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Yoga

The Art and Science Known as Yoga

agusttyamuni

The great sage Agusteya Muni who introduced yoga and the art of living known as Sanatana Dharma to India

A system or a methodology for maintaining the health and fitness of the body and the mind. The practice of yoga is about initially connecting and understanding relationship between oneself as a human being and the body which is the vehicle for being human.

atha yoganushasanam—
‘We now commence the discipline of seeking
the essence of ourselves’

For many the process of yoga begins with training the body to keep it healthy and strong, but also to understand it as a vehicle for life, cultivating and inner peace and knowing. In training the body as in hatha yoga, the mind is also trained because where the body goes, the mind must go and with practice the practitioner discovers a state of freedom within body and mind.

This freedom is more about being in the world then being removed from it. The act of meditation even though it temporarily removes one from the world enables one to function more effectively. As the sense of self or 'I am' becomes clearer, when one becomes less reactive to other people's dramas and more proactive and effective in living and supporting one's community.

"The essence of Yoga can be summed up in three short phrases:
Sit Straight!
Be Quiet!
Listen!
But! These three injunctions are the most difficult things for modern man to do!
The human must become a ‘being’. The soul must evolve out of the ‘doing’ stage of the animal nature. Only then can one ‘be still and know God’. The animal cannot be consciously still. It is programmed to move for survival’s sake! In a sense, ‘being still’ goes against the very core of the survival instinct—abhinivesha, clinging to life! Hence, the difficulty in cultivating stillness and silence."

Many people so yoga is being an isolated practice, but while the practice is very individual and seemingly insular, there is an expansiveness within that internal experience that permeates all of life helping one to feel connected, valid and valued.

One finds peace by living in accord with the ethics of Yama and Niyama, conditions body and mind through Asana and Pranayama then begins to ascend by practising Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi which more finely train the mind helping expand perception.

In the video below, an insight into one woman's story of how she overcame her limitations came to embrace yoga. Everyone's story is different and one day you might share your story.

Teachers, writers, antagonists and heroes of the yoga movement

Some of the better-known characters in the story of Yoga. They are all men and women who had a sense that there was more to life than what appears on the surface and they had the courage to make a journey of the spirit and the kindness to share the story so that we may also share their success.

Krisnamacharya
A founder of modern yoga and the teacher of BKS Iyengar and Pattabi Jois, read more.

BKS Iyengar
From Pune in India, he is world renowned for his dynamic and precise approach to performing yoga asana, read more.

Krishna Pattabi Jois
Renowned world wide as the father of the flowing ashtanga / vinyasana yoga style.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi
One of India's most distinguished yogis.

Sadhguru
A modern yogi, mystic and visionary.

Paramahansa Yogananda
A remarkable man who helped introduce yoga to the USA.

Bikram Choudry
Founder of Bikram or hot yoga.

References:
Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

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