Yoga is a way of life,an integrated system of education for the body,mind,and inner spirit.This art of right living was perfected and practiced in India thousands of years ago but,since Yoga benefits deals with universal truths,its teachings are as valid today as they were in ancient times.Yoga is a practical aid, not a religion,and its techniques may be practiced by Buddhists,jews,christians,Muslims,Hindus and atheists alike.Yoga is union with all.
Yoga means union. Etymologically, it is connected to the English word, yoke. Yoga means union with God, or, union of the little, ego-self with the divine Self, the infinite Spirit.
THE SYNTHESIS OF YOGA:
Over the centuries,four different paths of yoga benefits(Karma,janana,Bhakti and Raja)have developed.They are often linked to four brances of a tree which put down roots from its branches and appears to be growing down to earth from Heaven.Since we each have our own personality.we may prefer one path to another but a onesided developed is not recommended,as it can lead to an imbalance in the personality.The whole person-heart intellect and hand should be developed simultaneously,so a synthesis of the four main paths is recommended.It is best to have one basic sadhana(spiritual practice)or preferred path,but to draw the techniques of the others as well.
ACTIVE PATH-KARMA YOGA
Karma yoga is selfless service,the path by which the mind is most quickly purified and its limits transcended.The karma Yogi works hard,both ohysically and mentally.He seeks to eliminate the ego and its attachments to serve humanity without expecting reward,and to see unity in diversity.This enable that dwells within all beings.Karma Yoga is most suitable for people who have an active temperature.It invlves working in the word and giveing of onself,but working on a spirutual level.
PHILOSOPHICAL PATH-JNANA YOGA:
This philosophical or intellectual approach to spiritual evolution describe the world as an illusion.Using the two powerful intellectual of discrimination and dispassion,the veils of illusion or maya are lifted. Jnana yoga is usually regarded as the most difficult of the four path of yoga.This path demands a sharp mind and an unclouded intellect.
DEVOTIONAL PATH-BHAKTI YOGA:
Bhakti yoga tends to appeal to people who are emotional by nature. Since the emotion can not be endlessly repressed. Bhakti yoga teaches techniques for their sublimation.Through various practices,such as chanting,prayer and the repetition of mantra(sacred formula)emotional energy is channeled into devotion turning anger hated and jealousy in a positive direction.Emotional love is changed into pure divine love.The Bhakti tries to see God in all.
SCIENTIFIC PATH-RAJA YOGA:
We each possess vast mental and psychic resources that lie virtually untapped below the surface of the conscious mind.To release this latent potential, Raja yoga prescribes a psychological approach,based on a practical system of concentration and control of the mind.Right conduct a healthy body and steady posture breath regulation,and withdrawal of the sense are recommended to achieve this.Only if this foundation is firm can the superstructure of concentration and meditation succeed. Hatha yoga is a form of raja yoga that emphasizes asanas and pranayam. Without yamas,Niyamas and the other steps,it is not yoga.
YOGA BENEFITS FOR ALL:
One of the beauties of the physical practice of yoga is that the poses support and sustain you no matter how old or young, or fit or frail, you come to your mat. As you age, your understanding of asana becomes more sophisticated. You move from working on the external alignment and mechanics of the pose to refining the inner actions to finally just being in the asana.
Yoga has never been alien to us. We have been doing it since we were a baby! Whether it is the Cat Stretch that strengthens the spine or the Wind-Relieving pose that boosts digestion, you will always find infants doing some form of yoga throughout the day. Yoga can be many things to many people. We are determined to help you discover your “Yoga Way of Life!”
EIGHT STEP OF RAJA YOGA:
By observing their own thoughts,scientifically and objectively,the ancient Yoga studies the many obstacles to bringing the mind under conscious control.The sage patanjali compiled their finding in the raja yoga sutras,a text that describe the inner working of mind,and also provides an eight-stepped blueprint for controlling the restless mind and enjoying lasting peace.There are many yoga benefits……
1)Yamas(abstentions)-truth,non-violence,control of sexual energy,non-stealing,non-covetousness.
2)Niyamas(abservances)purity,contentment,study,surrender of the ego.
4)Pranayama-control of vital energy.
5)Pratyahara-withdrawal of the senses.
6)Dharana-concentration of mind.
8)Samadhi-the super conscious state.