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Thursday, February 5, 2009

yoga




In reference to the yoga post that I have posted some time ago, some Anonymous person recently posted a comment as per below:-

Anonymous said...

Yoga is not an 'exercise'. Look it up!

Well, let's take a look shall we?

I agree with the statement Yoga is not an 'exercise' , but up to a certain extent.

Yoga (Sanskrit: योग, IAST: yóga, IPA: [joːgə]) refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India; to the goal achieved by those disciplines; and to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy.[1][2]

Major branches of yoga include Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga.[3][4][5] Raja Yoga, compiled in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and known simply as yoga in the context of Hindu philosophy, is part of the Samkhya tradition.[6] Many other Hindu texts discuss aspects of yoga, including the Vedas, Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Shiva Samhita and various Tantras.

The Sanskrit word yoga has many meanings,[7] and is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning "to control", "to yoke" or "to unite".[8] Translations include "joining", "uniting", "union", "conjunction", and "means".[9][10][11] Outside India, the term yoga is typically associated with Hatha Yoga and its asanas (postures) or as a form of exercise. A practitioner of Yoga is called a Yogi (gender neutral) or Yogini (feminine form).


While Yoga is an ancient philosophy that is much associated with Hinduism and Buddhism (more in Hinduism though), one should understand that Yoga was meant to teach humans to achieve total union with god. Yes, union with god, and its a PHILOSOPHY.

But wait, lets look into parts and parcel of Yoga.

Pre-Classical Period

Yoga shares some characteristics not only with Hinduism but also with Buddhism that we can trace in its history. During the sixth century B.C., Buddha started teaching Buddhism, which stresses the importance of Meditation and the practice of physical postures. Siddharta Gautama, the first Buddhist to study Yoga, achieved enlightenment at the age of 35.

Later, around 500 B.C., the Bhagavad-Gita or Lord's Song was created and this is currently the oldest known Yoga scripture. It is devoted entirely to Yoga and has confirmed that it has been an old practice for some time. However, it doesn't point to a specific time wherein Yoga could have started. The central point to the Gita is that - to be alive means to be active and in order to avoid difficulties in our lives and in others, our actions have to benign and have to exceed our egos.

Just as the Upanishads further the Vedas, the Gita builds on and incorporates the doctrines found in the Upanishads. In the Gita, three facets must be brought together in our lifestyle: Bhakti or loving devotion, Jnana which is knowledge or contemplation, and Karma which is about selfless actions. The Gita then tried to unify Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Karma Yoga and it is because of this that it has gained importance. The Gita was a conversation between Prince Arjuna and God-man Krishna and it basically stresses the importance of opposing evil.
Classical Period
  1. Yama, which means social restraints or ethical values;
  2. Niyama, which is personal observance of purity, tolerance, and study;
  3. Asanas or physical exercises;
  4. Pranayama, which means breath control or regulation;
  5. Pratyahara or sense withdrawal in preparation for Meditation;
  6. Dharana, which is about concentration;
  7. Dhyana, which means Meditation; and
  8. Samadhi, which means ecstasy.

Post classical

Yoga was introduced in the West during the early 19th century. It was first studied as part of Eastern Philosophy and began as a movement for health and vegetarianism around the 1930's. By the 1960's, there was an influx of Indian teachers who expounded on Yoga. One of them was Maharishi Mahesh, the Yogi who popularized Transcendental Meditation. Another one is a prominent Yoga Guru Swami Sivananda. Sivananda was a doctor in Malaysia and he later opened schools in America and Europe. The most prominent of his works is his modified Five Principles of Yoga which are:

  1. Savasana or proper relaxation;
  2. Asanas or proper exercise;
  3. Pranayama or proper breathing;
  4. Proper diet; and
  5. Dhyana or positive thinking and Meditation
Sivananda wrote more than 200 books on Yoga and Philosophy and had many disciples who furthered Yoga. Some of them were Swami Satchitananda who introduced chanting and Yoga to Woodstock; Swami Sivananada Radha who explored the connection between psychology and Yoga, and Yogi Bhajan who started teaching Kundalini Yoga in the 70's.


Up to this day, Yoga continues to proliferate and spread its teachings, crossing the boundaries of culture and language.

Yoga is a healing system of theory and practice. It is a combination of breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation that has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. [1][2]

While yoga evolved as a spiritual practice in Hinduism, in the Western world, a part of yoga, known as Asana, has grown popular as a form of purely physical exercise. Some Western forms have little or nothing to do with Hinduism or spirituality, but are simply a way of keeping fit and healthy.

Yoga was introduced to American society in the late 19th century by Swami Vivekananda, the founder of the Vedanta Society.[citation needed] He believed that India has an abundance of spiritual wealth and that yoga is a method that could help those who were bound by the materialism of capitalist societies to achieve spiritual well-being. A survey released in May 2004 by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine focused on who used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), what was used, and why it was used in the United States by adults age 18 years and over during 2002.[3] According to this survey, Yoga was the 5th most commonly used CAM therapy (2.8%) in the United States during 2002. [4] Yoga is considered a mind-body intervention that is used to reduce the health effects of generalized stress.

Yoga for treating diseases
Most yoga classes consist of a combination of physical exercises, breathing exercises, and meditation. These characteristics make yoga a particularly beneficial kind of exercise for people with certain health conditions, including heart disease/hypertension, asthma, and back problems. For people with heart problems, studies have shown yoga to help people young and old. Specifically, yoga seems to promote heart health in several ways, including regulating high blood pressure and improving resistance to psychological stress.[13] Yoga also has the potential to buffer against the harmful effects of bodily self-objectification as well as to promote embodiment and well-being.


Islam

The development of Sufism was considerably influenced by Indian yogic practises, where they adapted both physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama).[47] The ancient Indian yogic text, Amritakunda, ("Pool of Nectar)" was translated into Arabic and Persian as early as the 11th century.[48]

Malaysia's top Islamic body in 2008 passed a fatwa, which is legally non-binding, against Muslims practicing yoga, saying it had elements of "Hindu spiritual teachings" and could lead to blasphemy and is therefore haraam. Muslim yoga teachers in Malaysia criticized the decision as "insulting".[49] Sisters in Islam, a women's rights group in Malaysia, also expressed disappointment and said they would continue with their yoga classes.[50] The fatwa states that yoga practiced only as physical exercise is permissible, but prohibits the chanting of religious mantras,[51] and states that teachings such as uniting of a human with God is not consistent with Islamic philosophy.[52] In a similar vein, the Council of Ulemas, an Islamic body in Indonesia, passed a fatwa banning yoga on the grounds that it contains "Hindu elements"[53] These fatwas have, in turn, been criticized by Darul Uloom Deoband, a Deobandi Islamic seminary in India.[54]


So well, while Yoga, a philosophy, was initially meant to aid in achieving Moksha, in this modern era is adapted to become purely as a physical exercise. How can one blame the "tool" when it's is clearly that it's "human beings" are just plain idiots?
~xoxo~
ShAuNnY BoY:P ~

5 comments:

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Pradipika?

http://www.YogaVidya.com/hyp.html

a.k.satsangi said...

Yoga (Application) which was based on the control of the body physically and implied that a perfect control over the body and the senses led to knowledge of the ultimate reality. A detailed anatomical knowledge of the human body was necessary to the advancement of yoga and therefore those practising yoga had to keep in touch with medical knowledge. (Romila Thapar, A History of India, volume one).

I suggest : Mind and brain are two distinct things. Brain is anatomical entity whereas mind is functional entity. Mind can be defined as the function of autonomic nervous system (ANS). It is claimed that mind can be brought under conscious control through the practice of meditation. But how? ANS is largely under hypothalamic control which is situated very close to optic chiasma (sixth chakra or ajna chakra). Protracted practice of concentration to meditate at this region brings functions of ANS say mind under one’s conscious control.

ANS is further divided into parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) and sympathetic nervous system (SNS). On the basis of these facts I have discovered a mathematical relationship for spiritual quotient (S.Q.). Spiritual Quotient can be expressed mathematically as the ratio of Parasympathetic dominance to Sympathetic dominance. PSNS dominates during meditative calm and SNS dominates during stress. In this formula we assign numerical values to the physiological parameters activated or suppressed during autonomic mobilization and put in the formula to describe the state of mind of an individual and also infer his/her level of consciousness.

Meditation is the art of looking within and science of doing nothing. We don’t use anything in meditation. We just try to concentrate to meditate at some point in human anatomy known as ‘chakra’ in Indian System of Yoga. The current of mind is flowing outward through the senses and unconsciously. The mind comes at rest gradually through regular practice of meditation. Then comes self realization and enlightenment. Protracted practice of meditation under qualified guidance will help to manage all sort of psychological problems.

Emotional Quotient can also be expressed mathematically as the product of I.Q. and Wisdom Factor. E.Q. stands for Emotional Quotient. An intelligent person may not be wise. But a wise man will always be intelligent. An intelligent person having certain level of positive emotions can be said as wise. An intelligent person lacking wisdom will turn autocrat. A wise man will always be a democrat who respects others existence.

Some may raise doubt that how could be the Wisdom quantified? The answer is simple -if Mental Age of I.Q. can be quantified then Wisdom can also be quantified, of course, comparatively with more efforts. Wilhelm Stern had given the formula of I.Q.. It is, Mental Age/ Chronological Age x 100. Spiritual Quotient (S.Q.) leverages both E.Q. and I.Q.

Radha Soami Faith is a branch of Religion of Saints like Kabir, Nanak, Paltu, and others. Soamiji Maharaj is the founder of this Faith. You may call It like New Wine in Old Bottle.

Maslow has given Hierarchy of Needs. At the top of it is need for self-actualization or self-realization.

In our society we should learn To Live and Let Live and help to satisfy others need. When the lower order needs, physiological and sociological both, are satisfied then only a person think to satisfy need for self-realization in true sense. Else he/she may spend all his/her life to satisfy at the most the need for self-expression instead of self-realization.

It is, therefore, the duty of every responsible person, at the least, of our society to give serious thought over it.

For the satisfaction of need for self-realization i.e. establishment of harmony of individual consciousness with that of universal consciousness we need following three things:

1. Mater or Guru (A Self-Realized Soul)
2. Secret of Levels of Universal Consciousness
3. Method for traversing the path.


Anirudh Kumar Satsangi

your friend's friend said...

I learned Yoga once and I do think it's a form of exercise
A torturing one to be exact

Anirudh said...

In Bhagavad-Gita Lord SriKrishna says to Arjuna:
“I taught this immortal Yoga to Vivasvan (sun-god), Vivasvan conveyed it to Manu(his son), and Manu imparted it to (his son) Iksvaku. Thus transmitted to succession from father to son, Arjuna, this Yoga remained known to the Rajarisis (royal sages). It has however long since disappeared from this earth. The same ancient Yoga has this day been imparted to you by Me, because you are My devotee and friend, and also because this is a supreme secret”.
At this Arjuna said: You are of recent origin while the birth of Vivasvan dates back to remote antiquity. How, then, I am to believe that you taught this Yoga at the beginning of creation? Lord SriKrishna said: Arjuna, you and I have passed through many births. I remember them all, you do not remember.
1. Radha Soami Faith was founded by His Holiness Param Purush Puran Dhani Huzur Soamiji Maharaj on the prayer of His Holiness Huzur Maharaj who later on became second Spiritual Head of Radha Soami Faith. The prime object of the Radha Soami Faith is the emancipation of all Jeevas (Souls) i.e. to take the entire force of consciousness to its original abode. There is a tradition of succession of Gurus or Spiritual Adepts in Radha Soami Faith. I am one of them as is evident from the following facts or ….
“My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.
HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith.
Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ (Agam Geet yeh gawan chahoon tumhri mauj nihara, mauj hoi to satguru soami karoon supanth vichara) but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.”

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