Friday, May 2, 2008


Yoga (Sanskrit: योग Yoga, IPA: [joːgə]) is a group of ancient spiritual practices originating in India. It has been defined as "technologies or disciplines of asceticism and meditation which are thought to lead to spiritual experience and profound understanding or insight into the nature of existence." Outside India, yoga is mostly associated with the practice of asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga or as a form of exercise.

Many Hindu texts discuss aspects of yoga, including the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and the Shiva Samhita.

Major branches of yoga include: Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga, established by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and known simply as yoga in the context of Hindu philosophy, is one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of thought.

The Sanskrit term yoga has many meanings. It is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, "to control", "to yoke", or "to unite".Common meanings include "joining" or "uniting", and related ideas such as "union" and "conjunction". Another conceptual definition is that of "mode, manner, means"or "expedient, means in general".

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