The science of yoga dates back 5000 years B.C. and has been described in vedas
. Patanjali, also called the 'Father of Yoga' was a great sage who codified the philosophies of yoga in his book. He called it the Yogasutras
and described eight principles. According to him, each of these eight steps are necessary to incorporate the benefits of yoga into our lives. Its not just about some stances or breathing exercises, its a whole new code of conduct. Read on to find out more.
Statue of Patanjali, courtesy Alokprasad, wikimedia commons
These are the don'ts
. Man is a social animal and these practices are required to be a part of society:
These are the dos
. These aim towards disciplining self:
A stable posture helps attain mental equilibrium. Though these yoga poses are nowadays practiced for staying fit, their main aim was to aid the sages to meditate for a long time without physical hindrances.
It is the control of breath. The inhalation, retention and exhalation of breath in a rhythmic manner purifies the mind, and thus helps in concentration and meditation.
It is the withdrawal of senses. When you are concentrating such that you are directing all the energies inward, you can focus very well.
Concentration of mind on one object, for example, a candle. Slowly, this activity becomes effortless.
This is uninterrupted meditation without an object. It is a heightened level of awareness where you become one with the Universe. Then you cannot feel the distractions of daily life.
Oneness with Universe, courtesy Cornelia Copp, wikimedia commons
This is the ultimate goal of life, absolute bliss. Oneness with God or universe.
These are the Yogasutras
, the first five for control of the mind and body, and the last three for spiritual development. If practiced with discipline and in the correct order, they will eventually lead to ultimate enlightenment.
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