What is Yoga? Yoga is the most precious gift which was passed on to us from our very first ancestors. Come let’s have a look how Yoga was introduced to us!
About ten thousand years ago the tantric civilization which existed in India developed the art of Yoga. According to the great spiritual documents and studies Lord Shiva (symbol of absolute consciousness) is known to be the Father and founder of Yog. His first follower or student was his own wife, the goddess Parvati (supreme knowledge, shakti..), the mother of the whole universe. Having kindness, empathy and love for her children Maa Parvati revealed her holy knowledge of emancipation in the form of Tantra.
Yoga and Tantra cannot be separated, just as Shiva cannot be separated from Parvati. The word Tantra is made out of two words: ‘tanoti’ which means 'expansion' and ‘trayati’ meaning 'liberation' respectively. The science of Tantra teaches us how to expand our consciousness and to liberate the energy. Tantra tells us to be free from the worldly distractions or bondages while still living in it. In Tantra the first step is to know the limitations and the capacities of our body and mind. Next step teaches us to use specific techniques to expand the consciousness and to liberate the energy by which an individual can transcend (to rise above or go beyond) the limitations and can experience higher reality.
Yoga and humans
At the early ages when human civilization began Yoga arose along with it.When humans first experienced or felt the spiritual potential they started to emerge techniques to develop it. The science of yoga was evolved by wise men and women or sages all over the world.
In today’s world people describe yoga in many different ways. Some says it’s about practicing Meditation. Others say it’s about learning and doing different types of breathing, or some even say that it’s only about learning asanas and making the body strong and flexible. I have also come across people who believe that it’s a religion, NO its not. Yoga has nothing to do with religion; it is a vast science of spirituality which can be practiced by anyone in this whole universe. Religions, casts, names and the borderlines on our mother earth are only made by us humans.
When the water is still in the lake, you can see deep inside to the bottom.
Yoga and descipline
Yoga is an ancient art, which teaches us how to live a balanced, healthy and self-disciplined life. A person aquires right knowledge and good experiences only through descipline. Yogic lfestyle is based on a funda of "simple living and high thinking". Let’s go a hundred years back and sense the real Yog (the word Yoga came out of Yog).
Roots of Yoga
Yoga comes from India. In the old times there was a system which was called Gurukula system ( 'Guru' means ‘teacher’, 'Kula’ stands for ‘home'). This system was based on the tradition where students could live, study and work with their Guru's (teachers). Parents sent their kids to the Asrama (a place for spiritual learning) at the age of eight and they stayed there for twelve years, to learn the Yogic discipline. All the kids were treated as family members and were taught philosophy, yoga asanas, karma yoga, meditation techniques and pranayama. It was normal for a student to help around the asrama. Some students chopped the wood for fire; another helped the Guru to refill his cattle, helping with fixing electricity problem, or to do the cores. Basically students were taught everything and were expected to do anything which was needed for the Asrama and the family to sustain. This is how Yoga was taught in India many years ago.
Aim of yoga
When the water is still in the lake, you can see deep inside to the bottom. This wont be possible if the surface is shaky by waves. We practise Yoga to make our mind steady and still, having no thought or desires, so one can see the "self". This is the aim of yoga.
Message of Yoga
The message of yoga is to know our true nature, which is joy and is eternal (Permanent, endless, unending, everlasting).