Information On Yoga

Yoga is one of the most ancient arts of fitness dating back 5000 years. Yoga was the result of the timeless desire of human beings to attain greater personal freedom, health, long life and greater self-esteem. It was developed as a system of mental and physical exercise to create harmony between the individual's mind and body.

The system of Yoga is based on three fundamentals;

1. Breathing

2. Exercise

3. Meditation

The focus of the entire Yoga system is on the glandular systems of the body; the exercises place the system under pressure and help to improve the overall health of the body. For the Yoga student, the body is the primary instrument with which to interact with the world, and therefore, an object of respect. The breathing techniques are a vital force and crucial to success as a Yoga student. The breath is regarded as the source of life to the human body. Before a successful Yoga exercise routine can be embarked upon, breathing exercises and developing control over one's breath is necessary. The breathing techniques strengthen the mental and physical health. Every Yoga exercise you will encounter will have specific breathing patterns for you to follow. The success of your exercise depends upon your mastery of these breathing techniques. Meditation allows for silence to accumulate in the mind and heal the body from stress. When you incorporate a Yoga session into your daily life, you gain increased fitness and stronger health.

Types Of Yoga:

There are different types of Yoga and you may have heard many names being taken in conjugation with the Yoga word. Often one form is advocated to be better than the other. Of course a fundamental difference is present in each type of Yoga, and each type has its own purpose. Although the number of classification of Yoga, or ‘schools of Yoga' as they are called, mount to hundreds, following are the basic types of Yoga you should know about;

Hatha Yoga: The physical movements and postures, plus breathing techniques. This is what most people associate with Yoga practice.

Raja Yoga: Called the “royal road," because it incorporates exercise and breathing practice with meditation and study, producing a well-rounded individual.

Jnana Yoga: The path of wisdom; considered the most difficult path.

Bhakti Yoga: The practice of extreme devotion in one-pointed concentration upon one's concept of God.

Karma Yoga: All movement, all work of any kind is done with the mind centered on a personal concept of God.

Tantra Yoga: A way of showing the unseen consciousness in some sort of solid form through specific words, diagrams, and movements. One of the diagrams that is used to show the joining of the physical and spiritual bodies is two triangles superimposed upon one another. The downward-pointing triangle represents the physical body, or the female aspect having to do with work, action, and movement; the upward-pointing triangle represents the spiritual, male body of support, energy, and vastness.

Kashmir Shaivism: This Yoga system states that everything in the universe has both male and female qualities. In Kashmir Shaivism, these male and female principles form an equal partnership and so interdependent are they that they cannot be separated. The attraction between them produces the ultimate union of opposites, creating the immense complexity of the universe that we enjoy and celebrate. Contrary to other philosophies, Kashmir Shaivism is based in emotion rather than intellect. In fact, Kashmir Shaivism preaches that intellect by itself is egoism. And egoism will never allow the development of self. It is only through emotions that a human being can reach the heights of creations.