Yoga: from Ancient Practice Still Prevalent in Modern Society

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By kdoyle1290
Words 1094
Pages 5
The discipline of yoga originated in India 5,000 years. Creating a connection between mind and body is the ultimate goal of this tradition; the word yoga actually means “union of the individual self” (Iyengar 14). Millions use yoga to strengthen their bodies, and ease their minds. In America especially, the practice of yoga has become a trend, made popular especially by hollywood elite. But unlike other dangerous trends perpetuated by celebrities, yoga garners substantial benefits. More energy, reduced stress, and a stronger and more flexible body are only a few of the many positive effects. Yoga is an ancient tradition that yields tremendous benefits for those who practice it today. Yoga began in Northern India, in the Indus- Saravasti civilization. There is no record of exactly when this discipline began, and there is no one person to acknowledge for its invention. Patanjali, an Indian sage, is credited with writing the “Yoga Sutras”, the first known record of yoga, which outlines principles and practices of yoga that are still observed today (Weil 1). Yoga had been practiced for centuries, but it did not arrive in America until 1947 when the first yoga studio was opened in Hollywood. In yogic philosophy, the body is composed of three layers: the casual body, the subtle body, and the gross body, and five sheaths. Each “individual functions in mind, matter, energy, and pure consciousness through [these] sheaths”: the anatomical sheath, the life-force sheath, the psychological sheath, and the intellectual sheath (Iyengar 24). Once each of these five are addressed, one reaches the sheath of bliss (Iyengar 24). The practice of yoga encourages the integration of the layers of the body, with the five sheaths, to achieve a sense of oneness and completeness. The fundamental tenets of yoga are outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras; they are know as the “eight…...

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