International Day of Yoga 2021 – 7 Things You Should Know About Yoga

Yoga For Better Living
International Day of Yoga

The International Day of Yoga since its inception in 2015 has proved to be extremely useful in propagating Yoga. It was proposed at the United Nations by India’s current Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The benefits of Yoga on the body, & mind are well known and widely documented. However, it is important to know a few fundamentals of Yoga as mentioned in the scriptures from which all current practices have evolved.

In this day and age, there are many widely advertised practices on Yoga and multiple Gurus. It can be very confusing for beginners. This forum intends to share & discuss the ancient wisdom of Yoga and elaborate on various practices and place them in the correct context.

Yoga is one of the 6 philosophical schools of Hinduism. These include Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa, and Vedanta. From the rich post-Vedic period emerged an individual called Patanjali whose systemization of the heterogeneous practices of yoga came to be authoritative for all subsequent practitioners. Patanjali is NOT the founder or inventor of Yoga. He systemized the pre-existing traditions and authored what came to be the seminal text on Yoga.

World Yoga Forum is a platform for Yoga, Meditation enthusiasts, practitioners, trainers, and teachers to share knowledge and experience on Yoga. World Yoga Forum’s mission is to promote better living through the wisdom of ancient spiritual knowledge and practices. We are currently discussing the Sutras of Patanjali as explained by the commentary of Vyasa, and the lectures of Swami Vivekananda. You can subscribe to this forum to get regular updates.

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7 Must-Read Articles On Yoga To Get A Basic Understanding

In this article, I’ll share 7 posts published on the World Yoga Forum that will help clarify the basics of Yoga. These include the goal of Yoga, The eight limbs of Yoga, The meaning of Prana & Pranayama, Pranayama Exercises, and elaborating of a few limbs of Yoga such as Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.

What is the goal of Yoga?

It’s important to understand the goal of Yoga before we get in to the practice of Yoga. For this we take the help of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali’s definition in the 2nd sutra, yoga is cessation (nirodha) of the activities (vrittis) of chitta. Vrittis refer to any sequence of thoughts, ideas, mental imaging or cognitive act performed by the mind, intellect, or ego. It is important to note that the mind & body…

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What is Asamprajana Samadhi? The eight limbs of Yoga

Asmaprajnata Samadhi is the ultimate state of awareness, the state of consciousness where nothing can be discerned except the pure self. (Read more about this in the goal of yoga). This is the ultimate goal of yoga Asmaprajnata Samadhi is the 8th limb and the final limb of yoga presented by Patanjali. The 8 Limbs of Yoga Yama (Abstentions, moral restraints such as truthfulness, non-violence, etc.) – This deals with how you deal with others.…

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Prana – Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda

Pranayama is not, as many think, something about breath; breath indeed has very little to do with it, if anything. Breathing is only one of the many exercises through which we get to the real Pranayama. Pranayama means the control of Prana. Akasha According to the philosophers of India, the whole universe is composed of two materials, one of which they call Akasha. It is the omnipresent, all-penetrating existence. Everything that has form, everything that…

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Pranayama Exercises and Rising of Kundalini – Swami Vivekananda

The exercises in Pranayama have been detailed out in the chapter titled The Control Of The Psychic Prana in the book Raja Yoga by Swami Vivekananda. We have seen that the first step, according to the Yogis, is to control the motion of the lungs. What we want to do is to feel the finer motions that are going on in the body. Our minds have become externalized, and have lost sight of the fine…

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Pratyahara Basics – Withdrawal of Senses by Swami Vivekananda

You know how perceptions come. First of all there are the external instruments, then the internal organs acting in the body through the brain centres, and there is the mind. When these come together and attach themselves to some external object, then we perceive it. At the same time it is a very difficult thing to concentrate the mind and attach it to one organ only; the mind is a slave. We hear “Be good,”…

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Dharana Basics by Swami Vivekananda

After you have practised Pratyahara for a time, take the next step, the Dharana, holding the mind to certain points. What is meant by holding the mind to certain points? Forcing the mind to feel certain parts of the body to the exclusion of others. For instance, try to feel only the hand, to the exclusion of other parts of the body. When the Chitta, or mind – stuff, is confined and limited to a…

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Dhyana and Samadhi by Swami Vivekananda

In order to reach the superconscious state in a scientific manner it is necessary to pass through the various steps of Raja-Yoga. After Pratyahara and Dharana, we come to Dhyana, meditation. When the mind has been trained to remain fixed on a certain internal or external location, there comes to it the power of flowing in an unbroken current, as it were, towards that point. This state is called Dhyana. When one has so intensified…

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About International Day of Yoga

The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015. India’s current Prime Minister Hon’ble Narendra Modi played a key role in proposing this day in his speech at the United Nations. This day over the last few years has played a very vital role in propagating Yoga. Read more about the inception of the international day of Yoga on Wikipedia.

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