Monday, August 20, 2007

Yoga in India

YogaThe wavering, restless mind goes wandering on… you must draw it back, and have it focused every time on the soul."

- Lord Krishna said to Arjuna in Bhagwat gita

¤ Yogic Revelation

The whole world is talking about yoga principles these days. In the west people are increasingly casting a keen eye on relaxation and yoga meditation, essentials of the ancient Indian principles of yoga. No wonder Indians have kept the tradition alive and well; as a therapy they know that there’s nothing better than good old yoga.

The word yoga means ‘union’, though a more literal equivalent is the English ‘yoke’. In fact, the words yoga and yoke have the same Sanskrit root. The knowledge of yoga meditation comes to us originally from the Vedas

The idea then developed and branched into a whole lot of other texts and philosophies. The yoga that is most well known today is the Hatha Yoga of bodily positions called asanas. Through a perfection of the practice, one is supposed to reach a higher state of being, a state that is in union with brahmana or the Absolute (also the Hindu concept of godhead). In the ancient times our rishis (Hindu ascetics) practiced yoga to achieve self-realization, a necessary step towards spiritual progress. For them yoga was the way to liberation (moksha) from the material world. Advanced yogis (experts on yoga) even claimed to acquire extraordinary powers, such as how to vanish into thin air!

¤ Cure Without Medicine

Anyway, other religions like Buddhism and Jainism, too, absorbed the techniques of yoga. Today millions are turning to this age-old system because of its therapeutic goodness. If you have a little patience, you can cure yourself of most ills without pills. and with time, such bodily discipline also influences consciousness and concentration, silencing the wandering Cain in your mind forever.

Medical research has endorsed the benefits of yoga postures on the body. Yoga is just the remedy for ailments like a poor spine and painful joints. The stretching and compressing during these asanas, and the alteration of the body’s orientation and centre of gravity generate ‘piezoelectricity’ (electricity caused by pressure) in the body tissues.

A regular practice of yoga exercises regulates the growth, maintenance and strengthening of body tissues. In fact, the whole body metabolism is stimulated and the body’s healing powers improved.

¤ Types of Yoga

Astanga Yoga
Astanga laid out in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and means eight limbs in Sanskrit. The asana was formulated by Krishnamacharya and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, from an ancient text called the Yoga Korunta - described as a peculiar system of hatha yoga developed by Vamana Rishi.

Bikram Yoga
Named after its founder Bikram chowdry, Bikram Yoga has 26 poses in series and they are performed at heat of 90-100 degree Farenheit. Each of the yoga pose is performed twice and is held for a certain period time. The session starts from standing postured and the follow the backbends, forward bends and twists. The poses in Bikram Yoga are accompanied by Kapalabhati or 'breath of fire'.

Iyengar Yoga
Created by B.K.S. Iyengar, Iyengar Yoga is a form of yoga which uses props like belts and blocks and it aids in performing asanas. This yoga is also based on Patanjali, a traditional eight limbs of Yoga, in his Yoga Sutras. The asana enforces development of strength, stamina, flexibility and balance. It also involves concentration and meditation.

Kundalini yoga
As an ancient form of yoga, Kundalini is a meditative way which comprises of simple technique and used body, mind and senses needed for communication between mind and body.

¤ Yoga Destinations in India

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