Yoga is a centuries-old complete system aimed at developing harmony in the body, mind and spirit.
Yoga combines physical exercise postures (asana) with breathing techniques (pranayama), relaxation, nutrition, positive affirmations and meditation aimed at developing harmony in the body, mind, and spirit to unite the body, mind and spirit together toward this holistic experience.
Techniques of Yoga date back more than 5,000 years to ancient India. The first written records of the practice of yoga appeared around 200 BC in Yogasutra of Patanjali.
Since ancient times, yoga has fulfilled the desire for greater personal freedom, a healthy, long life, and heightened self-understanding. In the modern day America, most schools of yoga incorporate the 3rd, 4th and 5th limbs of Asthanga or the 8 limbs of yoga described by Patanjali.
The 8 limbs of yoga are:
- Yama - Rules for successful living in society
- Niyama - Techniques for managing and purifying self
- Asana - Posture techniques for physical and mental balance (what most people think of as yoga)
- Pranayama - Breathing techniques for physical and mental balance
- Pratyahara - Techniques for detaching the mind from the senses for mental balance and calm
- Dharana - Concentration techniques to achieve single-pointed, mental balance Dhyana - Meditation techniques to withdraw the senses
- Samadhi - Advanced meditation techniques to merge with universal consciousness on the path to enlightenment.