses had. It offered a practical, rational, logical, and truthful approach to spirituality.
But most importantly, it had answers! It offered a practical approach to cultivating a relationship with divinity. It offered a systematic approach and an abstract approach to meet the varying temperaments of the spirituality hungry. The second possibility was that Christianity was itself looking for answers. A small book filled with judgment, inflexibility, and condemnation was no longer fulfilling the needs of the masses or the leaders of the church. Offering yoga classes allowed the Christian to secretly practice Hinduism without having to renounce their Christian tradition.
Possibly by embracing the technology of yoga and meditation, the Christian church could finally return to the idea of love and acceptance that it believed it was founded upon. It is ironic that one religion would need to look to another religion to teach them about love, peace, harmony, and forgiveness. If successful, it could embrace these ancient teachings and save itself from the fate it planted over the last few thousand years. But possibly in their wisdom, the current fathers of the church realized that their time was coming to a close. So within America they must absorb yoga before they are absorbed by it.
This is a common religious view that has appeared numerous times within world history. Then they would immediately move their resources to India. After all they have years practice with this. Indians being a loving, peaceful people, openly embraced their brothers from the west. They looked the other way as their temples were torn down. They accepted it as karma as their families were torn apart over differing religious beliefs. Allowing one part to be taken from Hinduism opens a door for the distortion of the teachings. We must remember that the roots to modern day yoga comes from Vedic Yoga.
The same Vedic Yoga that is the authority of Hinduism. Allowing one branch to be severed from the tree of knowledge will not necessarily kill that tree, but it can produce strain and have an unbalancing effect upon the tree. Hinduism should reclaim its full heritage and not allow other groups to rename its sacred teachings under their banner, especially when they have no history of those teaching within their own system. But frequently groups attempt to privatize the information and present themselves as the original authority. Hinduism should guard against its sacred traditions becoming distorted and taken away.
Scholars at universities should take the stand that yoga is part of Hinduism, though one is one required to be a Hindu to practice yoga. It is important to acknowledge the roots of the tradition; after all we are expected to give credit to the orginial sources within books and research papers, but yet Hindu scholars have ignored this fundamental western view when it comes to their own heritage. Publishing the results of a six-year study of practices such as yoga , feng shui and shamanism, the Vatican said that whatever the individual merits of such therapies, none provided a true answer to the human thirst for happiness.
Many people, the report acknowledges, have rejected organised religion because they feel it fails to answer their needs. Our correspondent says that the report makes clear that the Vatican basically dislikes fuzzy spirituality. Watch An Invasion through Conversion - videoyahoo.
There are especially arrogant individuals who even attach their own names to these Hindu disciplines. How about a hour Certified Communion Teacher greeting students with Hallelujah and denying any Christian connection? As ridiculous as this seems, this is exactly how callous, absurd and insulting is the NAY crusade.
How many are aware that Hindus invented the all-important zero? Along with Yoga, these Hindu terms have been co-opted and distorted beyond recognition.