What is Yoga?
The word yoga itself means “union”: of the individual consciousness or soul with the Universal Consciousness or Spirit. Though many people think of yoga only as physical exercises — the asanas or postures that have gained widespread popularity in recent decades — these are actually only the most superficial aspect of this profound science of unfolding the infinite potentials of the human mind and soul.
Ordinarily our awareness and energies are directed outward, to the things of this world, which we perceive through the limited instruments of our five senses. Because human reason has to rely upon the partial and often deceptive data supplied by the physical senses, we must learn to tap deeper and more subtle levels of awareness if we would solve the enigmas of life — Who am I? Why am I here? How do I realize Truth?
Yoga is a simple process of reversing the ordinary outward flow of energy and consciousness so that the mind becomes a dynamic centre of direct perception no longer dependent upon the fallible senses but capable of actually experiencing Truth.
There are various paths of Yoga that lead toward this goal, each one a specialized branch of one comprehensive system:
Hatha Yoga — a system of physical postures, or asanas, whose higher purpose is to purify the body, giving one awareness and control over its internal states and rendering it fit for meditation.
Karma Yoga — selfless service to others as part of one’s larger Self, without attachment to the results; and the performance of all actions with the consciousness of God as the Doer.
Mantra Yoga — centring the consciousness within through japa, or the repetition of certain universal root-word sounds representing a particular aspect of Spirit.
Bhakti Yoga — all-surrendering devotion through which one strives to see and love the divinity in every creature and in everything, thus maintaining an unceasing worship.
Gyana Yoga — the path of wisdom, which emphasizes the application of discriminative intelligence to achieve spiritual liberation.
Raja Yoga — the royal or highest path of Yoga, immortalized by Bhagavan Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita and formally systematized in the second century B.C. by Indian sage Patanjali, which combines the essence of all the other paths.
What are all the options to learn Yoga in India?
I would like to share my personal experience rather than copying any one's theory on Yoga. Every one of us in search of some thing every day which includes education, job, position, life partner, money etc etc and end of the day we are searching for happiness out of all searches. But we fail to realise that we actually in search of "Union with God" which is eventually get us the real happiness or the bliss we are looking for.
When we realise that we are in search of some thing without getting satisfaction in any of our routines and start wandering, that is the indication that we are in search for God. If we keep our mind open without any fixed ideas or the knowledge we acquired through various sources including books, and that is the time the Master comes to you!!! Believe me that Master chooses you and not you choose the Master. One's search will continue until he finds his Master.
Yes it is true, one fine morning one of my friend came to my office and asked me to follow him without saying any thing. I just followed and he took me in his car to a place and requested the person there to initiate me and then dropped me back.!! The place he took me is Vethathiri Maharishi's Centre at Tiruvanmiyur, Chennai. Then I researched on Vethathiri Maharishi teachings and attended a Personality Development Course at Aliyar which is the headquarters and Ashram of Maharishi. I was blessed to meet Maharishi there and had the opportunity to be a student in one of his class "Avoid Anger". Here I started looking at all happenings in an other perception and realised the science behind Mediation.
My Spiritual journey continued and my search still not stopped...Once when I was returning from Aliyar Ashram to Chennai I wanted to meet a person whom I met in Aliyar on the way in one of the village called "Vaiyampatti" near Trichy. I don't know his name, job or any other details except his face and the village name, but its a miracle that I met him in his house (later I realised all these miracles are no more surprise in my life). There he welcome and extended innocent hospitality which is common in Tamil Nadu villages. There he gave me a Tamil version of a book "Autobiography of a Yogi" written by Paramahansa Yogananada. I never read any books in my life because I hate reading..!! Only book I read in my life is "Autobiography of a Yogi" and when I completed reading 40 pages it made me to wander in Varanasi looking for some specifics. Day by day things started unfolding and what happened later is the magic by Master. Yes I completely realise Paramahansa Yogananada is the Master to guide me in the path for finding God.
So I thought I will share the details of both organisations I experienced in my life for the benefit of some one looking for the path to Yoga. One may ask why do I have to have a Master? Its simple...some one says that he know the way and he can show us...if we trust him..why not simply follow.
I would say Maharishi's teachings for some one who wants to know
- Analysis of Thoughts
- Streamlining of Desires
- Neutralization of Anger
- Eradication of Worries
- Realization of Self
Its for some one who has no knowledge about Yoga and good fro the very beginners, students of age 10 onwards.
To know more visit https://vethathiri.edu.in
The first step to know the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananada is to read his book "Autobiography of a Yogi" which is published in 50+ world languages. Just read rest all will be done by the book.! Yes its a magic and try for yourself.
Once you read apply for the Membership and you can learn Yoga at your door steps as the lessons are couriered to you.
The quickest and most effective approach to the goal of Yoga employs those methods of meditation that deal directly with energy and consciousness. It is this direct approach that characterizes Kriya Yoga, the particular form of Raja Yoga meditation taught by Paramahansa Yogananda.
To know more visit https://yssofindia.org