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Definition of Yoga | Astanga-Yoga Munich

What is Yoga?

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Yoga is a state. It is the state of unity between the body, mind and soul. All men are born with Yoga, but are unable to experience it consciously, because of their own ignorance. Yoga was known to the Rishis (Rishi - a man with the right knowledge) for thousands of years and was passed from teacher to student. Approximately 2000 years ago Yoga was outlined in written form - in the Yogasutrās by Rishi Patanjali. In the second Yogasutrā he writes:

yogaś citta-vṛtti nirodhaḥ |

The meaning of this Sutrā is the following: When someone attains yoga, all mind states are sealed and dissolve in the soul. ¹

From this Sloka (vers) it is evident, that Yoga is a state. For this reason it can be attained by anyone. What restrains one to do so, are one's own ignorance and laziness. These are the greatest enemies of men, because they bind us to our bad habits and decrease our discrimination.

Regular Hatha-Yoga practice helps us to keep our body healthy and to find peace. The āsanas (postures) develop both the body and the mind. They strengthen the will power and help in overcoming the negative thinking. The roots of most diseases of the body lie in the mind. With the practice of āsanas it is possible to pull out those roots from within.

In Yoga one does not consider the muscles a sign of good health. But when all systems and organs of the body work in a perfect way and harmony with each other, when there is mental balance and contentment, only than one enjoys good health and is free from diseases.²

 


1,2 (Yogamrita - The Essence of Yoga, Yogi Paramapadma Dhirananda, Kriya-Verlag, 2004)