Yoga Explained

People want to be healthier these days and they are starting to realize that doctors and medicine can't always do the trick. Yoga is what a lot of people are using to help fix this problem in there lives. Yoga also helps people relax and can be very helpful after a stressful day. A lot of people think that Yoga is just a bunch of very tough aerobics and exercises, but they don't realize that there is a lot more to it than that.

Yoga is a group of old Hindu spiritual practices that started in India, where it still is a tradition and is seen as a means to enlightenment. The four main types of Yoga are Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga but there are many other types. In the America, the popular Yoga used by over 30 million people refers to Hatha Yoga, meaning forced Yoga.


Current yoga practices include traditional elements that come from Hinduism, like moral and ethical principles, postures to keep the body fit, spiritual philosophy, breathing exercises and relaxing the mind through meditation.

Yoga Explained

People who commonly practice yoga see it as beneficial because it leads to better health, emotional well-being and mental clarity. Yoga is expressed differently in different cultures. In Hinduism, yoga can be seen as a practice intended to bring people closer to God. In Buddhism, since they don't perceive there being a god, yoga helps people gain wisdom, compassion and insight. In western nations, where there more of an emphasis on individualism, so yoga practice may be used more as a way to become one with themselves.

Yoga helps master the body, mind and emotions. It is said to slowly gain knowledge of the true nature of reality. Yoga can be a way of increasing one's spiritual awareness and insight. While the history of yoga strongly connects it with Hinduism, it is said that yoga is not a religion itself, but has steps which can help people of all religions, as well as those who do not see themselves as religious.

Common to most types of yoga is the practice of concentration and meditation. Meditators sometimes report feelings of peace, joy and oneness. The focus of meditation may change from school to school. Some say it's a focus on one thing and only one thing, like breathing for example and others say it's a void, or being completely empty. Another common theme is the spiritual teacher, sometimes known as the guru, or lama. The guru guides the student through yoga's discipline from the beginning.

Traditionally, knowledge of yoga and the permission to practice it or teach it has been passed down by gurus and students. The yoga tradition includes texts which explain the techniques and teachings of yoga. Many gurus write on the about it, either giving modern translations of texts, or explaining how their teachings should be followed. The yoga tradition has also been a good source of inspiration for poetry, music, dance and art.

Yoga has helped many people for hundreds of years to open there minds and start really living, in a less stressful and healthier life.

Yoga Explained

Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Yoga []