International Day of Yoga
“Yoga is not a religion or a church. It requires no belief in a doctrine, no credo. All yoga philosophy is concerned with the experience of meditation and nothing else. It does not require anyone to adhere to a belief system.”
Swami Veda Bharati (Pandit Usharbudh Arya), God, Himalayan Intl. Inst. of Yoga Science, Honesdale, PA, 1979
Lately there has been a lot of speculations and assumptions about Yoga being a religious imposition, well, it’s not! What yoga actually is?
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline or An Indian spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.
Derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, Yoga means union of the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. Yoga is a 5000 year old Indian body of knowledge. Though many think of yoga only as a physical exercise where people twist, turn, stretch, and breathe in the most complex ways, these are actually only the most superficial aspect of this profound science of unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul.
The science of Yoga imbibe itself the complete essence of the Way of Life, including — Gyan Yoga or philosophy, Bhakti Yoga or path of devotional bliss, Karma Yoga or path of blissful action, and Raja Yoga or path of mind control. Raja Yoga is further divided into eight parts. At the heart of the Raja Yoga system, balancing and unifying these various approaches, is the practice of Yoga Asana.
“To know yourself you need not go to any book, to any priest, to any psychologist. The whole treasure is within yourself.” J. Krishnamurti
Yoga is an art as well as a science. It is a science, because it offers practical methods for controlling body and mind, thereby making deep meditation possible. And it is an art, for unless it is practiced intuitively and sensitively it will yield only superficial results.
Yoga makes the body strong and flexible, it also improves the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems. Yoga brings emotional stability and clarity of mind.
The great sages and mystics who studied these matters found that in deep meditation, when their bodies, minds, and senses were stilled, they entered a different state. In this state they entered a higher mode of knowing, a union with reality beyond time and change, a Self that is part of, and not separate from, this world.
The experience of this is called Samadhi.
Living in this state continually is called Moksha.
Yoga is the search for this Union.
Today the world celebrates the spirit of yoga as International day of Yoga, today the world bows to YOGA.