Lidiya Ivanova| masseur | yoga instructor |
Yoga (Sanskrit: योग yoga About this sound pronunciation (help·info)) is a generic term for the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace. Yoga is a Sanskrit word which means “union” and is interpreted as “union with the divine”. One of the most detailed and thorough expositions on the subject is the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, which defines yoga as “the stilling of the changing states of the mind” (Sanskrit: योग: चित्त-वृत्ति निरोध:). Yoga is also interpreted as the yoke that connects beings to the machine of existence.
Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. In Hinduism, yoga is one of the six āstika (“orthodox”) schools of Hindu philosophy.
Post-classical traditions consider Hiranyagarbha as the originator of yoga. Pre–philosophical speculations and diverse ascetic practices of first millennium BCE were systematized into a formal philosophy in early centuries CE by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. By the turn of the first millennium, hatha yoga emerged from tantra. It along with its many modern variations, is the style that many people associate with the word yoga today. Vajrayana Buddhism, founded by the Indian Mahasiddhas, has a parallel series of asanas and pranayamas, such as caṇḍālī and yantra yoga.
Hindu monks, beginning with Swami Vivekananda, brought yoga to the West in the late 19th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. This form of yoga is often called Hatha yoga. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma and heart patients. In a national survey, long-term yoga practitioners in the United States reported musculo–skeletal and mental health improvements.