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Concept of Yoga
What is Yoga?
Concept of yoga
Evolution of Yoga
Complete picture of Yoga
All misery comes from fear, from unsatisfied desires. When man will find that he never dies, he will have no more fear of death. When man knows that he is perfect, he will have no more vain desires, and both these causes being absent, there will be no more misery- there will be perfect bliss, even while in his body.Concentration in Yoga

The only method to attain this knowledge is through concentration.

Just as the astronomer concentrates all the energies of his mind and projects them through his telescope upon the skies, and the stars, the sun and the moon give up their secrets to him. If man concentrates more on his thoughts, he will understand himself better. Just as the more you concentrate your thoughts while reading this piece of writing, the better you will understand the concept of Yoga.

There is so much one can know in this world. The world is ready to give up its secrets if we only know how to give it the necessary blow. The strength and force of the blow will come through concentration. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. The more concentrated it is, the more power is brought to bear on one point. This concentration can be achieved with the practice of Yoga.

The practical aspects of Yoga play a more important part than does its intellectual content, which is largely based on the philosophy of Sankhya, with the exception that Yoga assumes the existence of God, who is the model for the aspirant to spiritual release. Yoga holds with Samkhya that the achievement of spiritual liberation occurs when the self (purusha) is freed from the bondages of matter (prakriti) that have resulted because of ignorance and illusion. The Samkhya view of the evolution of the world through identifiable stages leads Yoga to an attempt to reverse this order, as it were, so that a person can increasingly dephenomenalize himself until the self re-enters its original state of purity and consciousness. Once the aspirant has learned to control and suppress the obscuring mental activities of his mind and has succeeded in ending his attachment to material objects, he will be able to enter samadhi-- i.e., a state of deep concentration that results in a blissful, ecstatic union with the ultimate.

Generally the Yoga process is described in eight stages ( astanga-yoga, "eight-membered Yoga") also called the eight limbs of Yoga.

The first five stages are called external aids to Yoga; the remaining three are purely mental or internal aids.

The first two stages are ethical preparations. They are called Yamas and Niyamas.

Yamas ("restraint"), denotes abstinence from injury (ahimsa), falsehood, stealing, lust, and avarice; and Niyamas ("observance"), which denotes cleanliness of the body, contentment, austerity, study, and devotion to God. These are the ethical precepts that allow us to be at peace with our family, our community, and ourselves.

The next two stages are physical preparations. They include the Asanas and Pranayam.
  • Asana ("seat") is a series of exercises in physical posture, intended to condition the aspirant's body and make it supple, flexible, and healthy. Mastery of the asanas is reckoned by one's ability to hold one in the prescribed postures for an extended period of time without involuntary movement or physical distractions. These help to keep the body strong, flexible, and relaxed. Their practice strengthens the nervous system and refines our process of inner perception.

  • Pranayama ("breath control") is a series of exercises intended to stabilize the rhythm of breathing in order to encourage complete respiratory relaxation. More specifically, it can be defined as practices that help us to develop constancy in the movement of prana, or life force.

  • Pratyahara (withdrawal) is the fifth stage. It involves control of the senses, or the ability to withdraw the attention of the senses from outward objects to the mind. It involves drawing of one's attention towards silence rather than towards materialistic things.

  • Dharana ("holding on") is the ability to hold and confine awareness of externals to one object for a long period of time (a common exercise is fixing the mind on an object of meditation, such as the tip of the nose or an image of the deity). It involves focusing attention and cultivating inner perceptual awareness.

  • Dhyana ("concentrated meditation") is the uninterrupted contemplation of the object of meditation, beyond any memory of ego. It is sustaining of awareness under all conditions.

  • Samadhi ("self-collectedness") is the final stage and is a precondition of attaining release from the cycle of rebirth. In this stage the meditator perceives or experiences the object of his meditation and himself as one. It involves the return of the mind into original silence.


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