Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What Is Yoga?

I realized after making my last post then when I mentioned "Yoga" most people would probably assume that means holding downward dog or warrior pose until the light of the all fills your heart. While this is technically a part of Yoga, it is a very small part. The poses are known as Asanas which are a portion of Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga is one of the four main paths. You are meant to partake of all four paths in order to reach enlightenment. The four paths are as follows...

Raja Yoga - Meditative yoga, comprised of poses, breathing and meditations
Jnana Yoga - This is the philosophical study of the truth through contemplation and research
Bhakti Yoga - Praise of the all through worship, ritual and love
Karma Yoga - This is the 'work' we all do, the role we all play as individuals, live compassionately and in harmony with the all

As you can see, poses like the lotus are a small but valid part of what is truly called Yoga. Yoga is a spiritual path to enlightenment with four roads, all of which are meant to be traveled by the seeker simultaneously. The Bhagavad Gita explains how to walk these paths properly and what it means to be a pure yogi.

While Yoga, Buddhism or Hinduism may not be your forte, don't overlook them. Anything that can offer you a piece of the puzzle should be regarded as holy and sacred. Yoga most certainly without a doubt has lead many individuals to ascend to levels regarded as divine by humanity. It shouldn't be underestimated, it should be investigated.

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