What is Yoga

YOGA
The Sanskrit word yoga or “yog” means union and the practice of yoga is an art and science dedicated to creating union between mind, body and spirit. By connecting with our breath and body, we create an awareness of ourselves as individual beings, connected to the unified whole of creation. This art was practiced in India thousands of years ago, and the foundations of the yoga philosophy were written down in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, approximately 200 AD. This sacred text describes the inner workings of the mind and the eight steps to bring the mind to a state of calm, permanent peace and union with Universal Consciousness. Yoga allows us to release the emotions through our body and allow the energy to flow through our chakras.
The sutra YOGA CHITTI VRITTI NIRODAH means: The calming of the restlessness of the mind is yoga. This summarizes the philosophy of yoga.
The core of the Yoga Sutras is the classical eight –limbed path that leads the journey into the practice of yoga.
1.YAMA:   Five guidelines for daily living.
Ahimsa                 – nonviolence
Satya                      – truthfulness
Asteya                    – nonstealing
Brahmacharya     – appropriate moral conduct and spiritual abundance
Aparigraha            – non attachment

2.NIYAMA: Five guidelines for personal growth
Saucha                      -cleanliness
Santosha                  -contentment
Tapas                       _ Self Discipline
Svadhyaya              – Self Study
Iswara                   – Surrender to the Divine
pranidhana

3. ASANAS YOGA POSTURES
4. PRANAYAMA PRACTICE OF BREATHING EXERCISES

5. PRATYAHARA WITHDRAWL OF THE SENSES – going inwards

6. DHARNA CONCENTRATION

7. DHYANA UNINTERRUPTED ALL ENCOMPASSING CONCENTRATION

8. SAMADHI TRUTH-CONSCIOUSNESS-BLISS – THE MERGING OF THE SELF WITH THE UNIVERSE

Living our Yoga

Proper Exercise
Proper Breathing
Proper Relaxation
Proper Diet
Positive Thinking and Meditation

Four Branches of Yoga

Selfless Service (Karma Yoga)
Yoga of  Devotion (Bhakti Yoga)
Postures & Meditation  (Hatha and Raja Yoga)
Knowledge & Wisdom (Jnana Yoga)