Yoga: Origin and Background

Yoga is an ancient science made up of different disciplines of the mind and body. It originated in India 2,500 years ago and remains effective in providing general health and wellness to anyone who does it regularly. The word yoga is based on a Sanskrit verb Yuja. It means connecting, culminating or concurring. It is the culmination of the mind and body or the culmination of Jiva and Shiva (the soul and the universal spirit). It is also a culmination of Purush and Prakriti (Yin and Yang).

The term Yoga has a very wide scope. There are several schools or Yoga systems. Dnyanayoga (Yoga through knowledge), Bhaktiyoga (Yoga through devotion), Karmayoga (Yoga through action), Rajayoga (real or supreme Yoga) and Hathayoga (Yoga balancing the oppositional principles of the body). All these Yoga schools are not necessarily very different from each other. They are like threads of the same fabric, entangled in each other. For thousands of years, yoga has been considered an effective form of self-improvement and spiritual enlightenment. All of these systems have essentially the same purpose; only the ways to achieve it are different for each of them. In its most popular form, the term Yoga has come to be associated with the last of these systems, which is Hathayoga. For the purpose of this article too, the term Yoga is used with the same meaning. Although, when it comes to Yoga Philosophy, found at the end of this article, the term Yoga will have a broader scope.

Asana and Pranayama

Let’s take a detailed look at the two main components of Hathayoga, namely Asana and Pranayama.

a) Asana:
Asana means acquiring a body posture and maintaining it as long as your body allows it. Asana, when done correctly according to the rules discussed above, yields vague physical and psychological benefits. Asana is considered as the preliminary step to Pranayama. With the practice of Asana there is a balance of principles of opposition in the body and the psyche. It also helps to get rid of inertia. Asana’s benefits are enhanced with longer maintenance. Asana must be stable, stable and pleasant. Here is the summary of the general rules that must be followed to do Asana.

Rules summary:

1. Normal breathing
2. Focused stretching
3. Stable and pleasant postures (sthiram sukham asanam)
4. Minimal efforts (Prayatnay shaithilyam)
5. No comparison or competition with others
6. No jerking or quick action. Maintains a slow and steady tempo.

Each asana has its own benefits and some common benefits such as stability, flexibility, better hormonal secretion, feeling of freshness and rejuvenation. It is a misconception that an Asana (Yoga stretch) has to be difficult to be beneficial. Many of the easier Asana render most of the common benefits of Yoga to the fullest. Also, the beauty of Yoga is in the fact that at a not-so-perfect level, most of the benefits are still available. That means that even a beginner benefits from both yoga and an expert.

In their quest to find a solution to the miseries of the human body and mind, the founders of Yoga found part of their answers in nature. They watched birds and animals stretch their bodies in a particular way to get rid of inertia and general discomfort. Based on these observations, they created stretches of Yoga and named them after the birds, animals, or fish that inspired these stretches. For example, matsyasana (fish pose), makarasana (crocodile pose), shalabhasana (grasshopper pose), bhujangasana (cobra pose), marjarasana (cat pose), mayurasana (peacock pose), vrischikasana (pose of scorpion), gomukhasana (cow & # 39; s mouth pose), parvatasana (mountain pose), vrikshasana (tree pose), etc.

Many of the Asana can be broadly categorized according to the type of pressure on the abdomen. Most of the Asana that bend forward are positive pressure Asana by positively pressing on the stomach, for example Pashchimatanasana, Yogamudra (Yoga symbol pose), Hastapadasana (hand and foot pose), Pavanmuktasana (wind free pose ), etc. Backward bending Asana is the negative pressure Asana as they take pressure off the abdomen, for example Dhanurasana (bow pose), Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Naukasana (boat pose), etc. Both types of Asana provide excellent stretching in the back and abdomen and strengthen both organs. Alternating between positive and negative pressure in the same area of ​​the body intensifies and improves blood circulation in that area. The muscle group in use gets more oxygen and blood supply due to the pressure on that point. For example, in Yogamudra (Yoga symbol), the lower abdomen receives positive pressure due to Kundalini waking up. Hastapadasana refreshes all the nerves in the back of the legs and also in the back. As a result, you feel fresh and rejuvenated. Vakrasana massages the pancreas and liver well, and is therefore recommended for diabetic patients. you feel fresh and rejuvenated. Vakrasana massages the pancreas and liver well, and is therefore recommended for diabetic patients. you feel fresh and rejuvenated. Vakrasana massages the pancreas and liver well, and is therefore recommended for diabetic patients.

2. Pranayama
Practicing Pranayama is one of the ways to get rid of mental disorders and physical health. Pranayama means prolonged, controlled breathing space. Prana means encouragement. It also means life force. Ayama means control or elongation. Just as a pendulum requires twice to return to its original position, the exhalations in Pranayama are two longer than the inhalations. The main purpose of Pranayama is to bring mental stability and restrict desires by controlling breathing. Breathing is a function of the autonomic nervous system. By putting the involuntary process of breathing under the control of the mind, the scope of volition is expanded. Pranayama is a bridge between Yoga Bahiranga (exoteric) and Yoga Antaranga (introspective or esoteric). A body that has been stabilized by Asana and cleansed by Kriya (cleansing processes) is ready for Pranayama. On the other hand, Pranayama prepares the mind and body for the meditative and spiritual practice of yoga, such as Dhyana, Dharana and Samadhi. On the physical level, the practice of Pranayama increases the blood in oxygen, then refreshes and rejuvenates the brain and nerves. Here are some physical benefits of Pranayama.
to. The lungs, chest, and diaphragm become stronger and healthier.
b. The capacity of the lungs is increased.
c. Slowly changing pressure creates a form of massage to all the organs in the stomach cavity.
d. It purifies the blood by increasing the blood’s ability to absorb more oxygen.
and. The brain works best with more oxygen in the blood.
F. Neuromuscular coordination improvements.
g. The body becomes thin and the skin brightens.

There are 8 main Pranayama namely Ujjayi, Suryabhedan, Sitkari, Shitali, Bhastrika, Bhramari, Murchha, Plavini. Among these, Ujjayi is the most popular Pranayama. Pranayama consists of 4 parts in the following order:
1) Puraka (controlled inhalation)
2) Abhyantara Kumbhaka (holding the breath)
3) Rechaka (controlled exhalation)
4) Bahya Kumbhaka (Holding the breath).

The ratio of these parts to each other is generally 1: 4: 2: 4 with a few exceptions. Yogasutra of Patanjali deals with this ratio along with many other scripts. For general well-being, it is enough to practice the first three parts. A spiritual practitioner generally practices all four parts, including the last one, namely Bahya Kumbhaka. Such a practitioner also does many more repetitions than someone who does it for general health and wellness. Of the four parts of Pranayama, it is the Abhyantara Kumbhaka that essentially identifies with Pranayama. There is another Kumbhaka that happens spontaneously and it is called Keval Kumbhaka.

Bandha (Locks) is very serious for the practice of Pranayama. Mulabandha (block of the anus), Jalandharbandha (block of the throat area or jugular notch), Udiyanabandha (block of the abdomen or diaphragm) and Jivhabandha (block of the tongue) are the four blocks that are performed during Pranayama. Depending on the purpose of Pranayama (spiritual or general health), blockages are made. Mulabandha, Jalandharbandha and Udiyanabandha are the common Bandha performed by all. Jivhabandha is obligatory only if it is done for spiritual purposes.

Yoga Features

Let’s see some of the main characteristics of yoga.

1) Yoga is not an exercise.

To understand the concept of Yoga one must keep in mind that Yoga positions are not exercises but body stretching and maintenance of stretching. You can describe Yoga in terms of yogic stretching or yogic practices. Acquiring a body position by stretching the muscles and then holding this position for as long as your body allows, that’s what Yogic stretches. Yoga requires very smooth and controlled movements and a slow and steady rhythm. To achieve this, one needs to have total concentration of mind while doing Yoga. The movements in Yoga are smooth, slow and controlled. The comparison with the others is very discouraged. Doing something beyond one’s ability outside of competition generally results in hurting one’s body and is therefore very discouraging. Breathing in Yoga remains stable unlike many aerobic exercises. Yoga is also isotonic unlike bodybuilding exercises, which are isometric in nature. In isotonic stretches, the length of the muscles increases while the tone remains the same compared to isometric exercises in which the length of the muscles remains the same as the tone changes. In isotonic stretching, the body is stretched in a particular way and remains that way for some time. the length of the muscles increases while the tone remains the same compared to isometric exercises in which the length of the muscles remains the same while the tone changes. In isotonic stretching, the body is stretched in a particular way and remains that way for some time. the length of the muscles increases while the tone remains the same compared to isometric exercises in which the length of the muscles remains the same while the tone changes. In isotonic stretching, the body is stretched in a particular way and remains that way for some time.

2) Longer maintenance and fewer repetitions (depending on the body’s capacity).

The benefits of yoga are enhanced by maintaining a body stretch. More time will be better maintenance. However, you cannot force yourself to hold the stretch longer than the body can handle. Each position is pleasant and stable (Sthiram Sukham Asanam). Sthiram means constant. Sukham means pleasant and Asanam means a posture or body position. The correct position for you is that in which your body remains stable (sthiram) and which is pleasant and comfortable for you (sukham). The moment a stretch becomes unbearable and uncomfortable and the body begins to tremble, one needs to get out of that position in a very slow, smooth and controlled way. There will be more repetitions and shorter maintenance for a beginner. With more practice, repetitions will be less and maintenance will be longer. After doing yoga one should feel nice and fresh and nothing else. If you feel tired or fatigued or a part of your body hurts, it only means that you have tried to exceed your capacity.

3) Trust your body. Apply minimal efforts:

With Yoga practice, you also learn to trust your body’s ability to progress in terms of flexibility without conscious effort. As long as the goal is in mind and the body stretches only to its current capacity, flexibility develops on its own. One needs to focus on the breath, focus on the current state of body posture, and enjoy that posture while comfortable. ; Prayatnay Shaithilyam; means minimal effort. Although there is an ideal position described and desired for each asana, no one is forced to reach the ideal position. Yoga is done with the confidence that flexibility is acquired after regular and continuous practice. There is a message here and that is to have faith in the unknown. This message, along with improved endocrine function, better muscle tone,

4) Estiramientos enfocados:
La capacidad de estirar o presionar un grupo muscular mientras se relaja el resto del cuerpo se denomina estiramiento enfocado. Por ejemplo, si una Asana en particular se basa en estirar el estómago como el principal grupo muscular (los músculos giratorios), entonces el resto del cuerpo se relaja mientras se estira o presiona el estómago. Uno tiene que observar el entrenamiento innecesario de esos músculos que supuestamente deben relajarse. Inicialmente, esto es difícil de seguir, sin embargo, se vuelve más fácil con un poco de práctica. Este hábito de diferenciar entre diferentes músculos para la presión se vuelve muy útil en otras áreas de la vida también. Le permite relajarse mejor mientras maneja durante las horas pico. Al realizar tareas diarias normales, te hace consciente de la tensión innecesaria en diferentes partes de tu cuerpo. Está atento incluso mientras habla con alguien o mientras se cepilla los dientes o cuando está atrapado en un atasco de tráfico. Aprende a preguntarse a sí mismo, “¿Estoy conteniendo la respiración, mis hombros están tensos, mi cuello está rígido, mis dedos están curvados?”. etc. Estos actos son innecesarios y disipan energía. El yoga le enseña a relajarse y le da tiempo libre de preocupaciones y remordimientos, impaciencia y ansiedades.

5) Breathing:
Controlling your breathing is an integral part of Yoga. Common mistakes like breathing or breathing during Yoga. Both mistakes should be avoided. Holding your breath gives you headaches, fatigue, and therefore the benefits of yoga are lost by inadequate or inadequate breathing.

6) Anantha Samapatti (Merging with the Infinite):

The ultimate goal of Yoga is the amalgamation of the self into the higher self. Yuja means combine or connect. A connection of Atma and Parmatma is the fusion of the body and the spirit. Yoga is a way of life. It is a total integration. According to Patanjali (founder of Yoga), two things define Yoga postures; a stable and comfortable body posture and Anantha Samapatti. Therefore, you cannot separate body postures from meditation. In fact, a body that has become flexible and stable through the practice of various positions becomes a good basis for the ultimate transcendental state of mind (Samadhi). The kriya (cleansing processes) purify the body. Mudra and bandha bring the necessary stability of the mind and concentration, initially in one’s breath (pranadharana) and then in God (Ishwarpranidhana). Initially, the mind wanders around a lot and that’s fine. One should let it wander. Later one must count their breaths and observe the flow of internal and external air through the air passages. (pranadharna). This will allow you to focus better on yourself (sakshibhavana). At first it will be difficult to concentrate since the body postures are not as constant. But with practice it gets better and better. For this one must deliberately remove his mind from the body posture and focus it on the breathing process (pranadharana). At first it will be difficult to concentrate since the body postures are not as constant. But with practice it gets better and better. For this one must deliberately remove his mind from the body posture and focus it on the breathing process (pranadharana). At first it will be difficult to concentrate since the body postures are not as constant. But with practice it gets better and better. For this one must deliberately remove his mind from the body posture and focus it on the breathing process (pranadharana).

Yoga benefits

If you follow the basic rules, you can reap various benefits. Maintaining body stretches makes the body flexible, slim, flexible, and stable. Breathing techniques purify the blood and clean the nasal passages and sinuses. Stress relief is the greatest of all benefits. Relaxing Yoga positions teach you to relax your muscles and let gravity work on your body. The ability to differentiate between tension in different parts of the body, i.e. stretching a muscle group while relaxing all other teachers, will relax you and not waste energy during your daily routine. The concentration part is important in providing relief to your mind from the worry and stress of everyday activities.

1. Stress relief

Stress, tension and anxiety are the inevitable characteristics of modern life. Yoga offers many techniques to cope with stress and anxiety. A stress-free mind reduces the chances of contracting a disease in half, this is already widely known. Yoga teachers have very effective breathing and relaxation techniques to accomplish this. Yoga also helps you to quickly relax and increase your energy reserve by teaching you how to let gravity work in your body. Half of the fatigue in any activity comes from inadequate and inadequate breathing and from holding your breath unnecessarily. Yoga teaches you how to breathe properly and how not to make your body stiff and rigid while doing other daily tasks as well. The focused stretching principle teaches you how not to waste energy during your daily routine. It makes you aware of unnecessary tension in different parts of your body. Yoga teaches you to relax completely and gives you time free from worries and regrets and impatience and anxieties. People with busy schedules who are used to being in action all the time, should understand that relaxing is not a crime or a waste of time. Rather, it gives you new energy to better perform your tasks. People with busy schedules who are used to being in action all the time, should understand that relaxing is not a crime or a waste of time. Rather, it gives you new energy to better perform your tasks. People with busy schedules who are used to being in action all the time, should understand that relaxing is not a crime or a waste of time. Rather, it gives you new energy to better perform your tasks.

2. Feeling energized and refreshed

Proper breathing plays a big role in rejuvenating and refreshing the mind and body. Breathing techniques in Yoga provide an abundant supply of oxygen to the lungs, clean the nasal passages and sinuses and thus help to feel fresh. A body that has become slim and flexible with stretching and stretching maintenance is purified by breathing techniques and energized. Various yoga stretches induce a balanced secretion of hormones, which subsequently rejuvenates the entire body and one feels refreshed and energized as a result.

3. Flexibility of the mind and body

In addition to the relaxing effect, yoga also consists of many body stretches that, when held for a few minutes, provide wonderful flexibility to our muscles. You start to wonder, “Am I the same person who used to be so stiff?” In many chronic disorders of the spine, yoga has helped many people to reduce the frequency and intensity of the disorder, such as spondylitis, arthritis, etc. Maintaining body stretches makes the body flexible, slim, flexible, and stable. In the process, not only your body but also your mind become flexible. The mind gains faith that things can change favorably long enough.

4. Relief of chronic disorders

Yoga is especially good for controlling your breathing and spine. The breath and the spine are like wild animals. You force them to do something that pounces on you. You convince them, be patient with them, they can be tamed in any measure. Many stretches of Yoga make Spain strong and flexible. Time and time again yoga has proven to be a boon for all kinds of back disorders. The technique of exhaling twice as much as inhalation (Pranayama) provides abundant supply of oxygen to the blood and many impurities in the blood are cured. The deliberate exhalation technique (Shwasanmargshuddhi) cleanses the nasal passage and the sinuses. They help get rid of chronic sinus problems or nasal passage obstruction for many people. This makes the lungs and respiratory organs stronger. The abdominal breathing technique (Kapalbhati) helps people with asthma or a weak diaphragm to breathe easily.

5. Focus of mind

Yoga practice helps to get a better focus of the mind. Meditation, being part of Yoga, teaches you to focus better and achieve more of any activity. Dharana, which means to focus closely on a subject by restricting Chitta (mind) is one of the 8 members of Ashtangayoga. It teaches you to get rid of all other thoughts in the mind and focus on the goal. People have enthusiastically benefited in terms of mental focus by doing meditation (Dhyana) and Dharana through all ages.

6. Benefits at a not-so-perfect level

Even if one cannot achieve perfection in an Asana, the benefits of an Asana are still available on a not as perfect level as a calmer mind, better flexibility, better blood pressure, lower pulse rate, and better endocrine function. Whatever the state of Asana, if one finds the pose comfortably, the body receives the necessary massage and stretching. There is better secretion of the endocrine glands as a result of constant and sufficient stretching. The brain cells get the necessary signals and the mind becomes calmer. Breathing is more controlled, and as a result, the feet cool. All this happens regardless of the level of perfection. It is stability and comfort level that is more important than perfection.

Origin and philosophy of Yoga:


Among the many defenders of Yoga, Patanjali (2nd century BC) is the best known and most revered of all and is well accepted as the founder of Yoga. His book Shripatanjali Darshan, which is a collection of hymns (also called Yoga Sutras of Patanjali), is held in high esteem by experts and practitioners and is known as one of the most revered reference books (a workbook for practice real) in Yoga The Yoga of Patanjali is called Patanjala (that of Patanjali) and is also considered as Rajayoga, which means the real Yoga or the supreme and sublime Yoga, since it consists of practices that lead to spiritual liberation (Moksha) .

Patanjalayoga is also called Ashtangayoga since it has 8 dimensions or 8 limbs. Ashta means 8 and Anga means dimension or limit in Sanskrit. Yama (Rules for social life), Niyama (Rules for personal development), Asana (Yoga posture), Pranayama (Prolonged and controlled breathing), Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (Focused on a subject), Dhyana (continued)) meditation experience), Samadhi (transcendental state in which there is only one essence of pure existence) are the 8 members of Ashtangayoga. The first four dimensions make up the exoteric (Bahiranga) part of Ashtangayoga, while the last four dimensions make up the esoteric (Antaranga) part of Ashtangayoga. Of the 8 branches of Ashtangayoga,


In the 15th century, Yogi Swatmaram founded one of the six Yoga systems called Hathayoga. Although the term Hatha in Sanskrit means being energetic, Hathayoga is not about Hatha but about the balance between the two principles of the body. Ha and Tha are essentially symbols. Ha means surya (sun). Tha means chandra (moon). The right nostril (Pingala) is the Surya nadi, while the left nostril (Ida) is the Chandra nadi. Just as the sun and the moon balance the life cycle of the world; the two nostrils balance the life cycle of the body. Nadi is a channel through which the life force flows. Hathayoga helps maintain this balance by correcting functional body disorders and peace of mind. Hathayogapradipika is the standard Hathayoga textbook written by Yogi Swatmaram. Hathayoga accepts Patanjala Yoga as standard. Although it is a completely independent school of philosophy in its own right, it is essentially based on the Rajayoga philosophy set forth in the Yogasutra of Patanjali.

In fact, each school of philosophy culminates in Rajayoga since the objective of each school is the same as that of Rajayoga, that is, to achieve lasting peace and happiness.

Hathayoga consortiums of
a. Asana (body positions or stretching, for example, mountain pose, cobra pose)
b. Pranayama (controlled breathing techniques, eg Ujjayi, Anuloma Viloma)
c. Kriya (cleaning processes eg Kapalbhati)
d. Bandha and Mudra (Locks and symbol posts, for example Udiyana bandha, Jivha bandha, Simhamudra)

According to Hathayoga, Asana, Pranayama, Kriya, Bandha and Mudra are stepping stones to achieve the maximum psycho-spiritual effect of Rajayoga. They create the necessary foundation of stable and calm mind and body for Rajayoga. However, there are subtle differences between Patanjala Yoga and Hathayoga. Patanjali emphasizes the psycho-spiritual effect of Yoga more than the actual physical aspects and techniques of Asana and Pranayama. His Asana and Pranayama are much simpler and easier to do than Hathayoga’s. For this he recommends the least amount of effort (Prayatnay Shaithilyam) and maintaining a constant and rhythmic rhythm and a stable and comfortable body position. Yogasutra from Patanjali discuss Asana and Pranayama only in the Kriyayoga chapter (part of Sadhana pada) as the tool to achieve physical and mental health. On the other hand,

Yogasutra philosophy:

Yogasutra of Patanjali consists of 195 sutra and 4 Pada (sections or chapters): Samadhi pada, Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada and Kaivalya pada. Kriyayoga, the chapter on the actual practice of Yoga is a part of Sadhana Pada (section on the means of study and practice of Yoga). Kriyayoga talks about Asana and Pranayama viz. the physical part of yoga To take a look at the philosophy of Patanjali, here are some thoughts of Yogasutra’s Samadhi Pada and Sadhana Pada:

According to Patanjali, the meaning and purpose of Yoga is to achieve Samadhi (the last transcendental state in which there is a sense of pure existence and nothing else). Yoga is a union of mind and body. It is compared to a calm river, which flows to your sloping bed effortlessly. Therefore, yoga is more than a physical exercise. Being able to focus your mind is the greatest benefit of Yoga. Yoga is nothing more than self-study. The purpose of Yoga is to be self-aware. Yoga teaches you to be closer to nature and lead a healthy life. For this you need determination and faith in Yoga.

Tapaswadhyayeshwarpranidhanani Kriyayogah

Tapa (austerities), Swadhyaya (scripture reading), Ishwarpranidhana. Tapa is making the body stay alert and active with health. Swadhyaya is the continuous study to sharpen the intellect. These sadhanas will be used to erase the faults of human nature. There are five kleshas (bad tendencies) such as avidya (ignorance), asmita (ego), rag (attraction-affection), dwesh (hate) and abhinivesh (self-insistence, stubbornness). These five vrittis disappear for Dhyana.

Yogaschittavrittinirodhah. By practicing yoga, all functional modes of the mind cease entirely.

Controlling your mind is what Yoga is all about. You have to engage your mind in Asana. Asana is an instrument for Yoga. The body postures, maintenance and rounds of an asana must be performed according to the capacity of each one. Retention is more desirable than repetition. Meditation cannot be separated from Yoga.

Prayatne Shaithilyam anantha samapatti. When doing Yogasana (yogic postures), two things must be observed. One is to relax mentally and physically. The second is Anantha samapatti. It means merging with something infinite. Patanjali says that all good things happen when you stop trying. You become one with Ishwara, you let go of your control and forget that you are in a certain body posture. Yoga should be the way of life.

Yoga chitasya malam apakarot, Padena vachanam malam, sharirasya cha vaidyaken and or apakarot. The speech is improved by reading aloud a Pada (stanza of a poem) and a doctor cures the diseases of the body. Similarly, yoga heals and cleanses a sick mind.

According to Samadhipada, all kinds of mental and physical problems such as illness, laziness, doubts and suspensions, disobedience, misunderstandings, temptations, insane thoughts are the modifications of Chitta (mind). The consequences of these modifications are restlessness, instability, tremors, and distortions of inhalations and exhalations. Patanjali says that through total concentration and perseverance and regular Yoga practice, one can get rid of all these problems.

Ishwarpranidhanadva However, if that is very difficult for someone, there is another way to achieve total health and peace and that is to surrender to God (Ishwarpranidhanadva). According to Samadhi pada, when you have no knowledge, completely surrender to God and you will obtain knowledge.

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