Some whats of yoga

By Sardaka, via Wikimedia Creative Commons.

By Sardaka, via Wikimedia Creative Commons.

Given now-a-days Yoga is more into fashion than mind-body health, we need to keep reminding ourselves of some of the core aspects of a yoga practice. The below is sort of a yoga part-FAQ.

– First and foremost, yoga is not just asanas or pranayama. It is a total, wholesome practice that encompasses the eight aspect of Raja Yoga. These cover principles to live by, keeping both the body and mind sound and healthy, withdrawal of senses and calming the mind with meditation and concentration. You can read what the eight aspects of Raja Yoga fairly well on the ‘net.

– The goal of yoga is calming the mind. Chitta, Vrutti Nirodha is Yoga. Chitta is mind; Vrutti means variations. Nirodha means supression. Supression of the variations of the mind is Yoga. Achieving the balance is yoga. Since both internal and external influences affect the mind, you need to be very careful what you let influence you. In today’s world of multi-tasking and information overload, it becomes more relevant to control the atmosphere that you are in. Seek out those factors that affects your mind positively and needless to say, eliminate or minimize those that affect your adversely.

– There are different forms of yoga. Now-a-days each teacher comes up with his or her own form of yoga. This serves only the purpose of self-promotion. Why don’t we just take the Patanjali sutras and the Hatha Yoga pradipika and teach quoting them as a reference. We all know why teachers don’t do that now-a-days. You as someone seeking yoga for achieving a balanced mind need to look for schools that teach classic yoga which don’t brand it with their name. Kripalu yoga or Bikram yoga, etc all originate in the same roots. A good teacher doesn’t quote himself, he only quotes the source unless it is totally original much like a poet should.

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