Defining Yoga

By Nagendra, H. | International Journal of Yoga, July-December 2008 | Go to article overview

Defining Yoga


Nagendra, H., International Journal of Yoga


Byline: H. Nagendra

Yoga is essentially practiced as asanas, and asanas are addressed as an alternate to exercises for a workout. To sweat out, a common feature of workouts, is evident in Yoga studios. No wonder that the Vikram Yoga is the hot spot. In India, traditionally Yoga is known as one of the six systems of Philosophy called Sat Dar?anas - Nyaya, Vaisesika, Sankhya, Yoga, Purva Mimamsa, and Uttara Mimamsa. Taking into consideration the very meaning of Yoga (Yujyate anena iti Yogah) [Slide 1],

Swami Vivekananda expanded the scope of Yoga to encompass all streams - Joana, Bhakti, and Karma - -also to lay the foundation for the four main streams of Yoga [Slide 2].

And the purpose of all Yoga is to realize, be in tune, and ultimately merge with Reality; call it Perfection, Pure Consciousness, Parmatman, Nirvaia as Buddha called it, Kaivalya as Pataojali presented, Mokua as Uttara Memamsa designates, or Reality which all scientists aim at, in all their research. He, without hair-splitting the semantic controversies, unifying them with an emphasis on the real spirit of Yoga as unification, to reach perfection, said that all paths mentioned above lead to the same goal in his famous proclamation, "Do it work or worship or psychic control or philosophy, by one or more or all of these and be free" [Slide 3].

That holistic definition of Yoga is most relevant to the modern society where the matter-based paradigm has become the truth of the times. Yoga postulates Consciousness--based paradigm and emphasizes that we are not robots governed by a set of physical laws driving us as machines. If we are more efficient than a robot sometimes or work haphazardly, we do it consciously with intelligence. This power of consciousness is featured by the freedom in all of us to choose - kartum, akartum, or anyatha va kartum - to do, not to do, or do it differently. Yoga is to enhance this freedom to choose the way to absolute freedom - freedom from all tensions and stresses, diseases, miseries - to move toward positive health, leading to perfect health.

Systematized and well-worked-out systems of Yoga, time tested for at least a few thousand years, aim at releasing us from all bondages - bondage of thoughts to begin with. We are bound by the thinking process right from the time we wake up till we sleep in the night, having no respite. This is the first bondage - says Pataojali, the master of Yoga Darshana. Bondage of emotions - being tossed up and down in emotional upsurges, responding to the inner and outer inputs as if we are bound to respond like a stone falling down due to gravity determined by the three laws of classical mechanics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Defining Yoga
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.