Yoga

Yoga is a physicalmental, and spiritual practice or discipline, which originated in India.

There is a broad variety of schools, practices and goals in both Hindusim and Buddhism. The most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries.

Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century.

In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual core.

One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.

Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancerschizophreniaasthma, and heart disease.

The results of these studies have been mixed and inconclusive, with cancer studies suggesting none to unclear effectiveness, and others suggesting yoga may reduce risk factors and aid in a patient's psychological healing process.


The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha, which means liberation. Although the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated.

According to legend  "Yoga has five principal meanings”

  1. 1. Yoga as a disciplined method for attaining a goal

  2. 2. Yoga as techniques of controlling the body and the mind

  3. 3. Yoga as a name of one of the schools or systems of philosophy (darśana);

  4. 4. Yoga in connection with other words, such as "hatha-, mantra-, and laya-," referring to traditions specialising in particular techniques of yoga

  5. 5. Yoga as the goal of Yoga practice

However from the 5th century onwards, the core principles of "yoga" were more or less in place. Although variations of these principles developed in various forms over time;

For example:

  • - Yoga as an analysis of perception and cognition

Illustration of this principle is found in Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and Yogasutras, as well as a number of Buddhist Mahāyāna work.

  • - Yoga as the rising and expansion of consciousness

These are discussed in sources such as Hinduism Mahābhārata,

  • - Yoga as a path to omniscience

Examples are found in Hinduism Nyaya and Vaisesika texts, as well as Buddhism Mādhyamaka texts, but in different ways

  • - Yoga as a technique for entering into other bodies, generating multiple bodies, and the attainment of other supernatural accomplishments

These are described in Tantric literature of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the Buddhist Sāmaññaphalasutta
© 2015 JHH&F - James Haskell Health and Fitness Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
All Rights Reserved