Modern yoga is based on 19th century Scandinavian gymnastics
05-14-2018, 04:56 PM, (This post was last modified: 05-14-2018, 04:57 PM by Stranger.)
#1
Modern yoga is based on 19th century Scandinavian gymnastics
Yoga is a spiritual practice for transcending the physical and coming closer to union with the Divine.  It is based on a complex system of metaphysics described in the Vedas and the Upanishads.  Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, c.400 CE, describe the yogic path as consisting of the following:

- Nonviolence, non-harming other living beings (quoted from Wikipedia):

- truthfulness, non-falsehood

- non-stealing

- chastity, marital fidelity or sexual restraint

- non-avarice, non-possessiveness

- purity, clearness of mind, speech and body

- contentment, acceptance of others, acceptance of one's circumstances as they are in order to get past or change them, optimism for self

- persistence, perseverance, austerity

- study: of Vedas, of self, self-reflection, introspection of self's thoughts, speeches and actions

- contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality)

- asana: sitting in correct posture, that one can hold for a period of time, staying relaxed, steady, comfortable and motionless. Patanjali does not list any specific asana, except the terse suggestion, "posture one can hold
with comfort and motionlessness" [...] The posture that causes pain or restlessness is not a yogic posture.

- pranayama, which is the practice of consciously regulating breath (inhalation and exhalation)

- pratyahara is drawing within one's awareness. It is a process of retracting the sensory experience from external objects. It is a step of self extraction and abstraction. Pratyahara is not consciously closing one's eyes to
the sensory world, it is consciously closing one's mind processes to the sensory world

- dharana, concentration, is holding one's mind onto a particular inner state, subject or topic of one's mind. The mind is fixed on a mantra, or one's breath/navel/tip of tongue/any place, or an object one wants to observe,
or a concept/idea in one's mind. Fixing the mind means one-pointed focus, without drifting of mind, and without jumping from one topic to another.

- dhyana is contemplating, reflecting on whatever Dharana has focused on. If in the sixth limb of yoga one focused on a personal deity, Dhyana is its contemplation. If the concentration was on one object, Dhyana is non-judgmental, non-presumptuous observation of that object.  If the focus was on a concept/idea, Dhyana is contemplating that concept/idea in all its aspects, forms and consequences. Dhyana is uninterrupted train of thought, current of cognition, flow of awareness

- Samadhi is oneness with the subject of meditation. There is no distinction, during the eighth limb of yoga, between the actor of meditation, the act of meditation and the subject of meditation. Samadhi is that spiritual state when one's mind is so absorbed in whatever it is contemplating on, that the mind loses the sense of its own identity. The thinker, the thought process and the thought fuse with the subject of thought. There is only oneness, Samadhi

How is it, then, that out of these 16 components, what we call "yoga" in the West consists of spending an hour doing some combination of asana (not as defined/described by Patanjali) and pranayam?  It turns out that our "yoga" is based on a 19th century Scandinavian system, exported to India and reimported to the West!

Here's the link to a fantastic article: https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/yoga-s-greater-truth

Namaste!
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isis
05-14-2018, 05:09 PM,
#2
RE: Modern yoga is based on 19th century Scandinavian gymnastics
I've heard that Samadhi is a temporary Nirvana. I don't know if that's true.

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05-15-2018, 06:20 AM,
#3
RE: Modern yoga is based on 19th century Scandinavian gymnastics
Those are definitely good observations.
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