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Yoga is an old as well as new discipline of Sadhana from India. It helps spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Yoga uses breathing techniques, Asana postures, hand gestures (mudra), body locks (bandha) and meditation. It improves health, mind, consciousness and happiness.
Yoga is the Sanskrit word for union. Patanjali was a pioneer of classical yoga. He defined yoga as "the cessation of the modification of the mind". (stopping of changing the mind).
A person doing yoga will move from one posture (called asana) to another. For example, the "sun-salutation" contains 12 poses of asanas, one after the other, and is said to help balance body and soul. The "sun-salutation" is popularly known as "Suryanamaskara".
Important yoga words (Eight Organs of Yoga)
- Yama: Positive Rules of meditations
- Niyama: Prohibitory Rules of meditations
- Asana: physical postures and movements
- Pranayama: breathing techniques
- Pratyahara: controlling the mind
- Dharana: gazing inward
- Dhyana: meditation with object
- Samadhi: meditation without object
Types of yoga
- Classification based on mind and body.
- Rajayoga: Emphasizes the most on exercise
- Hathayoga: Emphasizes the most on exercise of physical body.
- Classification based on way of spiritual life.
- Jnanayoga: It is a way of knowledge.
- Karmayoga: It is a way of work.
- Bhaktiyoga: It is a way of worship.
- Classification based on a way of other things.
- Swaryoga: Emphasizes the most on breathing.
- Kriyayoga: Emphasizes the most on blending Karmayoga (Tapa), Gyanyoga (Swadhyay) and Bhaktiyoga (Ishwar Pranidhan).'