Welcome to “Unleashing the Power Within: Celebrating International Yoga Day 2023”!
International Yoga Day serves as a global platform to highlight the profound impact of yoga on our physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions.
As the world comes together to honour and embrace the transformative practice of yoga, we embark on a journey of self-discovery, inner peace, and holistic well-being. Yoga is a path that leads us to the very core of our being, guiding us towards a state of harmony, clarity, and profound connection. It is an invitation to go beyond the external facade and tap into the boundless potential that lies within.
The word “YOGA” has been derived from the Sanskrit word “YUJ”. This means “to Connect or to Combine”. In very simple word it is “UNION”.
∪ ⇒ Union: Union with Source (Brahman/ Purusha)
Let us explore Yogic Approach: Patanjali Yoga sutras!
On the day of International Yoga Day, it is essential to acknowledge and honour the profound wisdom encapsulated in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Patanjali’s teachings serve as a guiding light, illuminating the path of yoga and its transformative potential. The Yoga Sutras outline a systematic framework for the practice of yoga, offering insights into the mind, consciousness, and the journey towards self-realization. These ancient sutras provide timeless wisdom that transcends cultural and geographical boundaries, reminding us of the holistic nature of yoga, encompassing physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions.
The Yoga Sutras, compiled by the sage Patanjali, consists of 196 aphorisms (sutras) divided into four chapters (padas). Patanjali's work serves as a guidebook for understanding and practicing Raja Yoga.
Chapter One: Samadhi Pada:
The essence of Patanjali’s Yoga sutra is in the second sutra (1.2):
Yoga is for the control of thought-waves in the mind. To still the fluctuating mind.
Chapter Two: Sadhana Pada:
1. Yama – Restraints.
2. Niyama – Observances.
3. Asana -Physical postures.
4. Pranayama – Control of Prana (Breathing control).
5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal of the senses.
6. Dharana – Concentration
7. Dhyana – Meditation.
8. Samadhi – Absorption.
Chapter Three: Vibhuti Pada
This chapter focuses on the attainment of supernatural powers (siddhis) through yogic practices.
Dharana, Dhyana & Samadhi: These three limbs together lead aspirants to the ultimate goal.
Chapter Four: Kaivalya Pada
This chapter elucidates the concept of Kaivalya, which means liberation or absolute freedom.
It enters into the state of transcendence, where the individual self merges with the universal consciousness, attaining liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
The chapter concludes by emphasizing that through self-realization, one achieves eternal peace and liberation from suffering.
Ashtanga Yoga stands out as one of the most renowned and fundamental systems of yoga.
With its dynamic and structured approach, it has gained widespread recognition and popularity. Ashtanga Yoga offers a holistic path towards physical strength, mental clarity, emotional balance, and spiritual growth. Here are some key reasons why Ashtanga Yoga is highly regarded:
- Holistic Well-being: Ashtanga Yoga encompasses the eight limbs of yoga, addressing physical, mental, and spiritual dimensions.
- Physical Strength and Flexibility: The practice of Ashtanga Yoga involves dynamic and challenging asana sequences.
- Mental Clarity and Focus: Ashtanga Yoga incorporates breath control and concentration techniques. Through steady practice, it cultivates mental clarity, focus, and the ability to calm the mind.
- Emotional Balance: Ashtanga Yoga facilitates emotional well-being by promoting self-awareness and self-regulation. The practice helps release emotional tension, reduces anxiety, and cultivates a sense of inner peace and balance.
- Self-Discipline and Commitment: Ashtanga Yoga requires commitment to a regular practice. It fosters self-discipline, willpower, and the ability to overcome challenges on and off the mat.
- Purification and Detoxification: The dynamic nature of Ashtanga Yoga, combined with focused breathing, stimulates the internal organs, enhances circulation, and supports the body’s natural detoxification processes.
- Spiritual Growth and Self-Realization: Ashtanga Yoga provides a pathway for spiritual exploration and self-realization. It guides practitioners towards deepening their connection with their inner selves, discovering their true nature, and experiencing states of unity, peace, and transcendence.
- Sense of Community: Ashtanga Yoga has a strong community aspect, fostering a sense of support, camaraderie, and shared growth. Practitioners often gather in dedicated spaces, creating a supportive environment for learning and personal development.
Yoga extends far beyond being a mere physical activity; it is the profound engagement of the mind. Its essence lies in cultivating a state of tranquillity and harmony within the depths of our consciousness. The ultimate goal of yoga is to attain a mind devoid of fluctuations—a stillness that allows our true essence to shine forth. Through the dedicated practice of yoga, we learn to quiet the incessant chatter of the mind and discover a serene space where true wisdom resides. It is in this stillness that we experience a profound union with our higher self, a connection that transcends the boundaries of our individual identity.
- Patanjali Yoga Sutras: commentary By Swami Vivekananda.
- FOUR YOGAS OF SWAMI VIVEKANANDA: Condensed and retold by Swami Tapasyananda.
- Patanjali Yoga Sutra: Commentary, by Swami Premeshananda.
- Inside the Yoga Sutras- By Reverend Jaganath Carrera.
- Four Chapters on Freedom- By Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Swami Satchitananda.
My sincere request to the esteemed readers to share their opinion or queries if any🙏