Secrets Of Hatha Yoga: Or Yogi Philosophy Of Well Being
Hatha yoga philosophy was first written of by Patanjali Maharishi around 400 C.E. in a series of 196 Sutras. These Sutras outlined a philosophical system similar to Buddhism, with a path consisting of eight disciplines, each of which have spiritual significance for the practitioner. These are referred to as limbs, because all eight of them contributed to the whole. The intention behind hatha yoga philosophy was for the practitioner to be mindful of herself, and use that mindfulness in ways that contribute to the harmony and well-being of those she encounters.
Secrets of Hatha Yoga: Or Yogi Philosophy of Well Being
Onesicritus also mentions attempts by his colleague, Calanus, to meet them. Initially denied an audience, he was later invited because he was sent by a "king curious of wisdom and philosophy". Onesicritus and Calanus learn that the yogis consider life's best doctrines to "rid the spirit of not only pain, but also pleasure", that "man trains the body for toil in order that his opinions may be strengthened", that "there is no shame in life on frugal fare", and that "the best place to inhabit is one with scantiest equipment or outfit". According to Charles Rockwell Lanman, these principles are significant in the history of yoga's spiritual side and may reflect the roots of "undisturbed calmness" and "mindfulness through balance" in the later works of Patanjali and Buddhaghosa.
Yoga literally means "union" and refers to the union of mind and body. Yoga is a holistic practice that emphasizes mind-body connectedness and involves postures, breathing, and meditation. Yoga is a 5000-year-old practice that began in India. Western science and health professionals recognize yoga as a powerful tool for promoting mental and physical well-being. Essentially, yoga is a preventative and cost-effective approach to overall well-being. Yoga is not a religion. Although yoga sometimes interweaves elements from religions and philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, it is not necessary to adhere to a particular religious practice or philosophy to practice yoga. It is also not necessary to change your own religious beliefs to practice yoga.
The word yoga also carries the sense of a way or path, a bit like the tao in Chinese philosophy. I had a real lightbulb moment when I discovered this, because it freed me up to see yoga as a 'way of doing' rather than a 'thing to do'; as an attitude towards the world, rather than a rigid set of practices. The goal of yoga is always moksha: liberation from suffering. For a devout Hindu yogi that means that when the body dies, the soul is freed from the endless wheel of reincarnation. For me that means a sense of being at one with myself; being grounded and comfortable in my skin; a certain inner calm. 076b4e4f54