The word YOGA means “TO UNITE”; “TO JOIN TOGETHER”
YOGA is a discipline, which joins together the mind, body, emotion, breath and spirit
in perfect harmony.
Originally Yoga was developed several thousand years ago as a means of stilling the
PANTANJALI (one of the world’s greatest sages, who lived in India somewhere between
200 BC and 200 AD), is considered to be a founder of the formal Yoga philosophy known
as RAJA YOGA (Royal).
He compiled the first systematic presentation of Yoga called “YOGA SUTRAS”.
In this fundamental text of the Raja Yoga system, Pantanjali defines Yoga as:
“THE SETTLING OF THE MIND INTO SILENCE”
When the mind is silent, we can realise our true nature. The cessation of mental
fluctuations (citta vritti nirodha) gives the possibility of stable meditation and
may lead to deeper states of blissful states (Samadhi) - the goal of Patanjali Raja
Patanjali says that the entire outside world is based on our thoughts and mental
attitude. The world is our own projection. Swami Satchidananda in his commentary
to Yoga Sutras writes:
“There is nothing wrong with the world. You can make it heaven or hell according
to your approach. That is why, entire Yoga is based on chitta vritti nirodah.
If you can control your mind, you have controlled everything.
Then there is nothing in this world to bind you.”
Patanjali devised a system called the “ eight-limbed path of Yoga”
1. Yama - abstinces
2. Niyama - observances
3. Asana - postures
4. Pranayama - breath control
5. Pratyahara - withdrawal of the senses
6. Dharana - concentration
7. Dhyana - meditation
8. Samandhi - blisful state
Raja Yoga is concerned principally with the cultivation of the mind.
It mainly uses ASANAS (physical postures) and breathing techniques to prepare the
body for concentration and meditation.