Learn Yoga because Yoga Works!!
A Hindu discipline aimed at training the consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and union with the universal spirit. A system of exercises practiced as part of this discipline to promote control of the body and mind. Yoga has wide range of students ranging from babies of 18 months to the elderly. Many individuals are interested in yoga exercise, yet hesitate to experience this ancient science of the body and mind due to their concern with their body’s flexibility. Followers of the yoga are called yogis or yogins, and use yoga exercise to achieve their goal of isolation of the soul from the body and mind. Many non Hindus in Western countries practice some form of yoga exercise, hoping to improve their health and achieving peace of mind. The word yoga means discipline in Sanskrit, the classical language of India.
In yoga, every human being consists of prakrti and purusha. Prakrti includes a person's body, mind, and ego (conscious self). Purusha is pure, empty consciousness, basically the soul. A yoga school teaches that the soul is completely separate from the rest of a person, but that the person does not realize it. Human beings suffer because they wrongly believe that their soul is bound to their body and mind. The yoga school, through yoga exercise, aims to give people prajna (understanding) of the meaning of their soul. After a person has obtained this understanding, his or her soul will gain moksha (release) from the samsara (cycle of rebirth) in which Hindus believe.
A yogi, under the guidance of a guru (teacher), goes through eight stages of training on the way to moksha. The yogi learns:
(1) disciplined behavior, called yama;
(2) positive values (niyama);
(3) bodily postures, such as the lotus position (asana);
(4) control of breathing (pranayama);
(5) control of the senses (pratyahara);
(6) fixing of the mind on a chosen object (dharana); and
(7) meditation (dhyana).
(8) called samadhi, is a state of concentration in which yogis realize that their soul is pure and free, and empty of all content.
A yogi who has completed these eight stages has reached kaivalya. Kaivalya is total isolation of the soul from the body, from all other souls, and from all of nature.
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