Yoga is an ancient Indian Science. Nobody really knows how old the science of yoga is. It goes back to the Vedic times and has been mentioned in the Upanishads, including the Gita. Sage Patanjali is credited with the first attempt to collate all the knowledge contained in this ancient Indian science. His book titled ‘Yoga Sutras’, is a collection of 198 aphorisms in Sanskrit, explaining the theoretical and practical aspects of the science. This book dates back to around 200 BC.
Yogic techniques are used for internal cleansing, energizing the entire system and retarding old age.
The Mind and Body Nexus:
Patanjali defines yoga as ‘yogah chitta vritti nirodah’, or the science that prevents fluctuations of the mind. In other words, yoga is the science of mind control. The sages knew that the mind and body are inextricably connected. Therefore any attempt to control our physical health depends on our ability to understand the mind-body connection. Even more importantly, the sages knew of the huge untapped potential of the human mind. And developed a science that enables man to realize his full physical, mental and spiritual potential.
Yoga means Union:
Yoga is an ancient science that deals with the link between the body and the mind, the physical and the metaphysical, the self and the universal. It teaches you the art of mind control, physical fitness, and mental & emotional equipoise. This is done through techniques that enhance energy flow and cleanse the system, thus ridding ,both,, the body and the mind of toxins that lead to fatigue, stress and disease.
Asanas are physical postures that work on the internal machinery of the whole body. The internal organs are massaged through these various postures and are stimulated, thereby functioning more efficiently. As yoga postures are always practiced with deep breathing, they also help to relax, increase concentration skills and develop mental equi-poise.
Pranayama is that branch of yoga which deals with the science of breath, and its control. Prana, or vital air in the body of the individual is a part of universal air. The regulation of breath helps the yogi to regulate and steady the mind. Pranayama or yogic breathing directly affects the blood circulatory system, the endocrine system and the nervous system. All diseases of the body can be destroyed at the root by controlling and regulating prana.
Mind is the product of thoughts which are difficult to restrain for they are subtle and fickle. A thought that is well guarded by a controlled mind brings peace of mind and happiness. Dhyan or meditation is that branch of yoga that deals with the art of learning how the mind works and thus how one can control it, rather than be controlled by it.