Essence of Yoga as it was
The words of wisdom in blog post below has been collected and inspired from the teachings of Sadhguru, Isha Foundation. I only making an effort to spread it further through this post. The knowledge statements below reflect the true essence of Yoga that is understood very differently in the Modern day practice……………. Sending Love, Laughter and Joy ….. Parth
The word “yoga” essentially means, “that which brings you to reality”. Literally, it means “union.” Union means it brings you to the ultimate reality, where individual manifestations of life are surface bubbles in the process of creation. Yoga means to move towards an experiential reality where one knows the ultimate nature of the existence, the way it is made.
Historical Perspective on Yoga
In the yogic culture, Shiva is not known as a god, but as the Adiyogi or the first yogi – the originator of yoga. He was the one who first put this seed into the human mind. According to the yogic lore, over fifteen thousand years ago, Shiva attained to his full enlightenment and abandoned himself in the Himalayas.
The Adiyogi transformed himself into the Adi Guru; the first Guru was born on that day which is today known as Guru Purnima. On the banks of Kanti Sarovar, a lake that lies a few kilometers above Kedarnath, he turned South to shed his grace upon the human race, and the transmission of the yogic science to seven people. After many years, when the transmission was complete, it produced seven fully enlightened beings – the seven celebrated sages who are today known as the Saptarishis. Agastya Muni, one of the Saptarishis – the first seven disciples of Adiyogi – took the yogic sciences across the Indian subcontinent. This happened over 15,000 years ago.
Patajanjali, known as the father of modern yoga came into existence much later after Saptarishi. Patanjali integrated everything. He saw that it was getting too diversified and complex for anyone to understand in any meaningful way. So he integrated and included all aspects into a certain format – as the Yoga Sutras. Sutra literally means a thread. In modern language we can say, it is like a formula. There is an enormous amount of science behind these formulae, which most people do not understand.
The whole process of yoga is to take you from something that you know, and take the next step into the unknown. We have made this yogic science almost like a physical science like you mix two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen, you get water.
In yoga, flows have been identified. To start with, you work with the body, then you move to the breath, then to the mind, then to the inner self. Like this many steps have been created. They are only different aspects. They are not really different types of yoga. In fact, we address all of them at once or simultaneously. It is important that in a very balanced way all of them are addressed at once, as one unit. Otherwise, if you work just with the body, it is only preparatory in nature. So, there is really no division as such. Yoga is a union of all these.
However, there are different forms of yoga that we see today like, Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Bikram, Kundalini etc. These forms of yoga take different approaches, routes to the common destination that is uniting with the real self i.e Balance.