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Where Does Yoga Come From

Yoga In Advaita Vedanta

Where does yoga come from? CTT 2. 7 Upanisads

Adi Shankara with DisciplesRaja Ravi Varma

Vedanta is a varied tradition with numerous sub-schools and philosophical views. Vedanta focuses on the study of the Upanishads, and one of its early texts, the Brahma sutras. Regarding yoga or meditation, the Brahma sutras focuses on gaining spiritual knowledge of Brahman, the unchanging absolute reality or Self.

One of the earliest and most influential sub-traditions of Vedanta, is Advaita Vedanta, which posits non-dualisticmonism. This tradition emphasizes JñÄna yoga , which is aimed at realizing the identity of one’s atman with Brahman . The most influential thinker of this school is Adi Shankara , who wrote various commentaries and original works which teach JñÄna yoga. In Advaita Vedanta, JñÄna is attained on the basis of scripture and one’s guru and through a process of listening to teachings, thinking and reflecting on them and finally meditating on these teachings in order to realize their truth. It is also important to develop qualities such as discrimination , renunciation , tranquility, temperance, dispassion, endurance, faith, attention and a longing for knowledge and freedom .’ Yoga in Advaita is ultimately a “meditative exercise of withdrawal from the particular and identification with the universal, leading to contemplation of oneself as the most universal, namely, Consciousness”.

What Is The Difference Between Yin Yoga And Other Styles Of Yoga

The main difference is that yin yoga is very passive with poses being held for longer periods of time.

Another important difference is that in yin yoga your muscles need to be relaxed as opposed to engaged, this is so you can work into the deeper layers of the body and move closer to the bone, an area often missed in a yang yoga practice.

With a yang practice there is much emphasis on building heat and strength in the body whereas this is not the case in yin. Yin is practiced cold with no warm up and with more of a focus on flexibility and lubrication.

Both yin and yang styles should be practiced to invite balance into your yoga regime.

The Benefit Of Yoga As Something You Do

When we engage, we change how the situation unfolds. Instead of things simply happening to us, we become an active participant. We exercise our agency, the ability to act.

Yoga is an invitation to get off the sidelines and act. As we do so we can now affect how the game turns out. Our participation creates the possibility of change and gives us different options than if we just stood by.

If you were to break down the process of doing yoga it would be:

  • Act. Engage, Create Yoga by getting involved.
  • Pay Attention
  • This will give you choices.
  • Make a choice.
  • Learn from that choice then repeat 1
  • Engage doesnt mean to dive into a situation without thinking. On the contrary, you endeavor to see whats going on. You want to understand.

    In the Indian mind, actions are the ways we think, move and speak. By training our attention on something, we are engaging with it. We are connecting through yoga.

    This connection is not only physical but mental, emotional and even spiritual. It involves your whole being and differs from getting on a treadmill and staring at a TV.

    As you practice yoga you ask, how does this feel in my body? What thoughts or emotions am I having? How can I work with this? Elite athletes know about the importance of connecting your physical being with your mental and emotional state. They call it the mental game.

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    The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

    According to the classical definition by Sage Patanjali:

    Yoga means controlling the modifications of the mind. We have our thoughts, emotions, feelings, and conditionings in the mind. It is very difficult to control. Yoga is the technique to control all these functions of the mind.

    Patanjalis Yoga is a very systematic process of yoga written by great Sage Patanjali. He wrote Yoga Sutras to clarify the mechanism and systematic study of functional methods for awakening and extending the higher faculties of mind, intelligence and consciousness.

    This is also where we get the eight limbs of yoga.

    What Is The Origin Of Yoga

    What is yoga and where does it come from? A guide

    Yoga is so old, that nobody knows exactly when it started. But, it began long ago when people started trying to understand what life was all about. Only a legend can give us an idea about the history of yoga.

    According to the legend, Shiva was the first yogi. And many thousands of years ago, Shiva reached enlightenment in a place called Mount Kailash.

    The story says that he had seven disciples who became known as the seven rishis. They are considered the founders of most spiritual traditions in the world.

    No one can prove Shivas existence or if any of these stories are true. But, we dont know . . . maybe its not a legend after all.

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    The Importance Of Guru

    If they teach whatever like, it is usually their ego. It should be what you have learned from your guru that is the real method that you should teach. The parampara should go as it is as it was from your guru and his gurus guru. It needs to be rooted in something real and not just fancies that are created in the moment. Sharath Jois

    The ubiquitous use of the word guru in the West is far different from its traditional and sacred meaning in the Hindu tradition. Literally translate, guru is one who dispels darkness. A guru is not just a mere teacher or expert, but rather one who can impart wisdom which he or she has personally experienced. The Hindu tradition places great importance on self-unfoldment, and only one who has experienced levels of inner awakening is qualified and able to impart that knowledge to a student. Hindu scripture extols the guru.

    Guru-Brahma, Guru-Vishnu, Guru-devo-Mahesvarah Guru-saksat Param-Brahma tasmi Sri Gurave namah Guru is Brahma, Guru is Vishnu, Guru is Lord Shiva To that very Guru I bow, for He is the Supreme Being, right before my eyes.-Vishwasara Tantram

    Furthermore, the relationship between a guru and his student is highly revered in Hindu culture. Examples of its sacredness abound in Hindu epics like the Mahabharata, in which respect, love, and devotion to the guru is demonstrated, not only by the virtuous Arjun, but also by the misguided Duryodhan.

    sa tu dirgha kala nairantaira satkara asevitah dridha bhumih -Yoga Sutra 1.14

    If You Read This Book You Are Unique In Yoga History

    No one has had such broad access to the diversity of traditions as we have now. We used to be given disciplines. Now we are given choices.

    So this is just a few drops in a whole lot of ocean. Its a vast and perhaps scary territory. Guppies, after all, can easily get lost, or swallowed by bigger fish. But thenso was old Matsyendranath, the orphan boy who, legend says, founded haha yoga. He was abandoned at the shore by his parents and gobbled up whole by a whale, which then took a deep dive. By luck or karma, this gave him the chance to listen in on Siva and Parvati as they sat on the ocean floor, whispering about the mysteries of yoga. He listened for 12 years, which is about how long it will take this reviewer to fully absorb Roots of Yoga. And, perhapsfor it to become the top book on every yoga teacher training reading list in the English-speaking world.

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    About Our WriterMatthew Remski is a yoga and ayurveda teacher living in Toronto. Hes the curator of the WAWADIA? project. His latest book is Shadow Pose: A Secret History of Abuse and Healing in Modern Yoga. Learn more at

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    Where Do Those Funny Names For Yoga Poses Come From

    Have you ever wondered where those funny names for yoga poses come from?

    For example, what is Adho Mukha Svanasana? And how do you pronounce it!

    Yoga postures asanas are given traditionally in the ancient language of Sanskrit. For more than 2,000 years, Sanskrit has been a classic literary language of India and a sacred language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

    Many yoga poses are named after heroes, saints and sages of India and Hindu myths. Others are named after animals and nature observations by people in the world around them. These poses are all named in Sanskrit. Then there are the newcomers the yoga postures that have developed in recent times, with names like Wild Thing or Rock Star.

    Adho Mukha Svanasana is the Sanskrit name for Downward-facing Dogpose, whichliterally comes from a natural stretch that dogs do. Watch any dog get up from a nap and youll see a perfect downward dog.

    Cobra pose uses the symbol of the sacred cobra and the awakening of dormant energy for its action.

    Tree pose follows the nature of a tree growing its roots down in the earth to be able to reach to the sky.

    Warrior poses, or Virabhadrasanas, are named for the fierce warrior, Virabhadra, son of the god Shiva, whose qualities of courage, determination, balance and stamina are emulated in the poses.

    What is Yoga?

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    The Hatha Yoga Pradipika

    CTT 2.1 Where does yoga come from?

    According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika:

    Yoga purifies the physical body by means of shatkarma , asana , pranayama , mudra and concentration.

    The Haha Yoga Pradipika is a classic fifteenth-century Sanskrit manual on haha yoga. According to Yoga London, The word Pradipika means to shed light, so we can think of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as a guide to the mysterious world of Hatha Yoga.

    It consists of 389 verses in four chapters that describe topics including purification, posture, breath control, spiritual centers in the body, coiled power, force postures, energy, channels of the subtle body, and symbolic gestures.

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    Top Youtube Videos On Yin Yoga

    1. For an introduction to yin yoga, try this class with yoga teacher Adriene Mishler . This is a great class for those new to the practice of yin yoga.

    2. Practice a full and in depth yin yoga class with Travis Eliot

    3. A deep stretch yin yoga class with the popular yoga teacher Lesley Fightmaster

    4. Enjoy a gentle 30 minute yin yoga practice for easing stress and anxiety.

    We need balance in all areas of our life. If you take a look at the Yin and Yang symbol it clearly shows that in both states you need a little of the other.

    In yin yoga we have a greater and deeper connection to our body, allowing us to really let go in the situation.

    Balance is the key to living a more peaceful life, so introducing yin yoga to your regular yoga routine can have a positive impact on the way you live. So find a yin yoga class near you and bring balance to your yoga practice and to your body and mind.

    The History Of Yoga And The Origin Of Yoga: How The Practice Has Evolved Into What We Practice Today

    We go to yoga for a variety of reasons, including the physical benefits like strengthening our body or to sweat in a heated room. But, most of us know very well that our yoga practice offers benefits that reach far deeper than just the physical.

    This is because the very root of all the yogic practices is to reach only one goal: enlightenment. So, the practice of yoga highly emphasizes a focus on the breath and the inner workings of the mind.

    Visit any yoga studio around the world, and you will likely find a teacher that references a quiet mind or cultivates a meditation practice in the beginning or end of class. Its hard to separate yoga from its roots. And, honestly, why would we want to?

    The very root of all the yogic practices is to reach only one goal: enlightenment.

    Yoga offers us countless benefits because it is so rooted in its history. By taking the time to draw our awareness inside during our yoga practice, we counter the stresses of our everyday lives.

    We may even find small glimpses of ultimate enlightenment. And, of course, this would make the yogis that came before us extremely proud.

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    The History Of Yoga: The Bible Of Yoga

    Many scholars and yogis dispute the starting period of yoga and how it evolved. Often, it is believed that yoga dates back upwards of 5,000 years. Others believe it goes back more than 10,000 years.

    But, dont expect to find old paintings of yogis practicing Crow Pose. Yoga is not quite the same thing it is today that it was back then . . . The only yoga position that existed more than a few centuries ago was Lotus Pose.

    So if we want to gain a deeper, accurate understanding of the history of yoga, we can look to what is often referred to as the bible of yoga for insight. The Bhagavad Gita is a scripture of yogic philosophy written between 400 BC and 200 CE.

    Yoga is not quite the same thing it is today that it was back then.

    It is a sacred text that focuses entirely on the practice of yoga. But dont be fooled by that! The practice was not all Up Dogs and Handstands back in the day. This practice was entirely spiritual.

    The Bhagavad Gita is an epic poem that takes place on a battlefield. Shocking, right? Not your typical setting for peace, love, and happiness yogis! But this setting is often believed to be a metaphor for the battlefield of the mind.

    Want to learn more about the Bhagavad Gita? Here are 3 Seriously Relevant Life Lessons We Can Learn from the Bhagavad Gita

    Throughout the epic poem, there is a classical yoga teaching set-up. A guru discusses life and yogic philosophy with his pupil.

    Our Humble Attempt At Packing 5000+ Years Of The Rich History Of Yoga Into One Article

    Where do those funny names for yoga poses come from ...

    Welcome to your crash course on the history of yoga!

    What youll learn:

    • Youll be getting a short high-level overview of the history of yoga.
    • Feel free to stop here if thats all you need!
  • Youll learn about some of the early traces of yogas development.
  • Youll learn about how yoga arrived at where it is today.
  • What might surprise you:

    • While many people associate yoga with Hinduism, yogic tradition has been influenced by Buddhism, ritual sacrifice, gymnastics, and many other practices.
    • Although yoga has been around for millennia, the focus of yoga as exercise blossomed only in the last two hundred years.

    We should start by saying history can be subjective. Attempting to represent the complete history of yoga would be almost impossible, especially in one article.

    There is still debate on the origins of yoga, and it’s pretty clear that there is no single fixed yogic tradition.

    However, heres what we can all agree on:

    • Yoga is a group of spiritual, mental, and physical practices that began in ancient India.
    • Historically, yogic tradition primarily focused on how to cultivate spiritual liberation.
    • Today, most of the world views yoga as a physical practice of asanas and vinyasas .

    We’ve divided our article into a few sections:

    Without further ado, lets dive in.

    For a quick summary on the history of yoga, look no further!

    Feel free to skip the rest if this is all you need

    The history of yoga is complex, but here’s a quick summary:

    How did yoga begin?

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    Shock Horror The Yoga Sutras Are Not Universally Accepted

    or even respected amongst yoga adepts. Writing in his 18th century Hasavilsa, Hasamihu tells his wife and fellow traveller Hasi: Dear lady, Patañjalis teaching is nonsense, because there is nothing agreeable in anything achieved by force.

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    What You Must Know Before Entering The Spiritual Realm

    It can be very dangerous when you enter the spiritual realm from your soul in your own authority. Because you dont have any authority by yourself in the spiritual realm. You enter illegally and therefore you have no protection at all.

    When you enter the spiritual realm from your soul you will open yourself for evil spirits , who will attack you in the flesh your soul and body.

    This could happen immediately, but it doesnt have to. In many cases, it will take a while, before these evil spirits will manifest themselves in your life.

    The more you open yourself to the spiritual realm and these evil spirits, the worse the attacks will become.

    When you practice yoga, you enter the spiritual realm in your own authority and slowly, depending on the exercises, you will open yourself for evil spirits, who will enter your life and take you captive.

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    Yin Yoga Vs Yang Yoga

    • Yin is a passive yoga practice.
    • Poses are held for 3 – 5 minutes, sometimes longer, to work into the deeper layers of the body.
    • The muscles need to be relaxed in a Yin practice to allow the body to move closer to the bone and the connective tissue.
    • Yin is a cooling and calm practice.
    • Slow transitions between poses.
    • Natural or down regulating breathing is encouraged.
    • Yang is an active yoga practice.
    • Poses are held for a few breaths with each pose linking to the next in a fluid movement to create heat in the body.
    • The muscles will be engaged in a yang practice to build strength in the body.
    • Yang is warming and energizing practice.
    • Faster transitions often linked with a vinyasa.
    • Ujjayi breath is predominantly used to retain the heat you have created in the body.


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