Yoga (Sanskrit) is a commonly known generic term for the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace.
Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
Hindu monks, beginning with Swami Vivekananda, brought yoga to the West in the late 19th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world.
In Vedic Sanskrit, literal meaning of the Sanskrit word yoga which is “to unite”
Generally put, yoga is a disciplined method utilized for attaining a goal. In the specific sense of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, yoga is defined as the cessation of the perturbations of consciousness. This is described by Patanjali as the necessary condition for transcending discursive knowledge and to be one with the divinely understood “spirit”: “Absolute freedom occurs when the lucidity of material nature and spirit are in pure equilibrium.” In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali indicates that the ultimate goal of yoga is a state of permanent peace or Kaivalya.
Apart from the spiritual goals the physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress and make the spine supple in contemporary times. Yoga is also used as a complete exercise program and physical therapy routine.
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