Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lotus position: influence of the Hindu's hatha yoga

A Rare Moment of Silence
Originally uploaded by The Kozy Shack
Yoga (Sanskrit) is a group of ancient spiritual practices originating in India. As a general term in Hinduism[1] it has been defined as referring to "technologies or disciplines of asceticism and meditation which are thought to lead to spiritual experience and profound understanding or insight into the nature of existence."[2]

Yoga is also intimately connected to the other Indian religions.

Outside India, Yoga is mostly associated with the practice of asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga or as a form of exercise.

Americans recognize the
Asana: Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to seated positions used for meditation. Later, with the rise of Hatha yoga, asana came to refer to all the "postures"
Pranayama: Prāna, life force, or vital energy, particularly, the breath, "āyāma", to lengthen or extend

The Sanskrit term yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, "to control", "to yoke", or "to unite."

Hindu texts discussing different aspects of yoga include the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita.

There are several major branches of Yoga. The asanas and other practices of Hatha Yoga are what Americans know.

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