So here we are throwing ourselves around on our yoga mats doing sun salutations without really knowing what yoga is about at all – but ask yourself honestly; what is yoga and why does it make me feel SO good? ?vian34.ru
Yoga has been around for over 5000 yrs, although I suppose no one will ever know exactly how long for. It started during the vedic period where sages (spiritual people) would have rituals and spend many weeks and months in the mountains connecting to God (spirit, one-ness). These sages believed that the rituals would speed up their self transformation!
From there we moved onto the Upanishads where we know mostly of the Bhagavad Gita, the Lords Song, a wonderful, beautiful poem where we hear of a conversation (pre battle), between Krishna (charioteer) and Arjuna a leader who doesn’t want to go into battle and fight – he doesn’t want to kill for a Kingdom that he doesn’t really want.
Krishna explains about karma, and how it is Arjuna’s duty to fight, that it is his dharmic (moral/religious) duty, and how by fighting it will restore his karma and regain back the balance of good and evil. This is about karma yoga – self service – as well as much more (this is a very brief outline!).
From there we move onto Patanjali who wrote the yoga sutras where the 8 limbs of yoga reside. Patanjali, a very special man who systemised yoga in a way that has made it accessible to many millions of people, and in a way that is recognisable for us here in the West.
1. Yama – the five restraints or the “don’ts”
2. Niyama – the five observances or the “do’s”
3. Asana – Steady posture
4. Pranayama – Control of prana or life force (Breath regulation)
5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses
6. Dharana – Concentration
7. Dhyana – Meditation
8. Samadhi – Super-conscious state
Its almost as if without the moral foundations of limbs 1 and 2 the rest are kind of pointless; saying that it is said that even if you don’t follow all of the limbs, or maybe more true for us here in the West, if you were just to practice limb no 3 – Asana, then your life may still change.
The regular practice of Asana (the postures) still enhance curiosity and guide you towards a more gentle and transformational life.
Its almost as if any connection to these limbs and yoga will bring about some self transformation and healing, and from there hopefully guide you to better yourself. So imagine how powerful it is to work your way along them all!
Take some time to check out the History of Yoga – where it comes from, what it means etc. You may find yourself seeing things very differently.