What is Yoga?
Yoga is a specific type of physical, mental, and spiritual practice. The word yoga is rich in meaning and encompasses more than one idea, though, practice and discipline.
The word is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means “to yoke or bind” and is often interpreted as "union". It also translates as "to link", "to reconnect".
The word yoga first appears in Rg Veda, dated cca. 1500-1200 BC. The oldest text in any Indo-European language.
Yoga refers to a compilation of physical, mental, and spiritual practices, and the various schools of yoga can be found in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
An all-encompassing practice, yoga is also viewed as a lifestyle, world-view, philosophy and tradition that can be applied to all areas of life.
Physical yoga poses keep the body healthy and vital. Mental and metaphysical practices calm the mind and senses.
In its highest spiritual form, the yoga system provides a methodology for linking up individual consciousness with the Supreme Consciousness.
The Indian sage Patanjali is believed to have collated the practice of yoga into the Yoga Sutra an estimated 2,000 years ago. The Sutra is a collection of 195 statements that serves as a philosophical guidebook for most of the yoga that is practiced today. It also outlines eight limbs of yoga: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption). As we explore these eight limbs, we begin by refining our behavior in the outer world, and then we focus inwardly until we reach samadhi (liberation, enlightenment).
Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.
In this training, we will explore and practice all the limbs of yoga, as well as study various yoga paths and types of discipline.