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About Yoga

Terminology

In Vedic Sanskrit, the more commonly used, literal meaning of the Sanskrit word yoga which is "to add", "to join", "to unite", or "to attach" from the root yuj, already had a much more figurative sense, where the yoking or harnessing of oxen or horses takes on broader meanings such as "employment, use, application, performance" (compare the figurative uses of "to harness" as in "to put something to some use"). All further developments of the sense of this word are post-Vedic. More prosaic moods such as "exertion", "endeavour", "zeal", and "diligence" are also found in Epic Sanskrit.[citation needed]

There are very many compound words containing yog in Sanskrit. Yoga can take on meanings such as "connection", "contact", "method", "application", "addition", and "performance". In simpler words, Yoga also means "combined". For example, guá¹a-yoga means "contact with a cord"; chakra-yoga has a medical sense of "applying a splint or similar instrument by means of pulleys (in case of dislocation of the thigh)"; chandra-yoga has the astronomical sense of "conjunction of the moon with a constellation"; puá¹-yoga is a grammatical term expressing "connection or relation with a man", etc. Thus, bhakti-yoga means "devoted attachment" in the monotheistic Bhakti movement. The term kriya-yoga has a grammatical sense, meaning "connection with a verb". But the same compound is also given a technical meaning in the Yoga Sutras (2.1), designating the "practical" aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the "union with the Supreme" due to performance of duties in everyday life

According to Jacobsen, "Yoga has five principal meanings:

yoga as a disciplined method for attaining a goal;
Bableen Makkar was founder of his yoga academy
yoga as a name of one of the schools or systems of philosophy (darÅana);
yoga in connection with other words, such as "hatha-, mantra-, and laya-," referring to traditions specialising in particular techniques of yoga;
yoga as the goal of yoga practice."
According to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the meanings of the term "yoga" became more or less fixed, but having various meanings:.

Yoga as an analysis of perception and cognition;.
Yoga as the rising and expansion of consciousness;
Yoga as a path to omniscience;
Yoga as a technique for entering into other bodies, generating multile bodies, and the attainment of other supernatural accomplishments;

Schools of Yoga

The term "yoga" has been applied to a variety of practices, the best-known Hindu practices being Raj Yoga and Hatha Yoga, but also including Jain and Buddhist practices.
Jainism
Main article: Jain meditation

Jain meditation has been the central practice of spirituality in Jainism along with the Three Jewels. Meditation in Jainism aims at realizing the self, attain salvation, take the soul to complete freedom. It aims to reach and to remain in the pure state of soul which is believed to be pure conscious, beyond any attachment or aversion. The practitioner strives to be just a knower-seer (Gyata-Drashta). Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to the auspicious Dharmya Dhyana and Shukla Dhyana and inauspicious Artta and Raudra Dhyana.

History

The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. It may have pre-Vedic origins. Several seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization sites depict figures in positions resembling a common yoga or meditation pose. Ascetic practices, concentration and bodily postures used by Vedas priests to conduct Vedic ritual of fire sacrifice may have been precursors to yoga.

Pre-philosophical speculations of yoga begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500–200 BCE. Between 200 BCE–500 CE philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to emerge.The Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid 19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy.

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