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What Is The Meaning Of Yoga

Laya Yoga And Kundalini Yoga

What is the Definition of Yoga

Laya and kundalini yoga are closely associated with Hatha yoga but are often presented as being independent approaches.

According to Georg Feuerstein, laya yoga “makes meditative absorption its focus. The laya-yogin seeks to transcend all memory traces and sensory experiences by dissolving the microcosm, the mind, in the transcendental Self-Consciousness.” There are various forms and techniques of Laya yoga, including listening to the “inner sound” , practicing various mudras like Khechari mudra and Shambhavi mudra as well as techniques meant to awaken a spiritual energy in the body .

The practice of awakening the coiled energy in the body is sometimes specifically called Kundalini yoga. It is based on Indian theories of the subtle body and uses various pranayamas and mudras to awaken the energy known as kundalini or shakti. In various Shaiva and Shakta traditions of yoga and tantra, yogic techniques or yuktis are used to unite kundalini-shakti, the divine conscious force or energy, with Shiva, universal consciousness. A common way of teaching this method is to awaken the kundalini residing at the lowest chakra and to guide it through the central channel to unite with the absolute consciousness at the highest chakra .

Scientific Research On Yoga Benefits

The U.S. military, the National Institutes of Health and other large organizations are listening to and incorporating scientific validation of yogas value in health care.


Numerous studies show yogas benefits in arthritis, osteopenia, balance issues, oncology, womens health, chronic pain and other specialties.

Why We Say Namaste In Yoga

Most teachers will invoke this sacred word at some point during their class. I have a particular teacher who uses Namaste in a beautiful way. When class begins, the instructor greets us by saying Namaste. Then, she asks us to turn to one another, look each other in the eyes, repeat the salutation to one another and bow to the recognition that the light in me sees and honors the light in you. Traditionally, the salutation Namaste is accompanied by a bow with palms pressed together at heart center. These gestures are a physical acknowledgment and honoring of our humanity and our divinity that connects us all. When we say Namaste, we are also bowing to the divine teacher within ourselves. This is often referred to as the Guru within. The root Gu means darkness, while ru means light. Hence, were bowing to and embracing the light and the darkness that exists within us all. In many yoga disciplines, we namaskar to the sun in the series of poses referred to as Sun Salutations. Typically Namaste is said at the end of class to both seal in the practice, and also to continue our practice once we step off the mat. Want to learn more about Sun Salutations and why theyre so important to our practice? Read 5 Important Reasons to Never Skip Sun Salutations

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Expand Your Capacity For Intimacy

If youre practicing Tantra Yoga on your own or with a partner, youre expanding your capacity for intimacy and union. With practice, were able to get up close and intimate with the beliefs and behaviors that hold us back from the intimacy we desire. In addition, Tantric techniques are provided to evolve beyond these barriers so that each and every one of us may thrive and prosper.

The Viniyoga Of Yoga Or The Application Of Yoga According To The Person

Meaning Of Yoga

This is where Desikachar originally defined the term Viniyoga in the earlier quotation as the viniyoga of Yoga, meant here as a descriptive collective term for Krishnamacharyas intelligent and systematic application of Yoga techniques according to the person and the uniqueness of their situation. This is the Viniyoga of Yoga, it is the intelligent and systematic application of Yoga, be it concerned with physical exercises, deep breathing, relaxation, meditation, lifestyle, food, studies, according to the person and their situation, and would be a truer way to collectively describe how Practitioners trained in this particular teaching methodology work.


There is an image in the world today that the guru has a followingand his students follow him like the Pied Piper. This is not good.The true guru shows you the way.You go your way and then youre on your own,because you know your place and you are grateful. I can always thank my guru naturally and enjoy the relationship,but I do not have to follow him around, because then I am not in my own place. Following the gurus destination is another way of losing yourself.The yoga concept of svadharma means your own dharma or your own way.If you try to do somebody elses dharma, trouble happens.The guru helps you find your own dharma. TKV Desikachar

Welcome to the world of viniyoga, where we start from where you are, not where your dreams are.

Care has been taken to preserve the spirit of this transmission which emphasises:

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Whats The Point Of Tantra Yoga

The purpose of Tantra Yoga, is to further emotional wellbeing, aiding spiritual and physical health.


The exploration of the subtle energies within the body and their connection to the universe provide the opportunity to understand the purpose of life and the principles of union in new dimensions.

Rod Stryker, a prominent teacher of Tantra Yoga, describes the intention of Tantra Yoga, shows us what is blocking us from thriving and offers techniques that will help us attain spiritual and material prosperity. Hence the goals of the Tantric practices are to enable us to prosper, to thrive and to merge the spiritual world and the material world into one.

Apply Namaste To Your Life

More than ever, we need to practice Namaste when were off our mats and in the world. Reports of hate-fueled attacks, racist taunts, and assaults on places of prayer are prevalent in news outlets and social media accounts. These harms are called himsa in Sanskrit the opposite of which is Ahimsa, or no harm, and is one the foundational tenets of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Ahimsa is one of the Niyamas, or codes to live by. Want to learn more about the Yamas and Niyamas and how they impact your life on and off the mat? Read all about the Yamas and Niyamas The next time we feel an unkind word or thought, lets instead ask ourselves if wed rather choose a thought, word and action that roots us to the truth of our humanity.

Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions Watch your actions, they become habits Watch your habits, they become your character Watch your character, it becomes your destiny. -Lao Tsu

Lao Tsu was onto something: our actions are fueled by our words. The use of affirming words such as Namaste plant seeds for resisting the harmful reactions and tendencies that divide us. The next time you say Namaste in yoga class, allow that feeling of connectedness to wash over you. Allow Namaste to remind you that we are all connected, that we all possess the same light, and that together, we can shine brightly.

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Yoga Means Union Or To Yolk To Merge To Join

The meaning of Yoga as the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness is the most common understanding of Yoga. Although in the basic philosophy of Yoga in Patanjalis Yoga Sutras, or Samkhya philosophy, which forms the philosophical foundations of Yogic practices, the word means something different.


As union, the term Yoga may be better understood as leading to integration of human personality , making the human being wholesome, harmonious and holistic.

The Eight Limbs Of Yoga

What is the Meaning Of Yoga? #yoga #meaningofyoga #yogaphilosophy #yogicwisdom #akhandayoga

To overview the classical path of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, we begin with the Yamas, moral qualities we need to cultivate in order to reconnect with our true unified nature.

They include:

As described in Hatha yoga, asana is next, the third limb. It is the practice of correct posture to create a stable physical body that can sit at ease in meditation.

The fourth limb is Pranayama, the management of life force energy through the breath, environment and visualization.


Pratyahara is the fifth limb, and the practice of withdrawing from the sensory pull of the material world in order to shift inward toward stillness.

Once internalized, the sixth limb is Dharana or single-pointed concentration. Dharana is the ability to focus wholeheartedly on our breath, mantra, visualization of the Divine or whatever technique is being used to quiet the mind.

Read: Dharana and Dhyana: Misconceptions of Meditation Explained

This connects to the seventh limb, which is Dhyana, the state of stillness where individual consciousness reunites with universal consciousness.

The eighth limb is Samadhi, the full and final yoga union sustained for all time, the ever-awakening bliss of pure awareness.


Read: The Eighth Limb of Yoga: Samadhi

Although, these various designations of practice may sound complicated, they all point to the true meaning of yoga, which is union.

It is an embodied practice, with harmony-producing directives for our daily life.

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Definition In Classic Indian Texts

The term Yoga has been defined in various ways in the many different Indian philosophical and religious traditions.


Yogabija, a Hatha yoga work 14th century CE “The union of apana and prana, one’s own rajas and semen, the sun and moon, the individual Self and the supreme Self, and in the same way the union of all dualities, is called yoga. ”

A Philosophical Understanding Of Yoga

As a philosophy, Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian Philosophy orthodox because it believes in the authority of the Vedas.

The basic text of this philosophy is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which is practice-oriented. These practices are established upon the metaphysical foundations provided by Samkhya philosophy.

The goal of Yoga is to set us free from the sufferings of human life. Patanjali gives the most famous definition of Yoga, Yogaha Chitta Vritti Nirodah. All practices of yoga, whether they are asanas or pranayama or meditation, have this liberation as the final goal.

Health and happiness are by-products of these yoga practices. The Yoga Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the several Hatha Yoga Texts and the Yoga Vasishtha are some of the other important Yoga texts.

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How To Use Namaste In Your Yoga Practice

Barkataki is careful not to tell people they can or cant use the term, but suggests yogis to be thoughtful when they evoke namaste. She and other South Asian yogis encourage people to educate themselves about this and any Sanskrit terms, and acknowledge that the term has a deeper meaning in Indian culture.

If the word and gesture are used in yoga settings, Palkhivala says it may be done both at the beginning and at the end of class. The first will be a greeting of respect. At the end of class, the mind is less active and the energy in the room is more peaceful, he says. The teacher initiates Namaste as a symbol of gratitude and respect toward her students and her own teachers, and in return invites the students to connect with their lineage, thereby allowing the truth to flowthe truth that we are all one when we live from the heart.

For a teacher and student, namaste allows two individuals to come together energetically, Palkhivala says. If it is done with deep feeling in the heart and with the mind surrendered, a deep union of spirits can blossom.

Watch:When Is It Inappropriate to Use the Word Namaste?

What Does Namaste Mean How Is It Pronounced And When Should You Use It Here’s Everything You Need To Know About This Widely Usedbut Often Misunderstoodyoga Term

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The scene at the end of a typical yoga class: The teacher sits cross-legged at the front of class, takes a deep breath and, pressing hands together in a prayer position, leans into a deep bow and reverently intones the word Namaste. Dutiful yoga students mirror the pose and bow low in return, whispering namaste in unison. Its so common that yoga doesnt seem like yoga without this ritual.

But recently, yoga practitioners have been looking more carefully at how, when, and why theyre using the word namaste. Does it mean what we think it means? Are we using it properly? Should we use it at all? Some yogis are concerned that the term, which holds cultural significance in South Asia, has been so misused that it has lost its true meaningand thus its significance.

Here, we offer Namaste 101 to help you understand the term and know how to use it with care.

See also: Yoga for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide to Starting Your Practice

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Origins Of The Hatha Yogis

At the same London lecture, Jim Mallinson author of the title Roots of Yoga opened with the observation Yoga has been turned into something you can fit in to a busy modern lifestyle. But it came from something that was the complete opposite, and was viewed very differently to how we view yoga now.

Whilst the majority of us fit in a morning practice, or pause to switch on a five minute meditation app, the ancient Hatha Yogis were renunciates. That is, they renounced their lives, families, jobs and worldly responsibilities in favour of a life as an ascetic.

The ascetic tradition emerged on the borders of India and Nepal. Aspects that came to be a part of Hindu tradition, like reincarnation and karma, were central to their thinking. These were the original Hatha yogis and Tapas, translated as heat, glow, austerity or discipline and referring to a sense of burning off past karma and refining the body and mind was their practice.

In order to perfect the body and senses, these Hatha yogis would perform extraordinary feats such as holding their arms in the air for hours on end. They would submerge themselves in cold water, never sitting down . Theyd stand on one leg, or carry out the bat penance .

We may think these are part of an obscure and long-lost tradition. However, these practices are still happening today, and theres no sign of them becoming extinct any time soon.

What Does Yoga Mean To Me

Third, in my personal definition, I see to yoke as a means to steer. After all, without the need to steer you dont really have the need to yoke. So, steering is the purpose because we are headed somewhere, and steering is the most efficient way of getting there. If you desire more benevolence, you should steer yourself towards benevolence. For example, if you want to be physically healthy and youre aware that stress is healths largest impediment, you would want to be aware of your thoughts and responses to situations. Stress never happens to you, this type of stress comes from how you respond to what is happening to you. So, you would steer yourself towards thoughts and responses that are stress-busting .

To recap, yoga means to yoke. Yoking is for the purpose of steering and steering is simply the most efficient way to get somewhere. “Somewhere” equates to awareness. I hope this article has been helpful.

Aloha, Bryan Kest

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Dictionary Definitions Of Yoga

Two of the dictionaries I trust most are Merriam-Webster and Oxford. Unsurprising they give a similar definition of yoga.

Merriam-Webster

Definition of yoga

1: capitalized : a Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation

2: a system of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation derived from Yoga but often practiced independently especially in Western cultures to promote physical and emotional well-being

Oxford Dictionary

A Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.

Both of these explanations take on a distinct Patanjali flavor, as in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and this is important.

The Five Basic Paths Of Yoga

The Meaning of Yoga | Sky Life
  • Hatha Yoga incorporates various exercise, meditation, breathing techniques, and postures.

  • Karma Yoga is about action, without attachment or expectation to reap rewards for personal benefits which will lead to liberation of the soul.

  • Jnana Yoga is about self-study, the aim being to find a lasting sense of purpose, peace, and freedom from illusion and suffering, and self-realization.

  • Bhakti Yoga is about devotion, surrender, and devotion to a higher power, as well as submission to a teacher.

  • Raja Yoga also known as Royal path or Classcial Yoga which includes the eight limbs, is about focusing your mind and attaining a state of clarity, peace, and union with the highest manifestation of the self.

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    What Is The True Meaning Of Yoga

    What is the meaning of yoga, beyond its sometimes narrow presentation in todays modern world? What is yoga really all about?

    Yoga is becoming increasingly mainstream . Most people see yoga as yoga postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. While popular and powerful, these disciplines are only a few of the tools employed to help harmonize and awaken a person.

    Yoga is freedom, a reference to the bliss of well-being experienced whenever one steps into ones natural rhythm of being. Yoga Bhashya

    The practice of yoga is incredibly beneficial to our overall health and wellbeing, especially in modern day. Science shows us that practicing yoga can help us increase flexibility, gain strength, reduce stress, increase energy, gain awareness, and breathe deeper. In a fast-paced, sedentary, stressful world, a practice like yoga is imperative.

    Fortunately, yoga today can be done almost anywhere and at any time, making it even more beneficial for all of us.

    Want to add the benefits of yoga to your daily life?

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    Yoga definition: to yoke union.

    The history of yoga stems back about 5,000 years, originating in Northern India. Its comprised of mental and physical practices that include philosophy, meditation, breath work, lifestyle and behavior principles, and physical exercise. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of sects and schools of yoga.

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