August 19 2017 | Yoga Philosophy
You’ll hear many superlatives about yoga. Goodness knows there seems to be more different types of yoga available now then seems to make sense. In this humble writers view this, ultimately, threatens to damage yoga’s credibility.
On this most of us, I hope, can agree. Yoga set in a contemporary setting is Hatha Yoga. It’s derived from Patanjali’s Sutra’s, which were compiled in the earlier part of the last millennia. Okay: of course we know that yoga’s heritage goes back much further than that. However, the gist of what we today call yoga drills back about 1000 years.
Hatha, as defined in ancient terms, was the binding of complementary opposites: Sun and Moon, Yin and Yang, Male and Female. Nowadays, it’s probably best understood as the integration and strengthening of body and mind. The modus operandi is a progressive series of physical exercises, controlled breathing and meditation, relaxation and mindfulness.
Yoga, in its ultimate state, was viewed by the yoga gurus (2000+ years ago) as Samadhi (the spiritual union of one’s true self with that of a universal force for good). It was very spiritual in character and subject to much dispute between various factions. Not much has changed there then!
These days I think it’s best described as an active physical and mental pursuit, designed to maintain ones health, fitness and well-being.
But what matters most is what works for you – and practising.
Johnston Lowry (Founder of Yoga Mind and Body)
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