Essay on Yoga
The term Yoga means “To bind or yoke together”. It connects the body and mind to create a peaceful experience. Yoga aids in the balanced development of the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of man. Yoga is a learning approach that focuses on balancing “Mind, Body, and Spirit.” Yoga is a form of exercise that has its roots in ancient Indian philosophy. Yoga differs from other forms of exercise in that it creates motion without generating tension or imbalances in the body. Other types of physical activity, such as aerobics, focus solely on physical well-being. They have little to do with the spiritual or astral body’s development.
Yogic exercises infuse the body with cosmic energy and make it easier to move. They have little to do with the spiritual or astral body’s development. Yogic movements infuse the body with cosmic energy and make it easier to move around.
Yoga is thought to have originated with the dawn of civilization, and Lord Shiva is considered to be the first instructor of Yoga in mythology. Yoga, largely regarded as a “immortal cultural result” of the Indus valley civilization, which dates back to 2700 B.C., has proven to be beneficial to humanity’s material and spiritual well-being. Yoga Sadhana’s identity is based on basic humanitarian values.
The presence of Yoga in ancient India is indicated by the number of seals and Indus Valley civilization fossil remnants with Yogic themes and figures conducting Yoga Sadhana. Tantra Yoga is suggested by the phallic emblems and seals of mother Goddess idols. Yoga can be found in folk traditions, the Indus Valley civilization, Vedic and Upanishadic legacy, Buddhist and Jain traditions, Darshanas, Mahabharat and Ramayana epics, Shaiva and Vaishnava theistic traditions, and Tantric traditions. In addition, in South Asian mystical traditions, there was a primordial or pure Yoga. This was a time when Yoga was practised under the direct supervision of the Guru, and its spiritual significance was emphasised. It was part of Upasana, and their rituals included yoga sadhana. During the Vedic period, the sun was given the utmost honour. Due to this impact, the practise of ‘Surya namaskara’ may have been invented later. Pranayama was used in everyday rituals and as an oblation. Though Yoga was performed in the pre-Vedic period (2700 B.C. ), the great Sage Maharshi Patanjali defined and systematised the existing practises of Yoga, their meaning, and related knowledge in his Yoga Sutras. Following Patanjali, several Sages and Yoga Masters made significant contributions to the field’s preservation and development through their well-documented practises and literature.
Historical proof of Yoga’s existence may be found dating back to the pre-Vedic period (2700 B.C.) and continuing until Patanjali’s time. The Vedas (4), Upanishads (108), Smritis, teachings of Buddhism, Jainism, Panini, Epics (2), Puranas (18), and other sources are the key sources from which we receive information on Yoga practises and related literature throughout this period.
The Classical period is tentatively defined as the time period between 500 BC and 800 A.D., which is also regarded as the most productive and influential period in the history and development of Yoga. During this time, Vyasa’s commentaries on the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagawadgita, among other things, appeared. This time period can primarily be devoted to two of India’s greatest religious gurus, Mahavir and Buddha. The concept of Mahavir’s Five Great Vows – Pancha mahavrata – and Buddha’s Ashta Magga or Eightfold Path – can be considered the origins of Yoga sadhana. The Bhagawadgita, which thoroughly presents the concepts of Gyan yoga, Bhakti yoga, and Karma yoga, provides a more explicit explanation. These three types of yoga are still the pinnacle of human wisdom, and many today achieve serenity by following the ways outlined in the Gita. Apart from containing several parts of yoga, Patanjali’s yoga sutra is most known for the eight-fold path of yoga. Vyasa also penned an important commentary on the Yoga Sutra. During this time, the mind was given special attention, and it was clearly demonstrated through Yoga sadhana. Both the mind and the body can be brought under control to experience equanimity.
The Post Classical period is defined as the time period between 800 and 1700 A.D., when the teachings of famous Acharyatrayas such as Adi Shankracharya, Ramanujacharya, and Madhavacharya were prevalent. During this time, the teachings of Suradasa, Tulasidasa, Purandardasa, and Mirabai were major contributors. Matsyendaranatha, Gorkshanatha, Cauranginatha, Swatmaram Suri, Gheranda, and Shrinivasa Bhatt are some of the renowned Natha Yogis of Hathayoga Tradition who popularised Hatha Yoga techniques during this time.
The period from 1700 to 1900 A.D. is known as the Modern Period, during which great Yogacharyas such as Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Paramhansa Yogananda, Vivekananda, and others contributed to the advancement of Raja Yoga.
Vedanta, Bhakti yoga, Nathayoga, and Hatha-yoga flourished throughout this time. The primary tenents of Hatha-yoga were Gorakshashatakam’s Shadanga-yoga, Hathayogapradipika’s Chaturanga-yoga, and Gheranda Samhita’s Saptanga-yoga.
In today’s world, everyone believes in the benefits of yoga practises for health preservation, maintenance, and promotion. Swami Shivananda, Shri T.Krishnamacharya, Swami Kuvalayananda, Shri Yogendara, Swami Rama, Sri Aurobindo, Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, Acharya Rajanish, Pattabhijois, BKS. Iyengar, Swami Satyananda Sarasvati, and others taught yoga to people all over the world.
Different Traditional Schools of Yoga emerged as a result of the various Philosophies, Traditions, lineages, and Guru-shishya paramparas of Yoga, such as Jnana-yoga, Bhakti-yoga, Karma-yoga, Dhyana-yoga, Patanjalayoga, Kundalini-yoga, Hatha-yoga, Mantra-yoga, Laya-yoga, Raja-yoga, Jainyoga, Boudd Each school has its own set of ideas and practises that lead to Yoga’s ultimate goal and objectives.
Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana (Meditation), Samadhi /Samyama, Bandhas & Mudras, Shat-karmas, Yukta-ahara, Yukta karma, Mantra japa, and others are some of the most extensively practised Yoga Sadhanas (Practices).
Restraints are Yamas, and observances are Niyamas. These are regarded as prerequisites for Yoga Sadhanas (Practices). Asanas, which are capable of bringing about body and mind stability (‘kuryat-tad-asanamsthairyam…’), consist of adopting diverse body (psycho-physical) patterns, offering the ability to sustain a body position (a steady consciousness of one’s structural existence) for a long time.
Pranayama is the practise of becoming aware of one’s breathing and then consciously controlling it as the functional or vital basis of one’s existence. It aids in the development of mental awareness and the establishment of mental control. This is accomplished in the beginning stages by becoming aware of the ‘flow of in-breath and out-breath’ (svasa-prasvasa) through the nostrils, mouth, and other body openings, as well as the internal and external pathways and destinations. Later, through regulated, controlled, and monitored inhaling (svasa), this phenomenon is adjusted, resulting to knowledge of the body space/s being filled (puraka), remaining filled (kumbhaka), and being emptied (rechaka) during regulated, controlled, and monitored expiration (prasvasa).
Pratyhara is the separation (withdrawal) of one’s consciousness from the sense organs, which allows one to maintain contact with external objects. Dharana refers to a broad field of attention (both inside and beyond the body and mind), which is commonly referred to as concentration. Dhyana (Meditation) is a combination of contemplation (inner focus) and Samadhi (integration).
Pranayama is related with the use of bandhas and mudras. They are regarded as advanced Yogic practises that primarily consist of adopting particular body (psycho-physical) patterns as well as breathing control. This improves mind control and lays the door for higher yogic accomplishment. Shat-karmas are clinical de-toxification procedures that serve to remove toxins that have built up in the body.
Yuktahara (Right Food and Other Inputs) promotes healthy eating habits and appropriate food. However, the essence of Yoga Sadhana is the practise of Dhyana (Meditation), which aids in self-realization and transcendence (The Practice of Yoga).
Yoga education was traditionally provided by informed, experienced, and wise family members (similar to the education imparted in western convents) and then by Seers (Rishis/Munis/Acharyas) in Ashramas (compared with monastries). Yoga Education, on the other hand, is concerned with the person, or ‘Being.’ A good, balanced, integrated, truthful, clean, transparent individual is assumed to be more valuable to oneself, family, society, nation, nature, and humanity as a whole. Yoga education is based on the concept of ‘being orientated.’ Various living traditions and literature have defined the details of working with the ‘being oriented’ component, and the practise that contributes to this crucial subject is known as ‘Yoga.’
Many prestigious Yoga Institutions, Yoga Colleges, Yoga Universities, Yoga Departments in Universities, Naturopathy colleges, and private trusts and societies now offer yoga education. In hospitals, dispensaries, medical institutes, and therapeutical settings, many Yoga Clinics, Yoga Therapy and Training Centers, Preventive Health Care Units of Yoga, Yoga Research Centers, and so on have been formed.
In India, the land of Yoga, several social practises and rituals demonstrate a love for ecological balance, tolerance for multiple systems of thought, and compassion for all creations.
Yoga Sadhana of all hues and colours is thought to be a remedy for living a meaningful life. It is a worthy practise for individuals of all religions, ethnicities, and nationalities because of its focus on total health, both individual and social.
Millions of people throughout the world now benefit from the practise of Yoga, which has been preserved and promoted by great recognised Yoga Masters from ancient times to the present.
Yoga opens up fresh learning opportunities for a broader range of pupils than standard sports or fitness curriculum, making it an important component of any educational programme.
Yoga, as a variation of standard physical education, can also be included to a school’s curriculum to help create a quality physical education programme. Yoga in sports is just as significant as other people believe; it benefits us in a variety of ways and at various levels in a sportsman’s life. Yoga can help a sportsperson develop mind control and concentration, which will help them perform better on the field. It provides children and adults with the opportunity to succeed in physical activity, which can aid in the development of a strong foundation for life. Curriculum specialists, teachers, trainers, and students, on the other hand, should be aware of and analyse the genuine obstacles of yoga education in the classroom and in real life.