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Yoga comes from Sanskrit yuj , meaning yoke and is a family of ancient spiritual practices that originated in India. Yoga practices share a common intention: Samadhi; that is, the re-integration of the Atman, or Self, with Brahma -- most commonly referred to as God. Yoga encompasses a variety of traditions geared towards self healing, the realization the Self, and unity of the Self with the body

Yoga is not a religion, but a set of spiritual practices intended to support and encourage the spirituality and transformative possibilities of healing the mind and body.

Yoga and Massage

In the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions, the spiritual goals of yoga are seen as inseparable from the religions of which yoga forms a part. Some yogis make a subtle distinction between religion and yoga, seeing religion as more concerned with culture, values, beliefs and rituals; and yoga as more concerned with self-realization, i.e., direct perception of the ultimate truth. In this sense, religion and yoga are complementary. Sri Ramakrishna likened religion to the husk, and direct experience to the kernel.

The most prominent tradition in modern Western practice has become Hatha Yoga, focusing on a physical endeavor that relies on asana as a means to promote balance, coordination, and flexibility. intention to promote concentration, meditation, and self-realization leading to samadhi peace. Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is that asana should be comfortable and grounded. still body, still mind of Yoga is attained through meditation, the spirit.

Western practice the term Yoga typically refers to Hatha Yoga, defined by the first two parts of the ashtanga eight-fold path: body asana and breath pranayama. Hatha Yoga practice will include concentration dharana and meditation dhyana.

Yoga as a means to enlightenment is central to Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, but Yoga has also influenced religious and spiritual practices throughout the world.
Traditionally, Yoga is defined by the five principal branches, delineated as Karma Yoga, the Path of Selfless Action; Bhakti Yoga, the Path of Devotion; Jnana Yoga, the Path of Wisdom; Mantra Yoga, the Path of Sacred Sound; and Hatha Yoga, the Path of Inner Power.

Yoga's ultimate intention is a realization of the True Self similar to the living gods of all religions and divinities. The branches & various schools that have arisen over the centuries, proscribe multiple paths to this ideal realization of Self, and should not be construed as a categorization.

Yoga and the body

The ultimate intention of Yoga is attainment of liberation ( moksha ) from worldly suffering and the cycle of birth and death ( samsara ). Yoga entails mastery over the body, mind, and emotional self, and transcendence of desire. It is said to lead gradually to knowledge of the true nature of reality. The Yogi reaches a state called kaivalya or nirvana , where there is a cessation of thought, and an experience of blissful union. This union may be of the individual soul ( atman ) with the supreme Reality ( brahma ), as in Vedanta philosophy; or with a specific god or goddess, as in theistic forms of Hinduism and some forms of Buddhism. Proponents of Yoga see daily practice as beneficial in itself, leading to improved health, emotional well-being, and mental clarity. Some skeptics question these claims.

Why yoga

Over the long history of yoga, different schools have emerged, and there are numerous examples of subdivisions and synthesis. It is common to speak of each form of yoga as a "path" to enlightenment. yoga may include love and devotion Bhakti Yoga, selfless work Karma Yoga, knowledge and discernment Jnana Yoga, or an eight-limbed system of meditation Raja Yoga. practices occupy a continuum from the religious to the scientific, not be mutually exclusive. Some in western cultures pursue yoga as exercise divorced from spiritual divine practice.

Yoga focuses on the integration of the mind and body, the union with the Divine integration of body, mind, and spirit. One who practices yoga is called a yogi, even though this is reserved for advanced practitioners.