Yoga

Yoga (Sanskrit, Pali: ?, /?j??/, yoga) is a commonly known generic term for physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines which originated in ancient India.[1][2] Specifically, yoga is one of the six astika ("orthodox") schools of Hindu philosophy. One of the most detailed and thorough expositions on the subject are the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.[3][4][5] Pre–philosophical speculations and diverse ascetic practices of first millennium BCE were systematized into a formal philosophy in early centuries CE by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.[6] By the turn of the first millennium, Hatha yoga emerged as a prominent tradition of yoga distinct from the Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. While the Yoga Sutras focus on discipline of the mind, Hatha yoga concentrates on health and purity of the body.[7] Hindu monks, beginning with Swami Vivekananda, brought yoga to the West in the late 19th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a physical system of health exercises across the Western world. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma and heart patients. In a national survey, long-term yoga practitioners in the United States reported musculo–skeletal and mental health improvements. In Vedic Sanskrit, the more commonly used, literal meaning of the Sanskrit word yoga which is "yoke", "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. There are very many Compound words containing yog in Sanskrit. Yoga can take on meanings such as "connection", "contact", "method", "application", "addition" and "performance". For example, gu?a-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"; pu?-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[9] In Hindu philosophy, the word yoga is used to refer to one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hindu philosophy.[note 1] The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are often labelled as Raja yoga.[11] Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi or yogini.