Your doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist, or your best friend might say yoga is good for you. You've heard too much about yoga; It seems that yoga is "healing" in almost everything. The more you hear, the more confused it is to understand what yoga is.
Do you want to go and buy a yoga book? What would be the best yoga book to buy? If you visit a local bookstore, there are hundreds of yoga books, CDs, DVDs, card sets, and kits. If you purchase a copy of yoga sutras from Patanjali or buy one of the "puppets" yoga books?
Below is an overview of Yoga, which can help you decide on the path of your Yogic study. There is no good or bad way to yoga study, but be selective when choosing a yoga teacher, yoga book or yoga class.
First you must realize that there are many yoga. Yoga has nine main styles; there are many other styles as well as many sub-styles. The nine main styles of Yoga are Bhakti, Hatha, Jnana, Karma, Kundalini, Mantra, Raja, Tantra and Yantra Yoga. Each style emphasizes the unity of body, mind and spirit.
The literal meaning of yoga is "union" or "unity". If we make the body unity, soul and spirit in harmony, we can achieve tranquility. One of the most important goals of yoga is the peace of mind thanks to the lifelong holistic approach.
India is the birthplace of yoga. There are a number of written works on yoga, but the yoga origin dates back thousands of years. Yoga is the "mother" of most of the world's health. They come from Asian martial arts, the Shaolin Temple and the Pilates, to trace their origins to yoga.
The "higher forms of yoga" are said to be Bhakti, Jnana, Karma and Raja Yoga. All four of these styles are a complex theme in themselves and I can not summarize them.
Hatha yoga sub-styles are the most productive in India. Most yoga practitioners will first learn about Hatha Yoga al-style. Hatha Yoga and many sub-styles focus primarily on physical health, which is likely to lead to better mental health. Most hatha yoga classes, outside India, do not approach mental health.
However, Hatha Yoga is the "export of Hinduism" by fundamentalists. In some rare cases this may be true, but most Hatha Yoga teachers are content to teach better health for the body and mind.
Therefore, when choosing a book or a local yoga teacher, consider that a yoga teacher or guru is a guide – but you have the right to know in which direction you are heading. Yoga practitioner learns to unfold his thoughts and makes independent decisions on the go.
Yoga is not a threat to religion. If a yoga instructor presents intolerance, in any form, it is not yoga. Unit is not sectarianism. We must learn to appreciate diversity and never tolerate prejudices. Condemnation and intolerance are often the cause of crime and war.
On the "Grand Scale" yoga is the goal of world peace through the unity.
© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications