What is Yoga?
Yoga in South India

What is Yoga? The word 'yoga' means 'union' or 'merger' in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India, where it was originated thousands of years ago.  It is practised by sages and common people to achieve good health, longevity, and rejuvenation and in the later stages of enlightenment - self realization. The ultimate aim of yoga philosophy is to strike a balance between mind, body and attain self-enlightenment.

Pathanjali Maharshi compiled the Yoga Sutras and described it in 8 limbs as Ashtanga Yoga, covering all aspects of life, to be practised. These eight limbs are -

  • Yama (Moral codes- Non-violence)
  • Niyama (Self purification and study)
  • Asana (Posture)
  • Pranayama (Breath control exercises)
  • Pratyahara (Sense control exercises)
  • Dharana (Concentration)
  • Dhyana (Meditation)
  • Samadhi Absorption -the ultimate state of self-realization).

There are different types of Yoga. They are -

  • Bhakthi Yoga
  • Hata Yoga
  • Gnana Yoga
  • Karma Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Mantra Yoga
  • Purna Yoga
  • Raja Yoga

You can see some of the Yoga postures here.

Benefits of Yoga are many. If Yoga is practised daily many diseases can be prevented and one can attain good health, and spiritual and intellectual growth. Many consider yoga for stress management.

Yoga postures are called Asanas. These asanas are done in different postures. Some are in standing position, some others in sitting position, and some in lying position.

There are certain Prayers to be chanted for learning and practising Yoga.

In India,Yoga is taught and practised in a very systematic way. Enjoying a Yoga Vacation in this historic land can really be a memorable one. There are several Yoga centers for yoga classes and famous Gurus for teaching yoga in South India.

Other Related Pages

In Yoga, Surya Namaskara (Salutation to Sun) is very important.

Benefits of Surya Namaskara

Surya Namaskara pictures

Yogasana - Pictures

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga Prayers- to be chanted while doing yoga

Yoga Asanas

Yoga is also good for kids. They get many Benefits from Yoga (for kids)

Return from What is Yoga to Home Page