Concepts of Yoga

Concepts of Yoga

Concepts of yoga

There are generally considered to be 12 major concepts associated with Yoga. All of these Yoga concepts were derived from the original meanings of the words that make up these concepts.

As many early writings about Yoga appeared in the ancient language called Sanskrit, unlocking the true meaning of each concept depends on an understanding of the language. Fortunately for you, all of the major concepts in their original language are explained within this article.

The intent of this article is not to provide a Sanskrit lesson on the specific words used to describe the various concepts associated with Yoga.

Instead, the intent is to summarize the 12 major concepts of Yoga into an understandable format that you can easily implement in your daily life to enhance the overall quality of your lifestyle.

Yoga

  • Original Sanskrit Word: Yuj
  • Interpretation: A joining or union.

This concept refers to the joining of the practitioner with a supreme being. This includes any method that you might choose to achieve this union. The major consideration with this term is the uniting of an individualized spirit with the almighty spirit. This concept was originally taught by the widely considered founder of Yoga, Patanjali.

Karma

  • Original Sanskrit Word: Kri
  • Interpretation: To act or create

This concept refers to any type of physical or mental action. In addition, this concept deals with the consequences of each action. An easy way to understand this concept lies in the biblical law of “an eye for an eye”. You must expect to eventually receive any action that you force onto another person in your future life. There are actually three types of karma. The first is all acts performed in all lives (reincarnation). The second is the acts of you current life. The third type of karma id the acts that you are performing right now.

Dharma

This concept deals with the correct way to live your life and receive good karma. This concept not only concerns itself with physical and mental acts against other spirits, but also with the ability of the practitioner to achieve enlightenment and a union with the supreme being. This may sound familiar to followers of all types of religion that claim that good deeds alone are not enough to achieve immortality.

Swadharma

Swadhara is the obligation that a spirit has to follow dharma. Where dharma regards the rules and guidelines, swadhara pertains to the need for a spirit to follow those rules. This concept is much related to altruistic principles and instinctive feelings such as maternal and fraternal. According to the teachings of Yoga, every individual spirit will have a different level of swadhara. This level will determine their dharma and can be raised through meditation or reduced through lack there of.

Manah

This concept is the Sanskrit word for your mind. However, the manah is no the entire mind. The manah is the portion of the mind that receives sensory signals from other portions of the body. This is not only the scientific concept of sensory perception but the metaphysical ability for the mind to receive signals from the spirit.

Buddhi

yoga breathing

  • Original Sanskrit Word: Budh
  • Interpretation: To realize or help realize

The Sanskrit term for intelligence. This concept is the conscious ability to be able to understand the concepts that are taught to you.

It also concerns itself with the ability to think through situations and to use reason when making important decisions. Your overall intelligence is referred to as your buddhi.

Samskara

This concept is literally translated as your memories. Basically, every action that you perform (whether good or bad) creates an impression stored in your mind. Negative impressions must be cleansed in order to obtain immortality. In addition to being a moral protection device, this concept also deals with maternal and fraternal instincts.

Vasana

When your mind stores impressions of actions, or memories (samskara), they are typically grouped together based on similarities between them. These groups are referred to as vasana. These bundles are unconscious and must be restored through deep focus and meditation. These bundles are active even if they are held in the unconscious.

For example, you may be triggered to perform another “happy” bundle of actions because they left positive impressions in the past. In addition to acting as constantly referenced emotions, these bundles are what govern the development of experience and maturity.

Kriya

This concept refers to the actual practice or exercise of the techniques found in Yoga. It not only pertains to the actual correct physical motions involved but also the correction of incorrect technique and the skill involved in performing each movement. These motions are intended to have a purifying effect on the body in small amounts. Performing these motions will result in higher levels of metaphysical awareness and a heightened sense of purpose or being.

Viveka

This concept is directly related to the ability to realize the difference between reality and the fantasy or unrealistic portion of life. Not only does it involve knowing the difference between realism and the opposite but also the difference between the temporary aspects of life and the permanent aspects of the current and after life. When employing this concept, the practitioner must remember to constantly review what is real and what is fake and employ proper reactions based on their discoveries.

Vairagya

Vairagya concerns itself with the disinterest in anything of the current life. This concept requires the participant to distance himself from anything that they enjoy in their mortal life in order to better prepare for the after life. This includes the indifference of possessions, enjoyed feelings and the enjoyment of any emotional action or response.

Sannyasa

Concepts of yoga

Sannyasa is the concept that attempts to sum up all of the other Yoga concepts that contribute to a well led life. More specifically, Sannyasa involves adherence to all other yoga concepts and is the eventual pursuit of perfection in all aspects of life to attain a truly healthy and perfect after life.

As is evident, there are several concepts associated with the art of Yoga. While not all individuals will care to learn the specifics related to each of the 12 major concepts of Yoga, for individuals that would like to understand these concepts, and have a better understanding of the various philosophies associated with Yoga, please feel free to peruse through our section on Yoga.

However, it will be important to understand the various concepts associated with Yoga, at a cursory level, as it will better prepare you to choose which type, and how, you will practice and integrate Yoga into your daily lifestyle.

In addition, as you better understand the various concepts related to yoga feel free to experience the different concepts that present the most interest to you.

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