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Reasons why Yoga is important; an explanation of Yogic Principles

Updated: Dec 18, 2022

The word yoga means to Yoke; to unite the worldly with the transcendent in other words it means to Unite/Intergrade a person’s own consciousness with universal consciousness (sanskirt term Yuj). Yoga is the pathway to lift the human spirit to the ultimate supreme of perfection, it is the understanding of everything being united, it is the way of freeing oneself from the illusion of self and bind with the wisdom that is within us.

Now of course there are multiple health benefits with Hatha Yoga (physical Yoga) such us aiding of nervous system, digestive system, overall health of muscle mass, circulation especially transportation of oxygen and more.

In this article we are going to look more deeply into the origin and disciplines of Yoga to start off with this is a very simple table to explain the yoga practise of mind, body and spirit;

Body = Controls action = Involves exercising

Mind = Controls intelligence = Includes breathing techniques

Spirit= Controls emotion = Includes meditation

In the Yoga Sutras which are 5000/10,000 years old originated in Northern India the 8 limps of Yoga are explained as :

· Self purification by discipline (Niyama)

· Postures (Asana)

· Rhythmic Controlled Breathing (Pranayama)

· Withdrawing of mind of senses (Pratyahara)

· Concentration (Dharana)

· Deep Meditation (Dhayana)

· Union with the object of Meditation (Samadhi)

· Universal Moral Codes (Yama)

Under Universal Moral Codes (Yama) there are 5 more Principles they are as follows;

1. Ahimsa- Living a non-violence life either towards animals (vegan diet is mandatory) the planet itself or humans.

2. Satya: Truthfulness in thoughts, words and deeds.

3. Asteya: Not taking what does not belong to you (even towards animals such as cow’s milk that is meant for the cow)

4. Brachmacharya: This principle is to reserve sexual intercourse to be used responsibility, it is also the art of consistency, sustaining energy and not depleting vitality – it measures divinity in all.

5. Aparigraha: Not possessing anything, remaining detached but connected and understanding impermanence.

Under purification by discipline (Niyama), one must also follow another 5 inner principles to live a peaceful life;

1. Saucha (cleanliness)- this doesn’t mean physical hygiene but rather living in a way that gets rid of bad habits such as drinking or smoking.

2. Santosha (contentment)- accepting that the ego always wants more, relaxing into contentment and being happy with what we have and living mindfully.

3. Tapas (discipline)- this discipline helps us stay focused, passionate and courageous towards our yogic goals.