What is Yoga? - Basic Yoga Information and History

What is yoga? This introductory article offers some basic yoga information and history.

Yoga is an ancient physical, spiritual and philosophical science that originated in India and has been practised for over 5000 years. The term 'yoga' comes from the word 'yoke' which is 'to join' or 'to unite'.

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A note about What is Yoga? - Basic Yoga Information and History

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. Taking these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of certain holistic remedies.

Yoga is a path which provides a scientific, structured methodology for the individual seeker 'to unite' with the Divine, for which he / she has to first unite the triumvirate aspects of individual self, which are mind, body and spirit.

Uniting with the deepest core of the individual soul leads to union with the Cosmic Spirit (that which is variably known as God, Universal Spirit, etc), leading to ultimate liberation or 'kaivalya', which is the final goal of yoga.

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Yoga is, fundamentally, a comprehensive form of spiritual self-discovery. Broadly speaking, practitioners of yoga use a combination of physical and mental techniques to help purify and vitalize the body and mind. In the process, they are opened to a type of universal reality.

What is yoga therapy, then? Yoga therapy, which can be described as both an art and a science, effects healing based on yogic principles. Specific techniques are used to attempt to restore balance and harmony in an individual's interrelated systems.

History of Yoga

As far as the history of yoga goes, Patanjali, an ancient yogi and sage of India, who lived about 2500 years ago, is credited with writing the yogasutras which contains the philosophy and practice of the science of yoga, and is the earliest known text that is in existence today.

However, it is not clear as to who invented yoga, since it was never documented and was passed down verbally from yogis to their disciples.

How Does Yoga Work?

To begin with, a yoga practitioner would look at the physical, mental and social aspects of a person's life and attempt to pick out potential obstacles to his or her wellness. The therapist then recommends some changes to his or her diet, lifestyle, as well as social relationships and behavior patterns.

Certain physical postures, called 'asanas', may be suggested to help develop strength and flexibility that is balanced, as well as pranayama to optimize breath flow.

In addition, meditation or reflection may be used to help the person focus on and have a better understanding of the source of tensions which may be contributing to his or her symptoms.

All in all, regardless of which combination of techniques are used, the basic aim of yoga therapy is to calm one's nervous system; this then helps to balance the body, mind and emotions, thus helping to reduce or eliminate physical, mental and emotional pain and suffering.

What is Yoga's safety?; Choosing a Therapist or Practitioner

Is yoga safe? Generally speaking, as long as any particular health condition that a person may have is already taken into consideration, yoga therapy is safe.

It is recommended that one should work with a qualified yoga therapist or practitioner to obtain a good grasp of the proper techniques for dealing with your specific problem.

Besides being qualified and trained, experience and knowledge are also useful and important qualities in a yoga instructor. Importantly, one should always work with a yoga therapist whom one can trust. This is so that one can feel relaxed and confident about the therapy, which is essential because yoga sessions have to be offered with gentle guidance and compassion.

Ideally, the practitioner should lead an exemplary lifestyle of harmony and balance which is in keeping with the various aspects of yogic principles and philosophy.

More information on what is yoga and its various aspects is covered in the other related yoga articles.

Read More: More on Yoga | Holistic Remedies and Therapies | Natural Health Remedies for Various Ailments and Conditions | Body Detox | Healthy Lifestyle Tips | Home Page | Site Search

Wish to learn more about yoga? Click here to access a yoga home study course, online yoga educational programs and e-courses, as well as yoga resources like books and ebooks.

Or, if you are interested in a 30-minute yoga routine which top athletes use and which can help you burn fat; build core strength; improve balance, posture and flexibility; strengthen and tone your muscles; raise mental focus; as well as eliminate stress, click here.

Learn more about yoga and massage by visiting Yoga-Training-You.com.

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