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Yoga
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yoga (Sanskrit: pronunciation ) are the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which aim at
transforming body and mind. The term denotes a variety of schools, practices and goals
[1]
in Hinduism, Buddhism
(including Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhism
[2][3][4]
) and Jainism,
[5][6][7][6]
the best-known being Hatha yoga and
Raja yoga. The term yoga is derived from the literal meaning of "yoking together" a span of horses or oxes,
[1]
but
came to be applied to the "yoking" of mind and body.
[1]
The origins of Yoga may date back to pre-vedic Indian traditions. The earliest accounts of yoga-practices are to be
found in the Buddhist Nikayas. Parallel developments were recorded around 400 CE in the Yoga Sutras of
Patanjali,
[8]
which combines prephilosophical speculations and diverse ascetic practices of the first millennium
BCE with Samkhya-philosophy. Hatha yoga emerged from tantra by the turn of the first millennium.
[9][10]
Gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west,
[11]
following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th
and early 20th century.
[11]
In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western
world. This form of yoga is often called Hatha yoga.
Yoga physiology described humans as existing of three bodies and five sheets which cover the atmman, and energy
flowing through energy channels and concentrated in chakras.
Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer,
schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease.
[12][13][14][15]
Contents
1 Terminology
2 Goal of Yoga
3 Schools of Yoga
3.1 Jainism
3.2 Buddhism
3.3 Hinduism
3.3.1 Raja Yoga
3.3.2 Tantra
3.3.3 Hatha yoga
3.3.4 Shaivism
3.4 Modern wellness
4 History
4.1 Origins (before 500 BCE)
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4.1.1 Indus Valley Civilization
4.1.2 Vedic period
4.1.2.1 Textual references
4.1.2.2 Ascetic practices
4.2 Preclassical era (500-200 BCE)
4.2.1 Early Buddhist texts
4.2.2 Upanishads
4.2.3 Bhagavad Gita
4.2.4 Mahabharata
4.3 Classical era (200 BCE - 500 CE)
4.3.1 Raja yoga
4.3.1.1 Samkhya
4.3.1.2 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
4.3.2 Yoga Yajnavalkya
4.3.3 Jainism
4.3.4 Yogacara school
4.4 Middle Ages (500-1500 CE)
4.4.1 Bhakti movement
4.4.2 Tantra
4.4.3 Vajrayana
4.4.4 Hatha Yoga
4.4.5 Sikhism
4.5 Modern history
4.5.1 Reception in the West
4.5.2 Medicine
4.5.2.1 Potential benefits for adults
4.5.2.2 Physical injuries
4.5.2.3 Pediatrics
5 Yoga physiology
6 Yoga compared with other systems of meditation
6.1 Zen Buddhism
6.2 Tibetan Buddhism
6.3 Christian meditation
6.4 Islam
7 See also
8 Notes
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Statue of Shiva in Bangalore, India,
performing yogic meditation in the
Padmasana posture.
9 References
10 Sources
11 External links
Terminology
In Vedic Sanskrit, the more commonly used, literal meaning of the
Sanskrit word yoga which is "to add", "to join", "to unite", or "to attach"
from the root yuj, already had a much more figurative sense, where the
yoking or harnessing of oxen or horses takes on broader meanings such
as "employment, use, application, performance" (compare the figurative
uses of "to harness" as in "to put something to some use"). All further
developments of the sense of this word are post-Vedic. More prosaic
moods such as "exertion", "endeavour", "zeal", and "diligence" are also
found in Epic Sanskrit.
There are very many compound words containing yog in Sanskrit. Yoga
can take on meanings such as "connection", "contact", "method",
"application", "addition", and "performance". In simpler words, Yoga also
means "combined". For example, gu-yoga means "contact with a
cord"; chakr-yoga has a medical sense of "applying a splint or similar
instrument by means of pulleys (in case of dislocation of the thigh)";
chandr-yoga has the astronomical sense of "conjunction of the moon
with a constellation"; pu-yoga is a grammatical term expressing "connection or relation with a man", etc. Thus,
bhakti-yoga means "devoted attachment" in the monotheistic Bhakti movement. The term kriy-yoga has a
grammatical sense, meaning "connection with a verb". But the same compound is also given a technical meaning in
the Yoga Sutras (2.1), designating the "practical" aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the "union with the Supreme" due
to performance of duties in everyday life
[16]
According to Pini, a 6th-century BCE Sanskrit grammarian, the term yoga can be derived from either of two
roots, yujir yoga (to yoke) or yuj samdhau (to concentrate).
[17]
In the context of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali,
the root yuj samdhau (to concentrate) is considered by traditional commentators as the correct etymology.
[18]
In
accordance with Pini, Vyasa (c. 4th or 5th century CE), who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras,
[19]
states that yoga means samdhi (concentration).
[20]
In other texts and contexts, such as the Bhagavad Gt and the
Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the word yoga has been used in conformity with yujir yoge (to yoke).
[21]
According to Dasgupta, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga (to yoke) or yuj
samdhau (to concentrate).
[17]
Alternatively, a more esoteric meaning of the term Yoga can be derived by applying the rules of sanskrit sandhi and
subsequently the word Yoga can be broken down as Yah + ga ( = : + ), which can be understood as "all
this" (:) "flow" (). Furthermore, in the Kundalini yoga system the symbol is used to denote the heart center
(anahata chakra), therefore the word yoga can even be understood as the flow experienced through the state of
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consciousness rooted in the heart center. This is likely to be one of many valid etymologies, as the central goal of
Kundalini Yoga is to raise and tune one's awareness to the anahata chakra (the heart center) for the sake of spiritual
growth.
Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi (may
be applied to a male or a female) or yogini (traditionally denoting a female).
[22]
Goal of Yoga
The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha (liberation) though the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the
philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated.
According to Jacobsen, "Yoga has five principal meanings:
[23]
1. yoga as a disciplined method for attaining a goal;
2. yoga as techniques of controlling the body and the mind;
3. yoga as a name of one of the schools or systems of philosophy (darana);
4. yoga in connection with other words, such as "hatha-, mantra-, and laya-," referring to traditions specialising
in particular techniques of yoga;
5. yoga as the goal of yoga practice."
[23]
According to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the meanings of the term "yoga" became
more or less fixed, but having various meanings:
[24]
1. Yoga as an analysis of perception and cognition;
[24]
2. Yoga as the rising and expansion of consciousness;
[25]
3. Yoga as a path to omniscience;
[26]
4. Yoga as a technique for entering into other bodies, generating multile bodies, and the attainment of other
supernatural accomplishments;
[27]
Schools of Yoga
The term "yoga" has been applied to a variety of practices, the best-known Hindu practices being Raj Yoga and
Hatha Yoga, but also including Jain and Buddhist practices.
Jainism
Jain meditation has been the central practice of spirituality in Jainism along with the Three Jewels.
[28]
Meditation in
Jainism aims at realizing the self, attain salvation, take the soul to complete freedom.
[29]
It aims to reach and to
remain in the pure state of soul which is believed to be pure conscious, beyond any attachment or aversion. The
practitioner strives to be just a knower-seer (Gyata-Drashta). Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to the
auspicious Dharmya Dhyana and Shukla Dhyana and inauspicious Artta and Raudra Dhyana.
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Mahavira, 24th Tirthankara
Buddhism
Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that aim
to develop mindfulness, concentration, supramundane powers, tranquility,
and insight.
Core techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have
proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. Buddhists
pursue meditation as part of the path toward Enlightenment and
Nirvana.
[note 1]
The closest words for meditation in the classical languages
of Buddhism are bhvan
[note 2]
and jhna/dhyna.
[note 3]
Buddhist
meditation techniques have become increasingly popular in the wider world,
with many non-Buddhists taking them up for a variety of reasons.
Hinduism
Raja Yoga
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are often labelled as Rja yoga.
[30]
It defines
yoga as citta-vtti-nirodha (the cessation of the perturbations of the mind).
[23]
The aim is to still the mind in order
to reach Kaivalya, the "isolation" of purusha (the motionless comsciousness "essence") from prakriti (the
promordial matter from which everything is made, including mind and emotions).
[31][32]
In Hinduism, Raja yoga is
considered as one of the six stika schools (those which accept the authority of the Vedas)
[33]
of Hindu
philosophy.
[34]
Tantra
Tantra is the name given by scholars to a style of meditation and ritual which arose in India no later than the 5th
century AD.
[35]
The earliest documented use of the word "Tantra" is in the Rigveda (X.71.9).
[36]
Tantra has
influenced the Hindu, Bn, Buddhist, and Jain traditions and silk road transmission of Buddhism that spread
Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia.
[37]
Hatha yoga
Hatha yoga, also called hatha vidya (), is a kind of yoga focusing on physical and mental strength building
exercises and postures described primarily in three texts of Hinduism:
[38][39][40]
1. Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Yogi Swatmarama (15th century)
2. Shiva Samhita, author unknown (1500 C.E
[41]
or late 17th century)
3. Gheranda Samhita by Yogi Gheranda (late 17th century)
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Many scholars also include the preceding Goraksha Samhita authored by Yogi Gorakshanath of the 11th century
in the above list.
[38]
Gorakshanath is widely considered to have been responsible for popularizing hatha yoga as we
know it today.
[42][43][44]
Vajrayana Buddhism, founded by the Indian Mahasiddhas,
[45]
has a series of asanas and pranayamas, such as
cal
[4]
and trul khor which parallel hatha yoga.
Shaivism
In Shaiva theology, yoga is used to unite kundalini with Shiva.
[46]
Mahabharata defines the purpose of yoga as the
experience of uniting the individual tman with the universal Brahman that pervades all things.
[47]
Modern wellness
Apart from the spiritual goals, the physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress and
make the spine supple in contemporary times. Yoga is also used as a complete exercise program and physical
therapy routine.
[48]
History
The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. It may have pre-Vedic origins.
[49]
Several seals discovered at Indus
Valley Civilization sites depict figures in positions resembling a common yoga or meditation pose.
[50]
Ascetic
practices, concentration and bodily postures used by Vedic priests to conduct Vedic ritual of fire sacrifice may have
been precursors to yoga.
Pre-philosophical speculations of yoga begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500200 BCE. Between 200 BCE500
CE philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical
system of yoga began to emerge.
[51]
The Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga.
Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid 19th century along with other topics of Indian
philosophy.
Origins (before 500 BCE)
The origins of yoga are a matter of debate.
[52]
According to Crangle, Indian researchers have generally favoured a
linear theory, which attempts "to interpret the origin and early development of Indian contemplative practices as a
sequential growth from an Aryan genesis",
[53][note 4]
just like traditional Hinduism regards the Vedas to be the
source of all spiritual knowledge.
[54][note 5]
Other scholars acknowledge the possibility of non-Aryan
components.
[53]
Some argue that yoga originates in the Indus Valley Civilization.
[57]
According to Zimmer, Yoga is
part of the pre-Vedic heritage, which also includes Jainism, Samkhya and Buddhism.
[58][note 6][note 7]
Samuel
argues that yoga derives from the ramana tradition.
[62][note 8]
Gavin Flood notes that such "dichotomization is too
simplistic":
[63]
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Male figure in a crossed legs posture
on a mold of a seal from the Indus
valley civilization
[T]his dichotomization is too simplistic, for continuities can undoubtedly be found between
renunciation and vedic Brahmanism, while elements from non-Brahmanical, Sramana traditions also
played an important part in the formation of the renunciate ideal.
[63][note 9]
Indus Valley Civilization
Several seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization sites, dating to the
mid 3rd millennium BCE, depict figures in positions resembling a
common yoga or meditation pose, showing "a form of ritual discipline,
suggesting a precursor of yoga," according to archaeologist Gregory
Possehl.
[50]
Ramaprasad Chanda, who supervised Indus Valley
Civilization excavations, states that,
Not only the seated deities on some of the Indus seals are in yoga
posture and bear witness to the prevalence of yoga in the Indus
Valley Civilization in that remote age, the standing deities on the
seals also show Kayotsarga (a standing posture of meditation)
position. It is a posture not of sitting but of standing.
[65]
Some type of connection between the Indus Valley seals and later yoga
and meditation practices is speculated upon by many scholars, though
there is no conclusive evidence.
[note 10]
Many scholars associate the
Pashupati seal with Shiva.
[note 11]
Yet, White notes:
[P]rior to the end of the first millennium CE, detailed descriptions of sanas were nowhere to be found
in the Indian textual record. In the light of this, any claim that sculpted images of cross-legged figures
including those represented on the famous clay seals from third millennium BCE Indus Valley
archeological sitesrepresent yogic postures are speculative at best.
[79]
Vedic period
Textual references
According to White, the first use of the word "yoga" is in the Rig Veda, where it denotes a yoke, but also a war
chariot.
[80]
Yoga is discussed quite frequently in the Upanishads, many of which predate Patanjali's Sutras.
[81]
The
actual term "yoga" first occurs in the Katha Upanishad
[82]
and later in the Shvetasvatara Upanishad.
[83]
White
states:
The earliest extant systematic account of yoga and a bridge from the earlier Vedic uses of the term is
found in the Hindu Kathaka Upanisad(Ku), a scripture dating from about the third century BCE[...]
[I]t describes the hierarchy of mind-body constituentsthe senses, mind, intellect, etc.that
comprise the foundational categories of Smkhya philosophy, whose metaphysical system grounds the
yoga of the YS, Bhg, and other texts and schools (Ku3.1011; 6.78).
[84]
According to David Frawley, verses such as Rig Veda 5.81.1 which reads,
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Seers of the vast illumined seer yogically [yunjante] control their minds and their intelligence
[85]
show that "at least the seed of the entire Yoga teaching is contained in this most ancient Aryan text".
[86]
An early reference to meditation is made in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the earliest Upanishad (c. 900
BCE).
[note 12]
In the Mahabarata yoga comes to mean "a divine chariot, that carried him upward in a burst of light
to and through the sun, and on to the heaven of gods and heroes."
[84]
Ascetic practices
Ascetic practices (tapas), concentration and bodily postures used by Vedic priests to conduct yajna (Vedic ritual
of fire sacrifice), might have been precursors to yoga.
[note 13]
Vratya, a group of ascetics mentioned in the
Atharvaveda, emphasized on bodily postures which probably evolved into yogic asanas.
[88]
Early Vedic Samhitas
also contain references to other group ascetics such as, Munis, the Kein, and Vratyas.
[90]
Techniques for
controlling breath and vital energies are mentioned in the Brahmanas (ritualistic texts of the Vedic corpus, c. 1000
800 BCE) and the Atharvaveda.
[88][91]
Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda suggests the presence of an early
contemplative tradition.
[note 14]
The Vedic Samhitas contain references to ascetics, and ascetic practices known as (tapas) are referenced in the
Brhmaas (900 BCE and 500 BCE), early commentaries on the Vedas.
[94]
The Rig Veda, the earliest of the
Hindu scripture mentions the practice.
[95]
Robert Schneider and Jeremy Fields write,
Yoga asanas were first prescribed by the ancient Vedic texts thousands of years ago and are said to
directly enliven the body's inner intelligence.
[96]
According to Feuerstein, breath control and curbing the mind was practiced since the Vedic times.,
[97]
and yoga
was fundamental to Vedic ritual, especially to chanting the sacred hymns
[98]
Preclassical era (500-200 BCE)
Diffused pre-philosophical speculations of yoga begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500200 BCE such as the
Buddhist Nikayas, the middle Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Mokshadharma of the Mahabharata. The
terms samkhya and yoga in these texts refer to spiritual methodologies rather than the philosophical systems which
developed centuries later.
[99]
Early Buddhist texts
Werner notes that "only with Buddhism itself as expounded in the Pali Canon" do we have the oldest preserved
comprehensive yoga practice:
"But it is only with Buddhism itself as expounded in the Pali Canon that we can speak about a
systematic and comprehensive or even integral school of Yoga practice, which is thus the first and
oldest to have been preserved for us in its entirety"
[100]
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Another yoga system that predated the Buddhist school is Jain yoga. But since Jain sources postdate Buddhist
ones, it is difficult to distinguish between the nature of the early Jain school and elements derived from other
schools.
[100]
Most of the other contemporary yoga systems alluded in the Upanishads and some Pali canons are lost to
time.
[101][102][note 15]
The early Buddhist texts describe meditative practices and states, some of which the Buddha borrowed from the
ascetic (shramana) tradition.
[104][105]
One key innovative teaching of the Buddha was that meditative absorption
must be combined with liberating cognition.
[106]
Meditative states alone are not an end, for according to the
Buddha, even the highest meditative state is not liberating. Instead of attaining a complete cessation of thought,
some sort of mental activity must take place: a liberating cognition, based on the practice of mindful awareness.
[107]
The Buddha also departed from earlier yogic thought in discarding the early Brahminic notion of liberation at
death.
[108]
While the Upanishads thought liberation to be a realization at death of a nondual meditative state where
the ontological duality between subject and object was abolished, Buddha's theory of liberation depended upon this
duality because liberation to him was an insight into the subject's experience.
[108]
The Pali canon contains three passages in which the Buddha describes pressing the tongue against the palate for the
purposes of controlling hunger or the mind, depending on the passage.
[109]
However there is no mention of the
tongue being inserted into the nasopharynx as in true khecar mudr. The Buddha used a posture where pressure is
put on the perineum with the heel, similar to even modern postures used to stimulate Kundalini.
[110]
Upanishads
Alexander Wynne, author of The Origin of Buddhist Meditation, observes that formless meditation and elemental
meditation might have originated in the Upanishadic tradition.
[111]
The earliest reference to meditation is in the
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, one of the oldest Upanishads.
[90]
Chandogya Upanishad describes the five kinds
of vital energies (prana). Concepts used later in many yoga traditions such as internal sound and veins (nadis) are
also described in the Upanishad.
[88]
Taittiriya Upanishad defines yoga as the mastery of body and senses.
[112]
The term "yoga" first appears in the Hindu scripture Katha Upanishad (a primary Upanishad c. 400 BCE) where it
is defined as the steady control of the senses, which along with cessation of mental activity, leads to the supreme
state.
[90][note 16]
Katha Upanishad integrates the monism of early Upanishads with concepts of samkhya and
yoga. It defines various levels of existence according to their proximity to the innermost being tman. Yoga is
therefore seen as a process of interiorization or ascent of consciousness.
[114][115]
It is the earliest literary work that
highlights the fundamentals of yoga. Shvetashvatara Upanishad (c. 400-200 BCE) elaborates on the relationship
between thought and breath, control of mind, and the benefits of yoga.
[115]
Like the Katha Upanishad the
transcendent Self is seen as the goal of yoga. This text also recommends meditation on Om as a path to
liberation.
[116]
Maitrayaniya Upanishad (c. 300 BCE) formalizes the sixfold form of yoga.
[115]
Physiological
theories of later yoga make an appearance in this text.
[117][118]
While breath channels (nis) of yogic practices had already been discussed in the classical Upanishads, it was not
until the eighth-century Buddhist Hevajra Tantra and Carygiti, that hierarchies of chakras were
introduced.
[119][120]
Further systematization of yoga is continued in the Yoga Upanishads of the Atharvaveda (viz.,
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Krishna narrating the Gita to Arjuna.
ilya, Pupata, Mahvkya).
[121]
Bhagavad Gita
The Bhagavad Gita ('Song of the Lord'), uses the term "yoga"
extensively in a variety of ways. In addition to an entire chapter (ch. 6)
dedicated to traditional yoga practice, including meditation,
[122]
it
introduces three prominent types of yoga:
[note 17]
Karma yoga: The yoga of action.
[note 18]
Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion.
[note 19]
Jnana yoga: The yoga of knowledge.
[note 20]
In Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains to Arjuna about
the essence of yoga as practiced in daily lives:
T:

6 4
qIqI:

7
(yoga-stha kuru karmani sanyugam tyaktv dhananjay
siddhy-asiddhyo samo bhutv samatvam yoga ucyate)
- Bhagavad Gita 2.48
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada translates it as "Be steadfast in yoga (yoga-stha), O Arjuna. Perform
your duty (kuru karmani) and abandon all attachment (sangam) to success or failure (siddhy-asiddhyo). Such
evenness of mind (samatvam) is called yoga."
[127]
Madhusudana Sarasvati (b. circa 1490) divided the Gita into three sections, with the first six chapters dealing with
Karma yoga, the middle six with Bhakti yoga, and the last six with Jnana (knowledge).
[128]
Other commentators
ascribe a different 'yoga' to each chapter, delineating eighteen different yogas.
[129]
Aurobindo, a freedom fighter
and philosopher, describes the yoga of the Gita as "a large, flexible and many-sided system with various elements,
which are all successfully harmonized by a sort of natural and living assimilation".
[130]
Mahabharata
Description of an early form of yoga called nirodhayoga (yoga of cessation) is contained in the Mokshadharma
section of the 12th chapter (Shanti Parva) of the Mahabharata epic. The verses of the section are dated to c.
300200 BCE. Nirodhayoga emphasizes progressive withdrawal from the contents of empirical consciousness
such as thoughts, sensations etc. until purusha (Self) is realized. Terms like vichara (subtle reflection), viveka
(discrimination) and others which are similar to Patanjali's terminology are mentioned, but not described.
[131]
There
is no uniform goal of yoga mentioned in the Mahabharata. Separation of self from matter, perceiving Brahman
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everywhere, entering into Brahman etc. are all described as goals of yoga. Samkhya and yoga are conflated
together and some verses describe them as being identical.
[47]
Mokshadharma also describes an early practice of
elemental meditation.
[132]
Classical era (200 BCE - 500 CE)
Raja yoga
During the period between the Mauryan and the Gupta era (c. 200 BCE500 CE) philosophical schools of
Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to
emerge.
[51]
Samkhya
Samkhya emerged in the first century CE.
[133]
When Patanjali systematized the conceptions of yoga, he set them
forth on the background of the metaphysics of samkhya, which he assumed with slight variations. In the early
works, the yoga principles appear together with the samkhya ideas. Vyasa's commentary on the Yoga Sutras, also
called the Samkhyapravacanabhasya (Commentary on the Exposition of the Sankhya Philosophy), brings out
the intimate relation between the two systems.
[134]
Yoga agrees with the essential metaphysics of samkhya, but
differs from it in that while samkhya holds that knowledge is the means of liberation, yoga is a system of active
striving, mental discipline, and dutiful action. Yoga also introduces the conception of god. Sometimes Patanjali's
system is referred to as Seshvara Samkhya in contradistinction to Kapila's Nirivara Samkhya.
[135]
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
In Hindu philosophy, yoga is the name of one of the six orthodox (which accept the testimony of Vedas)
philosophical schools.
[137][138]
The yoga school was founded by Patanjali. Karel Werner, author of Yoga And
Indian Philosophy, believes that the process of systematization of yoga which began in the middle and Yoga
Upanishads culminated with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
[note 21]
Scholars also note the influence of Buddhist and
Samkhyan ideas on the Yoga Sutras.
[139][140]
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras reminds us of Buddhist formulations from the
Pli Canon, Sarvstivda Abhidharma and Sautrntika.
[141]
The yoga school accepts the samkhya psychology and
metaphysics, but is more theistic than the samkhya, as evidenced by the addition of a divine entity to the samkhya's
twenty-five elements of reality.
[142][143]
The parallels between yoga and samkhya were so close that Max Mller
says that "the two philosophies were in popular parlance distinguished from each other as Samkhya with and
Samkhya without a Lord...."
[144]
The intimate relationship between samkhya and yoga is explained by Heinrich
Zimmer:
These two are regarded in India as twins, the two aspects of a single discipline. Skhya provides a
basic theoretical exposition of human nature, enumerating and defining its elements, analyzing their
manner of co-operation in a state of bondage ("bandha"), and describing their state of disentanglement
or separation in release ("moka"), while yoga treats specifically of the dynamics of the process for the
disentanglement, and outlines practical techniques for the gaining of release, or "isolation-integration"
("kaivalya").
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Traditional Hindu depiction of
Patanjali as an avatar of the divine
serpent Shesha.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
[136]
Pada (Chapter) English meaning Sutras
Samadhi Pada On being absorbed in spirit 51
Sadhana Pada On being immersed in spirit 55
Vibhuti Pada On supernatural abilities and gifts 56
Kaivalya Pada On absolute freedom 34
A sculpture of a Hindu yogi
in the Birla Mandir, Delhi

[145]
Patanjali is widely regarded as the compiler of the formal yoga
philosophy.
[146]
The verses of Yoga Sutras are terse and are therefore
read together with the Vyasa Bhashya (c. 350450 CE), a commentary
on the Yoga Sutras.
[147]
Patanjali's yoga is known as Raja yoga, which
is a system for control of the mind.
[148]
Patanjali defines the word "yoga"
in his second sutra, which is the definitional sutra for his entire work:
: -

:
(yoga citta-vtti-nirodha)
- Yoga Sutras 1.2
This terse definition hinges on the meaning of three Sanskrit terms. I. K.
Taimni translates it as "Yoga is the inhibition (nirodha) of the
modifications (vtti) of the mind (citta)".
[149]
The use of the word
nirodha in the opening definition of yoga is an example of the important
role that Buddhist technical terminology and concepts play
in the Yoga Sutras; this role suggests that Patanjali was
aware of Buddhist ideas and wove them into his
system.
[150]
Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as
"Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Citta) from taking
various forms (Vrittis)."
[151]
Patanjali's writing also became the basis for a system
referred to as "Ashtanga Yoga" ("Eight-Limbed Yoga").
This eight-limbed concept derived from the 29th Sutra of
the 2nd book, and is a core characteristic of practically every Raja yoga variation
taught today. The Eight Limbs are:
1. Yama (The five "abstentions"): Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (Truth, non-
lying), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (non-sensuality, celibacy), and
Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
2. Niyama (The five "observances"): Shaucha (purity), Santosha
(contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadhyaya (study of the Vedic scriptures
to know about God and the soul), and Ishvara-Pranidhana (surrender to
God).
3. Asana: Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to the seated
position used for meditation.
4. Pranayama ("Suspending Breath"): Prna, breath, "yma", to restrain or
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Yoga Yajnavalkya
[153]
stop. Also interpreted as control of the life force.
5. Pratyahara ("Abstraction"): Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.
6. Dharana ("Concentration"): Fixing the attention on a single object.
7. Dhyana ("Meditation"): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
8. Samadhi ("Liberation"): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.
In the view of this school, the highest attainment does not reveal the experienced diversity of the world to be
illusion. The everyday world is real. Furthermore, the highest attainment is the event of one of many individual selves
discovering itself; there is no single universal self shared by all persons.
[152]
Yoga Yajnavalkya
The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a classical treatise on yoga attributed to the
Vedic sage Yajnavalkya. It takes the form of a dialogue between
Yajnavalkya and his wife Gargi, a renowned female philosopher.
[154]
The
text contains 12 chapters and its origin has been traced to the period
between the second century BCE and fourth century CE.
[155]
Many yoga
texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Yoga Kundalini and the Yoga
Tattva Upanishads have borrowed verses from or make frequent
references to the Yoga Yajnavalkya.
[156]
In the Yoga Yajnavalkya, yoga
is defined as jivatmaparamatmasamyogah, or the union between the
individual self (jivatma) and the Divine (paramatma).
[153]
Jainism
According to Tattvarthasutra, 2nd century CE Jain text, yoga is the sum of all the activities of mind, speech and
body.
[7]
Umasvati calls yoga the cause of "asrava" or karmic influx
[157]
as well as one of the essentialssamyak
caritrain the path to liberation.
[157]
In his Niyamasara, Acarya Kundakunda, describes yoga bhaktidevotion
to the path to liberationas the highest form of devotion.
[158]
Acarya Haribhadra and Acarya Hemacandra
mention the five major vows of ascetics and 12 minor vows of laity under yoga. This has led certain Indologists like
Prof. Robert J. Zydenbos to call Jainism, essentially, a system of yogic thinking that grew into a full-fledged
religion.
[159]
The five yamas or the constraints of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali bear a resemblance to the five
major vows of Jainism, indicating a history of strong cross-fertilization between these traditions.
[160][note 22]
Mainstream Hinduism's influence on Jain yoga is noticed as Haribhadra founded his eightfold yoga and aligned it
with Patanjali's eightfold yoga.
[162]
Yogacara school
In the late phase of Indian antiquity, on the eve of the development of Classical Hinduism, the Yogacara movement
arises during the Gupta period (4th to 5th centuries). Yogacara received the name as it provided a "yoga," a
framework for engaging in the practices that lead to the path of the bodhisattva.
[163]
The yogacara sect teaches
4

sayogo yoga ityukto jvtma-


paramtmano
Union of the self (jivtma) with the
Divine (paramtma) is said to be
yoga.
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Tirthankara Parsva in Yogic
meditation in the Kayotsarga
posture.
"yoga" as a way to reach enlightenment.
[164]
Middle Ages (500-1500 CE)
Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Hatha yoga emerged as a dominant practice
of yoga in this period.
[165]
Bhakti movement
The Bhakti movement was a development in medieval Hinduism which advocated the concept of a personal God
(or "Supreme Personality of Godhead"). The movement was initiated by the Alvars of South India in the 6th to 9th
centuries, and it started gaining influence throughout India by the 12th to 15th centuries.
[166]
Shaiva and Vaishnava
bhakti traditions integrated aspects of Yoga Sutras, such as the practical meditative exercises, with devotion.
[167]
Bhagavata Purana elucidates the practice of a form of yoga called viraha (separation) bhakti. Viraha bhakti
emphasizes one pointed concentration on Krishna.
[168]
Tantra
By the turn of the first millennium, hatha yoga emerged from tantra.
[9][10]
Tantrism is a practice that is supposed to alter the relation of its practitioners to
the ordinary social, religious, and logical reality in which they live. Through Tantric
practice, an individual perceives reality as maya, illusion, and the individual
achieves liberation from it.
[169]
Both Tantra and yoga offer paths that relieve a
person from depending on the world. Where yoga relies on progressive
restriction of inputs from outside; Tantra relies on transmutation of all external
inputs so that one is no longer dependent on them, but can take them or leave
them at will. They both make a person independent.
[170]
This particular path to
salvation among the several offered by Hinduism, links Tantrism to those
practices of Indian religions, such as yoga, meditation, and social renunciation,
which are based on temporary or permanent withdrawal from social relationships
and modes.
[169]
During tantric practices and studies, the student is instructed further in meditation
technique, particularly chakra meditation. This is often in a limited form in
comparison with the way this kind of meditation is known and used by Tantric
practitioners and yogis elsewhere, but is more elaborate than the initiate's
previous meditation. It is considered to be a kind of Kundalini yoga for the
purpose of moving the Goddess into the chakra located in the "heart", for
meditation and worship.
[171]
Vajrayana
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While breath channels (nis) of yogic practices had already been discussed in the classical Upanishads, it was not
until the eighth-century Buddhist Hevajra Tantra and Carygiti, that hierarchies of chakras were
introduced.
[119][120]
Hatha Yoga
The earliest references to hatha yoga are in Buddhist works dating from the eighth century.
[172]
The earliest
definition of hatha yoga is found in the 11th century Buddhist text Vimalaprabha, which defines it in relation to the
center channel, bindu etc.
[173]
The basic tenets of Hatha yoga were formulated by Shaiva ascetics Matsyendranath
and Gorakshanath c. 900 CE. Hatha yoga synthesizes elements of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras with posture and
breathing exercises.
[174]
Hatha yoga, sometimes referred to as the "psychophysical yoga",
[175]
was further
elaborated by Yogi Swatmarama, compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika in 15th century CE. This yoga differs
substantially from the Raja yoga of Patanjali in that it focuses on shatkarma, the purification of the physical body as
leading to the purification of the mind (ha), and prana, or vital energy (tha).
[176][177]
Compared to the seated
asana, or sitting meditation posture, of Patanjali's Raja yoga,
[178]
it marks the development of asanas (plural) into
the full body 'postures' now in popular usage
[179]
and, along with its many modern variations, is the style that many
people associate with the word yoga today.
[180]
It is similar to a diving board preparing the body for purification, so that it may be ready to receive higher
techniques of meditation. The word "Hatha" comes from "Ha" which means Sun, and "Tha" which means
Moon.
[181]
Sikhism
Various yogic groups had become prominent in Punjab in the 15th and 16th century, when Sikhism was in its
nascent stage. Compositions of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, describe many dialogues he had with Jogis, a
Hindu community which practiced yoga.
[182]
Guru Nanak rejected the austerities, rites and rituals connected with
Hatha Yoga.
[183]
He propounded the path of Sahaja yoga or Nama yoga (meditation on the name) instead.
[184]
The Guru Granth Sahib states:
Listen "O Yogi, Nanak tells nothing but the truth. You must discipline your mind. The devotee must
meditate on the Word Divine. It is His grace which brings about the union. He understands, he also
sees. Good deeds help one merge into Divination."

[185]
Modern history
Reception in the West
Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid-19th century along with other topics of Indian
philosophy. In the context of this budding interest, N. C. Paul published his Treatise on Yoga Philosophy in 1851.
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An early illustration of Indians
performing Yoga asana in 1688
The first Hindu teacher to actively advocate and disseminate aspects of yoga to a western audience, Swami
Vivekananda, toured Europe and the United States in the 1890s.
[186]
The reception which Swami Vivekananda
received built on the active interest of intellectuals, in particular the New England Transcendentalists, among them
R. W. Emerson (1803-1882), who drew on German Romanticism and
the interest of philosophers and scholars like G. F. W. Hegel (1770-
1831), the brothers August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845) and Karl
Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829), Max Mueller (1823-1900), A.
Schopenhauer (1788-1860) and others who had (to varying degrees)
interests in things Indian.
[187]
Theosophists also had a large influence on the American public's view of
Yoga.
[188]
Esoteric views current at the end of the 19th century provided
a further basis for the reception of Vedanta and of Yoga with its theory
and practice of correspondence between the spiritual and the physical.
[189]
The reception of Yoga and of Vedanta
thus entwined with each other and with the (mostly Neoplatonism-based) currents of religious and philosophical
reform and transformation throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. M. Eliade, himself rooted in the Romanian
currents of these traditions, brought a new element into the reception of Yoga with the strong emphasis on Tantric
Yoga in his seminal book: Yoga: Immortality and Freedom.
[note 23]
With the introduction of the Tantra traditions
and philosophy of Yoga, the conception of the "transcendent" to be attained by Yogic practice shifted from
experiencing the "transcendent" ("Atman-Brahman" in Advaitic theory) in the mind to the body itself.
[190]
The modern scientific study of yoga began with the works of N. C. Paul and Major D. Basu in the late 19th
century, and then continued in the 20th century with Sri Yogendra (1897-1989) and Swami Kuvalayananda.
[191]
Western medical researchers came to Swami Kuvalayanandas Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center,
starting in 1928, to study Yoga as a science.
[192]
The West, in the early 21st century typically associates the term "yoga" with Hatha yoga and its asanas (postures)
or as a form of exercise.
[193]
During the 1910s and 1920s in the USA, yoga suffered a period of bad publicity due
largely to the backlash against immigration, a rise in puritanical values, and a number of scandals. In the 1930s and
1940s yoga began to gain more public acceptance as a result of celebrity endorsement. In the 1950s the United
States saw another period of paranoia against yoga,
[188]
but by the 1960s, western interest in Hindu spirituality
reached its peak, giving rise to a great number of Neo-Hindu schools specifically advocated to a western public.
During this period, most of the influential Indian teachers of yoga came from two lineages, those of Sivananda
Saraswati (18871963) and of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (18881989).
[194]
Teachers of Hatha yoga who were
active in the west in this period included B.K.S. Iyengar (1918- ), K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009), Swami Vishnu-
devananda (1927-1993), and Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002).
[195][196][197]
Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini
Yoga to the United States in 1969.
[198]
A second "yoga boom" followed in the 1980s, as Dean Ornish, a follower of Swami Satchidananda, connected
yoga to heart health, legitimizing yoga as a purely physical system of health exercises outside of counter-culture or
esotericism circles, and unconnected to any religious denomination.
[186]
Numerous asanas seemed modern in origin,
and strongly overlapped with 19th and early-20th century Western exercise traditions.
[199]
Since 2001, the popularity of yoga in the USA has risen constantly. The number of people who practiced some
form of yoga has grown from 4 million (in 2001) to 20 million (in 2011).
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A group of people practicing yoga in
2012.

Yoga has become a universal language of spiritual exercise in the United States, crossing many
lines of religion and cultures,... Every day, millions of people practice yoga to improve their health
and overall well-being. That's why we're encouraging everyone to take part in PALA (Presidential
Active Lifestyle Award), so show your support for yoga and answer the challenge.

As of 2013 some schools in the United States oppose the practice of yoga inside educational facilities, saying it
promotes Hinduism in violation of the Establishment Clause.
[200]
The American College of Sports Medicine supports the integration of yoga into the exercise regimens of healthy
individuals as long as properly-trained professionals deliver instruction. The College cites yoga's promotion of
"profound mental, physical and spiritual awareness" and its benefits as a form of stretching, and as an enhancer of
breath control and of core strength.
[201]
Medicine
Potential benefits for adults
While much of the medical community views the results of yoga research to be significant, others argue that there
were many flaws that undermine results. Much of the research on yoga has been in the form of preliminary studies
or clinical trials of low methodological quality, including small sample sizes, inadequate blinding, lack of
randomization, and high risk of bias.
[202][203][204]
Long-term yoga users in the United States have reported
musculoskeletal and mental health improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics.
[205]
There
is evidence to suggest that regular yoga practice increases brain GABA levels and has been shown to improve
mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically matched exercises, such as walking.
[206][207]
The three main
focuses of Hatha yoga (exercise, breathing, and meditation) make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease.
Overall, studies of the effects of yoga on heart disease suggest that yoga may reduce high blood pressure, improve
symptoms of heart failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors.
[208]
For chronic
low back pain, specialist Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has been found 30% more beneficial than usual care alone
in a UK clinical trial.
[209]
Other smaller studies support this finding.
[210][211]
The Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs
programme is the dominant treatment for society (both cheaper and more effective than usual care alone) due to 8.5
fewer days off work each year.
[212]
A research group from Boston University School of Medicine also tested
yogas effects on lower back pain. Over twelve weeks, one group of volunteers practiced yoga while the control
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group continued with standard treatment for back pain. The reported pain for yoga participants decreased by one
third, while the standard treatment group had only a five percent drop. Yoga participants also had a drop of 80% in
pain medication use.
[213]
There has been an emergence of studies investigating yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer patients.
Yoga is used for treatment of cancer patients to decrease depression, insomnia, pain, and fatigue and increase
anxiety control.
[214]
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs include yoga as a mind-body
technique to reduce stress. A study found that after seven weeks the group treated with yoga reported significantly
less mood disturbance and reduced stress compared to the control group. Another study found that MBSR had
showed positive effects on sleep anxiety, quality of life, and spiritual growth in cancer patients.
[215]
Yoga has also been studied as a treatment for schizophrenia.
[216]
Some encouraging, but inconclusive, evidence
suggests that yoga as a complementary treatment may help alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia and improve health-
related quality of life.
[13]
Implementation of the Kundalini Yoga Lifestyle has shown to help substance abuse addicts increase their quality of
life according to psychological questionnaires like the Behavior and Symptom Identification Scale and the Quality of
Recovery Index.
[217]
Yoga has been shown in a study to have some cognitive functioning (executive functioning, including inhibitory
control) acute benefit.
[218]
Physical injuries
Since a small percentage of yoga practitioners each year suffer physical injuries analogous to sports injuries;
[219]
caution and common sense are recommended.
[220]
Yoga has been criticized for being potentially dangerous and
being a cause for a range of serious medical conditions including thoracic outlet syndrome, degenerative arthritis of
the cervical spine, spinal stenosis, retinal tears, damage to the common fibular nerve, so called "Yoga foot
drop,"
[221]
etc. An expos of these problems by William Broad published in January, 2012 in The New York
Times Magazine
[222]
resulted in controversy within the international yoga community. Broad, a science writer,
yoga practitioner, and author of The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards,
[223]
had suffered a back injury
while performing a yoga posture.
[224]
Torn muscles, knee injuries,
[225]
and headaches are common ailments which
may result from yoga practice.
[226]
An extensive survey of yoga practitioners in Australia showed that about 20% had suffered some physical injury
while practicing yoga. In the previous 12 months 4.6% of the respondents had suffered an injury producing
prolonged pain or requiring medical treatment. Headstands, shoulder stands, lotus and half lotus (seated cross-
legged position), forward bends, backward bends, and handstands produced the greatest number of injuries.
[219]
Some yoga practitioners do not recommend certain yoga exercises for women during menstruation, for pregnant
women, or for nursing mothers. However, meditation, breathing exercises, and certain postures which are safe and
beneficial for women in these categories are encouraged.
[227]
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Yogin with six
chakras, India,
Punjab Hills,
Kangra, late 18th
century
Among the main reasons that experts cite for causing negative effects from yoga are beginners' competitiveness and
instructors' lack of qualification. As the demand for yoga classes grows, many people get certified to become yoga
instructors, often with relatively little training. Not every newly certified instructor can evaluate the condition of every
new trainee in their class and recommend refraining from doing certain poses or using appropriate props to avoid
injuries. In turn, a beginning yoga student can overestimate the abilities of their body and strive to do advanced
poses before their body is flexible or strong enough to perform them.
[222][226]
Vertebral artery dissection, a tear in the arteries in the neck which provide blood to the brain can result from
rotation of the neck while the neck is extended. This can occur in a variety of contexts, for example, in a beauty
shop while your hair is being rinsed, but is an event which could occur in some yoga practices. This is a very serious
condition which can result in a stroke.
[228][229]
Acetabular labral tears, damage to the structure joining the femur and the hip, have been reported to have resulted
from yoga practice.
[230]
Pediatrics
It is claimed that yoga can be an excellent training for children and adolescents, both as a form of physical exercise
and for breathing, focus, mindfulness, and stress relief: Many school districts have considered incorporating yoga
into their P.E. programs. The Encinitas, California school district gained a San Diego Superior Court Judge's
approval to use yoga in P.E., holding against the parents who claimed the practice was intrinsically religious and
hence should not be part of a state funded program.
[231]
Yoga physiology
Over time, an extended yoga physiology developed, especially within the tantric tradition
and hatha yoga. It pictures humans as comprised of three bodies or five sheats which
cover the atman. The three bodies are described within the Mandukya Upanishad, which
adds a fourth state, turiya, while the five sheaths (pancha-kosas) are described in the
Taittiriya Upanishad.
[232]
They are often integrated:
1. Sthula sarira, the Gross body, comprising the Annamaya Kosha
[233]
2. Suksma sarira, the Subtle body, comprised of;
1. the Pranamaya Kosha (Vital breath or Energy),
2. Manomaya Kosha (Mind)
3. the Vijnanamaya Kosha (Intellect)
[233]
3. Karana sarira, the Causal body, comprising the Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss)
[233]
Within the subtle body energy flows through the nadis or channels, and is concentrated
within the chakras.
Yoga compared with other systems of meditation
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Zen Buddhism
Zen, the name of which derives from the Sanskrit "dhyaana" via the Chinese "ch'an"
[note 24]
is a form of Mahayana
Buddhism. The Mahayana school of Buddhism is noted for its proximity with yoga.
[235]
In the west, Zen is often set
alongside yoga; the two schools of meditation display obvious family resemblances.
[236]
This phenomenon merits
special attention since yogic practices have some of their roots manifested in the Zen Buddhist school.
[note 25]
Certain essential elements of yoga are important both for Buddhism in general and for Zen in particular.
[237]
Tibetan Buddhism
In the Nyingma tradition, the path of meditation practice is divided into nine yanas, or vehicles, which are said to be
increasingly profound.
[238]
The last six are described as "yoga yanas": "Kriya yoga", "Upa yoga," "Yoga yana,"
"Mah yoga," "Anu yoga" and the ultimate practice, "Ati yoga."
[239]
The Sarma traditions also include Kriya, Upa
(called "Charya"), and Yoga, with the Anuttara yoga class substituting for Mahayoga and Atiyoga.
[240]
Other tantra yoga practices include a system of 108 bodily postures practiced with breath and heart rhythm. The
Nyingma tradition also practices Yantra yoga (Tib. "Trul khor"), a discipline that includes breath work (or
pranayama), meditative contemplation and precise dynamic movements to centre the practitioner.
[241]
The body
postures of Tibetan ancient yogis are depicted on the walls of the Dalai Lama's summer temple of Lukhang. A
semi-popular account of Tibetan yoga by Chang (1993) refers to caal (Tib. "tummo"), the generation of heat in
one's own body, as being "the very foundation of the whole of Tibetan yoga."
[242]
Chang also claims that Tibetan
yoga involves reconciliation of apparent polarities, such as prana and mind, relating this to theoretical implications of
tantrism.
Christian meditation
Some Christians integrate yoga and other aspects of Eastern spirituality with prayer and meditation. This has been
attributed to a desire to experience God in a more complete way.
[243]
The Roman Catholic Church, and some
other Christian organizations have expressed concerns and disapproval with respect to some eastern and New Age
practices that include yoga and meditation.
[244][245][246]
In 1989 and 2003, the Vatican issued two documents: Aspects of Christian meditation and "A Christian
reflection on the New Age," that were mostly critical of eastern and New Age practices. The 2003 document was
published as a 90 page handbook detailing the Vatican's position.
[247]
The Vatican warned that concentration on
the physical aspects of meditation "can degenerate into a cult of the body" and that equating bodily states with
mysticism "could also lead to psychic disturbance and, at times, to moral deviations." Such has been compared to
the early days of Christianity, when the church opposed the gnostics' belief that salvation came not through faith but
through a mystical inner knowledge.
[243]
The letter also says, "one can see if and how [prayer] might be enriched by
meditation methods developed in other religions and cultures"
[248]
but maintains the idea that "there must be some fit
between the nature of [other approaches to] prayer and Christian beliefs about ultimate reality."
[243]
Some
fundamentalist Christian organizations consider yoga to be incompatible with their religious background, considering
it a part of the New Age movement inconsistent with Christianity.
[249]
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Another view holds that Christian meditation can lead to religious pluralism. This is held by an interdenominational
association of Christians that practice it. "The ritual simultaneously operates as an anchor that maintains, enhances,
and promotes denominational activity and a sail that allows institutional boundaries to be crossed."
[250]
Islam
The development of Sufism was considerably influenced by Indian yogic practises, where they adapted both
physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama).
[251]
The ancient Indian yogic text Amritakunda ("Pool
of Nectar)" was translated into Arabic and Persian as early as the 11th century. Several other yogic texts were
appropriated by Sufi tradition, but typically the texts juxtapose yoga materials alongside Sufi practices without any
real attempt at integration or synthesis. Yoga became known to Indian Sufis gradually over time, but engagement
with yoga is not found at the historical beginnings of the tradition.
[252]
Yoga is a growing industry in Islamic countries (Two Bikram Yoga studios in Iran). Also, yoga is used in
developing countries like Palestine to help the population manage stress. This article is a comparative study of yoga
and Islam, showing their similarities.
[253][254][255]
Malaysia's top Islamic body in 2008 passed a fatwa, which is legally non-binding, against Muslims practicing yoga,
saying it had elements of "Hindu spiritual teachings" and that its practice was blasphemy and is therefore haraam.
Muslim yoga teachers in Malaysia criticized the decision as "insulting."
[256]
Sisters in Islam, a women's rights group
in Malaysia, also expressed disappointment and said that its members would continue with their yoga classes.
[257]
The fatwa states that yoga practiced only as physical exercise is permissible, but prohibits the chanting of religious
mantras,
[258]
and states that teachings such as the uniting of a human with God is not consistent with Islamic
philosophy.
[259]
In a similar vein, the Council of Ulemas, an Islamic body in Indonesia, passed a fatwa banning yoga
on the grounds that it contains "Hindu elements"
[260]
These fatwas have, in turn, been criticized by Darul Uloom
Deoband, a Deobandi Islamic seminary in India.
[261]
In May 2009, Turkey's head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Ali Bardakolu, discounted personal
development techniques such as yoga as commercial ventures that could lead to extremism. His comments were
made in the context of yoga possibly competing with and eroding participation in Islamic practice.
[262]
As of May 2014, according to Irans Yoga Association, Iran has approximately 200 yoga centres, a quarter of
them in the capital Tehran, where groups can often be seen practising in parks. This has been met by opposition
among conservatives.
[263]
See also
Yoga physiology
List of asanas
List of yoga schools
Yoga series
Yogi
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Notes
1. ^ For instance, Kamalashila (2003), p. 4, states that Buddhist meditation "includes any method of meditation that
has Enlightenment as its ultimate aim." Likewise, Bodhi (1999) writes: "To arrive at the experiential realization of
the truths it is necessary to take up the practice of meditation.... At the climax of such contemplation the mental
eye ... shifts its focus to the unconditioned state, Nibbana...." A similar although in some ways slightly broader
definition is provided by Fischer-Schreiber et al. (1991), p. 142: "Meditation general term for a multitude of
religious practices, often quite different in method, but all having the same goal: to bring the consciousness of the
practitioner to a state in which he can come to an experience of 'awakening,' 'liberation,' 'enlightenment.'"
Kamalashila (2003) further allows that some Buddhist meditations are "of a more preparatory nature" (p. 4).
2. ^ The Pli and Sanskrit word bhvan literally means "development" as in "mental development." For the
association of this term with "meditation," see Epstein (1995), p. 105; and, Fischer-Schreiber et al. (1991), p. 20.
As an example from a well-known discourse of the Pali Canon, in "The Greater Exhortation to Rahula" (Maha-
Rahulovada Sutta, MN 62), Ven. Sariputta tells Ven. Rahula (in Pali, based on VRI, n.d.)
(http://www.tipitaka.org/romn/cscd/s0202m.mul1.xml): npnassati, rhula, bhvana bhvehi. Thanissaro
(2006) (http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.062.than.html) translates this as: "Rahula, develop the
meditation [bhvana] of mindfulness of in-&-out breathing." (Square-bracketed Pali word included based on
Thanissaro, 2006, end note.)
3. ^ See, for example, Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), entry for "jhna
1
" (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-
bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.1:1:2005.pali); Thanissaro (1997)
(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/onetool.html); as well as, Kapleau (1989), p. 385, for the
derivation of the word "zen" from Sanskrit "dhyna." PTS Secretary Dr. Rupert Gethin, in describing the activities
of wandering ascetics contemporaneous with the Buddha, wrote:
"...[T]here is the cultivation of meditative and contemplative techniques aimed at producing what might, for
the lack of a suitable technical term in English, be referred to as 'altered states of consciousness'. In the
technical vocabulary of Indian religious texts such states come to be termed 'meditations' ([Skt.:] dhyna /
[Pali:] jhna) or 'concentrations' (samdhi); the attainment of such states of consciousness was generally
regarded as bringing the practitioner to deeper knowledge and experience of the nature of the world."
(Gethin, 1998, p. 10.)
4. ^ See also Gavin Flood (1996), Hinduism, p.87-90, on "The orthogenetic theory" and "Non-Vedic origins of
renunciation".
[52]
5. ^ Post-classical traditions consider Hiranyagarbha as the originator of yoga.
[55][56]
6. ^ Zimmer: "[Jainism] does not derive from Brahman-Aryan sources, but reflects the cosmology and anthropology
of a much older pre-Aryan upper class of northeastern India - being rooted in the same subsoil of archaic
metaphysical speculation as Yoga, Sankhya, and Buddhism, the other non-Vedic Indian systems."
[59]
7. ^ Zimmer's point of view is supported by other scholars, such as Niniam Smart, in Doctrine and argument in
Indian Philosophy, 1964, p.27-32 & p.76,
[60]
and S.K. Belvakar & R.D. Ranade in History of Indian philosophy,
1974 (1927), p.81 & p.303-409.
[60]
See Crangle 1994 page 5-7.
[61]
8. ^ Geofffrey Samuel: "Our best evidence to date suggests that [yogic practice] developed in the same ascetic circles
as the early sramana movements (Buddhists, Jainas and Ajivikas), probably in around the sixth and fifth centuries
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BCE."
[62]
9. ^ Gavin Flood: "These renouncer traditions offered a new vision of the human condition which became
incorporated, to some degree, into the worldview of the Brahman householder. The ideology of asceticism and
renunciation seems, at first, discontinuous with the brahmanical ideology of the affirmation of social obligations
and the performance of public and domestic rituals. Indeed, there has been some debate as to whether asceticism
and its ideas of retributive action, reincarnation and spiritual liberation, might not have originated outside the
orthodox vedic sphere, or even outside Aryan culture: that a divergent historical origin might account for the
apparent contradiction within 'Hinduism' between the world affirmation of the householder and the world negation
of the renouncer. However, this dichotomization is too simplistic, for continuities can undoubtedly be found
between renunciation and vedic Brahmanism, while elements from non-Brahmanical, Sramana traditions also played
an important part in the formation of the renunciate ideal. Indeed there are continuities between vedic Brahmanism
and Buddhism, and it has been argued that the Buddha sought to return to the ideals of a vedic society which he
saw as being eroded in his own day."
[64]
10. ^ See:
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer describes one figure as "seated in yogic position."
[66]
Karel Werner writes that "Archeological discoveries allow us therefore to speculate with some justification
that a wide range of yoga activities was already known to the people of pre-Aryan India."
[67]
Heinrich Zimmer describes one seal as "seated like a yogi."
[68]
Thomas McEvilley writes that "The six mysterious Indus Valley seal images...all without exception show
figures in a position known in hatha yoga as mulabhandasana or possibly the closely related "utkatasana" or
"baddha konasana...."
[69]
Dr. Farzand Masih, Punjab University Archaeology Department Chairman, describes a recently discovered
seal as depicting a "yogi."
[70]
Gavin Flood disputes the idea regarding one of the seals, the so-called "Pashupati seal," writing that it isn't
clear the figure is seated in a yoga posture, or that the shape is intended to represent a human figure.
[71]
Geoffrey Samuel, regarding the Pashupati seal, believes that we "do not actually "know" how to interpret the
figure, nor do we know what he or she represent."
[72]
11. ^
The standing pose is a meditative penance, which is clear from the pose being associated in Kalidas'
literature as "Tapasvinah Sthanu"
[73]
and tapasvin is the term for a mendicant.
The Pashupati seal also depicts the mendicant in the yogasana which is another attributed associated with
Shiva from scriptures.
The standing yogic position, which in its earliest occurrences has been mentioned as the sthanu asanain
Hindu scriptures, which is associated with Shiva:
Shiva has repeatedly been called Sthanu in several scriptures.
[74]
Shiva as Sthanu in Kalidas' literature has been described as "Sthanu sthira-bhakti-yoga-sulabha"
meaning "attainable through devotion yoga."
[75]
In modern Hindu yoga too the standing yoga asana is applied and called samabhanga asana
[76]
and
tadasana.
The seal reads "Lord of the Cattle" and "Lord of the animals", and Shiva has been described as both the lord
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of cattle and animals.
In reference to the bulls that appear on the Indus Valley seals, archeologists have linked them to Shiva as the
bull is associated with him in scriptures. In the Rig Veda, Shiva (Rudra) is termed Vrishaba or "bull."
[77]
Shiva connection with the three heads on the Indus Valley yogi seal is that Shiva has been described and
portrayed a three-headed in certain parts of history. For example, in the an Elora temple he is depicted with
three heads.
[78]
12. ^ Flood: "...which states that, having become calm and concentrated, one perceives the self (atman), within
oneself."
[87]
13. ^
Jacobsen writes that "Bodily postures are closely related to the tradition of tapas, ascetic practices in the
Vedic tradition. The use by Vedic priests of ascetic practices in their preparations for the performance of
the sacrifice might be precursor to Yoga."
[88]
Whicher believes that "the proto-Yoga of the Vedic rishis is an early form of sacrificial mysticism and
contains many elements characteristic of later Yoga that include: concentration, meditative observation,
ascetic forms of practice (tapas), breath control..."
[89]
14. ^
Wynne states that "The Nasadiyasukta, one of the earliest and most important cosmogonic tracts in the
early Brahminic literature, contains evidence suggesting it was closely related to a tradition of early
Brahminic contemplation. A close reading of this text suggests that it was closely related to a tradition of
early Brahminic contemplation. The poem may have been composed by contemplatives, but even if not, an
argument can be made that it marks the beginning of the contemplative/meditative trend in Indian
thought."
[92]
Miller suggests that the composition of Nasadiya Sukta and Purusha Sukta arises from "the subtlest
meditative stage, called absorption in mind and heart" which "involves enheightened experiences" through
which seer "explores the mysterious psychic and cosmic forces...".
[93]
Jacobsen writes that dhyana (meditation) is derived from Vedic term dhih which refers to "visionary
insight", "thought provoking vision".
[93]
15. ^ On the dates of the Pali canon, Gregory Schopen writes, "We know, and have known for some time, that the
Pali canon as we have it and it is generally conceded to be our oldest source cannot be taken back further
than the last quarter of the first century BCE, the date of the Alu-vihara redaction, the earliest redaction we can
have some knowledge of, and that for a critical history it can serve, at the very most, only as a source for
the Buddhism of this period. But we also know that even this is problematic... In fact, it is not until the time of the
commentaries of Buddhaghosa, Dhammapala, and others that is to say, the fifth to sixth centuries CE that
we can know anything definite about the actual contents of [the Pali] canon."
[103]
16. ^ For the date of this Upanishad see also Helmuth von Glasenapp, from the 1950 Proceedings of the "Akademie der
Wissenschaften und Literatur"
[113]
17. ^ Flood writes, "...Bhagavad Gita, including a complete chapter (ch. 6) devoted to traditional yoga practice. The
Gita also introduces the famous three kinds of yoga, 'knowledge' (jnana), 'action' (karma), and 'love' (bhakti)."
[123]
18. ^ Karma yoga involves performance of action without attachment to results.
[124]
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References
19. ^ The yoga of devotion is similar to the yoga of action, but the fruits of action, in yoga of devotion, are
surrendered to Krishna.
[125]
20. ^ Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom, knowledge, and direct experience of Brahman as the ultimate reality. The path
renounces both desires and actions, and is therefore depicted as being steep and very difficult in the Bhagavad
Gita.
[126]
21. ^ Werner writes, "The word Yoga appears here for the first time in its fully technical meaning, namely as a
systematic training, and it already received a more or less clear formulation in some other middle
Upanishads....Further process of the systematization of Yoga as a path to the ultimate mystic goal is obvious in
subsequent Yoga Upanishads and the culmination of this endeavour is represented by Patanjali's codification of this
path into a system of the eightfold Yoga."
[121]
22. ^ Worthington writes, "Yoga fully acknowledges its debt to Jainism, and Jainism reciprocates by making the
practice of yoga part and parcel of life."
[161]
23. ^ Eliade, Mircea, Yoga - Immortality and Freedom, Princeton, 1958: Princeton Univ.Pr. (original title: Le Yoga.
Immortalit et Libert, Paris, 1954: Libr. Payot)
24. ^ "The Meditation school, called 'Ch'an' in Chinese from the Sanskrit 'dhyna,' is best known in the West by the
Japanese pronunciation 'Zen'"
[234]
25. ^ Exact quote: "This phenomenon merits special attention since yogic roots are to be found in the Zen Buddhist
school of meditation."
[237]
1. ^
a

b

c
White 2011.
2. ^ The Lion's Roar: An Introduction to Tantra by Chogyam Trungpa. Shambhala, 2001 ISBN 1-57062-895-5
3. ^ Edmonton Patric 2007,pali and its sinificance p. 332
4. ^
a

b
Lama Yeshe. The Bliss of Inner Fire. Wisdom Publications. 1998, pg.135-141.
5. ^ Denise Lardner Carmody, John Carmody, Serene Compassion. Oxford University Press US, 1996, page 68.
6. ^
a

b
Stuart Ray Sarbacker, Samdhi: The Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga. SUNY Press, 2005, pp.
12.
7. ^
a

b
Tattvarthasutra [6.1], see Manu Doshi (2007) Translation of Tattvarthasutra, Ahmedabad: Shrut Ratnakar p.
102
8. ^ Whicher, pp. 3839.
9. ^
a

b
James Mallinson, "Sktism and Hathayoga," 28 June 2012. <URL>
(http://www.khecari.com/resources/SaktismHathayoga.pdf) [accessed 19 September 2013] pg.1 "Scholarship on
hathayoga, my own included, unanimously declares it to be a reformation of tantric yoga introduced by the gurus
of the Nath sampradaya, in particular their supposed founder, Goraksa."
10. ^
a

b
Burley, Mikel (2000). Hatha Yoga: Its Context, Theory and Practice. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 16. "It is
for this reason that hatha-yoga is sometimes referred to as a variety of 'Tantrism'."
11. ^
a

b
White 2011, p. 2.
12. ^ Smith, Kelly B.; Pukall, Caroline F. (May 2009). "An evidence-based review of yoga as a complementary
intervention for patients with cancer". Psycho-Oncology 18 (5): 465475. doi:10.1002/pon.1411
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intervention for patients with cancer". Psycho-Oncology 18 (5): 465475. doi:10.1002/pon.1411
(http://dx.doi.org/10.1002%2Fpon.1411). PMID 18821529 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18821529).
13. ^
a

b
Vancampfort, D.; Vansteeland, K.; Scheewe, T.; Probst, M.; Knapen, J.; De Herdt, A.; De Hert, M. (July
2012). "Yoga in schizophrenia: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials". Acta Psychiatrica
Scandinavica 126 (1): 1220. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0447.2012.01865.x (http://dx.doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.1600-
0447.2012.01865.x)., art.nr. 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2012.01865.x
14. ^ Sharma, Manoj; Haider, Taj (October 2012). "Yoga as an Alternative and Complementary Treatment for Asthma:
A Systematic Review". Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 17 (3): 212217.
doi:10.1177/2156587212453727 (http://dx.doi.org/10.1177%2F2156587212453727).
15. ^ Innes, Kim E.; Bourguignon, Cheryl (NovemberDecember 2005). "Risk Indices Associated with the Insulin
Resistance Syndrome, Cardiovascular Disease, and Possible Protection with Yoga: A Systematic Review". Journal
of the American Board of Family Medicine 18 (6): 491519. doi:10.3122/jabfm.18.6.491
(http://dx.doi.org/10.3122%2Fjabfm.18.6.491).
16. ^ Whicher, p. 67.
17. ^
a

b
Dasgupta, Surendranath (1975). A History of Indian Philosophy 1. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 226.
ISBN 81-208-0412-0.
18. ^ Bryant 2009, p. 5.
19. ^ Bryant 2009, p. xxxix.
20. ^ Aranya, Swami Hariharananda (2000). Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati. Calcutta, India: University
of Calcutta. p. 1. ISBN 81-87594-00-4.
21. ^ Dasgupta, Surendranath (1975). A History of Indian Philosophy 1. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 227.
ISBN 81-208-0412-0.
22. ^ American Heritage Dictionary: "Yogi, One who practices yoga." Websters: "Yogi, A follower of the yoga
philosophy; an ascetic."
23. ^
a

b

c
Jacobsen, p. 4.
24. ^
a

b
White 2011, p. 6.
25. ^ White 2011, p. 7.
26. ^ White 2011, p. 9.
27. ^ White 2011, p. 10.
28. ^ "Foreword". Jain Yog. Aadarsh Saahitya Sangh. 2004.
29. ^ "blessings". Sambodhi. Aadarsh Saahitya Sangh. 2004.
30. ^ Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1971 edition, Volume II, pp.
1920.
31. ^ Bryant 2009, p. 10.
32. ^ Bryant 2009, p. 457.
33. ^ Flood 1996, pp. 82, 22449
34. ^ Changing World Religions, Cults & Occult by Jerry Stokes (http://books.google.co.in/books?
id=DTPJpanTizwC&pg=PA446&dq=yoga+is+one+of+the+six+astika+schools+of+hindu+philosophy&hl=en&sa=
X&ei=6a81UqbZAsHIrQe8uoGoCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false)
35. ^ Einoo, Shingo (ed.) (2009). Genesis and Development of Tantrism. University of Tokyo. p. 45.
36. ^ Banerjee, S.C., 1988.
37. ^ White 2000, p. 7.
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37. ^ White 2000, p. 7.
38. ^
a

b
See Kriyananada, page 112.
39. ^ See Burley, page 73.
40. ^ See Introduction by Rosen, pp 12.
41. ^ See translation by Mallinson.
42. ^ On page 140, David Gordon White says of Gorakshanath: "... hatha yoga, in which field he was India's major
systematizer and innovator."
43. ^ Bajpai writes on page 524: "Nobody can dispute about the top ranking position of Sage Gorakshanath in the
philosophy of Yoga."
44. ^ Eliade writes of Gorakshanath on page 303: "...he accomplished a new synthesis among certain Shaivist
traditions (Pashupata), tantrism, and the doctrines (unfortunately, so imperfectly known) of the siddhas that is,
of the perfect yogis."
45. ^ Davidson, Ronald. Indian Esoteric Buddhism. Columbia University Press. 2002, pg.169-235.
46. ^ Larson, p. 142.
47. ^
a

b
Jacobsen, p. 9.
48. ^ Dupler, Douglas; Frey, Rebecca. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine
(http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/yoga.aspx#1), 3rd ed (2006). Retrieved 30 August 2012.
49. ^ Crangle 1994, p. 4-7.
50. ^
a

b
Possehl (2003), pp. 144145
51. ^
a

b
Larson, p. 36.
52. ^
a

b
Flood 1996, p. 87-90.
53. ^
a

b
Crangle 1994, p. 4.
54. ^ Crangle 1994, p. 5.
55. ^ Feuerstein, Georg (2001). The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice. Arizona, USA:
Hohm Press. p. Kindle Locations 72997300. ISBN 978-1890772185.
56. ^ Aranya, Swami Hariharananda (2000). "Introduction". Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati. Calcutta,
India: University of Calcutta. p. xxiv. ISBN 81-87594-00-4.
57. ^ Samuel 2008, p. 2-3.
58. ^ Zimmer 1951, p. 217, 314.
59. ^ Zimmer 1951, p. 217.
60. ^
a

b
Crangle 1994, p. 7.
61. ^ Crangle 1994, p. 5-7.
62. ^
a

b
Samuel 2008, p. 8.
63. ^
a

b
Flood 1996, p. 77.
64. ^ Fllod 1996, p. 76-77.
65. ^ Chanda, Ramaprasad (August 1932). "Mohen-jo-Daro: Sindh 5000 Years Ago". Modern Review.
66. ^ ""Around the Indus in 90 Slides" by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer" (http://www.harappa.com/indus/33.html).
Harappa.com. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
67. ^ Werner, p. 103.
68. ^ Zimmer, p. 168.
69. ^ McEvilley, pp. 219-220
70. ^ "Rare objects discovery points to ruins treasure"
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70. ^ "Rare objects discovery points to ruins treasure"
(http://archives.dawn.com/dawnftp/72.249.57.55/dawnftp/2007/05/08/nat7.htm). Archives.dawn.com. 8 May
2007. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
71. ^ Flood, pp. 2829.
72. ^ Samuel, p. 4.
73. ^ P. 104 The Birth of Kumra By Klidsa
74. ^ P. 33 The Concept of Rudra-iva Through the Ages By Mahadev Chakravarti
75. ^ P. 14 The Megha-Dta of Klidsa By Klidsa
76. ^ P. 16 The Book of Hindu Imagery: Gods, Manifestations and Their Meaning By Eva Rudy Jansen
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80. ^ White 2011, p. 3.
81. ^ P. 132 A Student's Guide to A2 Religious Studies for the OCR Specification By Michael Wilcockson
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83. ^ P. 99 The Wisdom of the Vedas By Jagadish Chandra Chatterji
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103. ^ Wynne, pp. 34.
104. ^ Richard Gombrich, "Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo."
Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988, p. 44.
105. ^ Barbara Stoler Miller, "Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: the Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali; a Translation of the
Text, with Commentary, Introduction, and Glossary of Keywords." University of California Press, 1996, p. 8.
106. ^ Wynne, p. 92.
107. ^ Wynne, p. 105.
108. ^
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109. ^ Mallinson, James. 2007. The Khecarvidy of Adinath. London: Routledge. pg.17-19.
110. ^ James Mallinson, "Sktism and Hathayoga," 6 March 2012. <URL>
(http://www.khecari.com/resources/SaktismHathayoga.pdf) [accessed 10 June 2012] pgs. 20-21 "The Buddha
himself is said to have tried both pressing his tongue to the back of his mouth, in a manner similar to that of the
hathayogic khecarmudr, and ukkutikappadhna, a squatting posture which may be related to hathayogic
techniques such as mahmudr, mahbandha, mahvedha, mlabandha, and vajrsana in which pressure is put on
the perineum with the heel, in order to force upwards the breath or Kundalin."
111. ^ Wynne, pp. 4445,58.
112. ^ Whicher, p. 17.
113. ^ "Vedanta and Buddhism, A Comparative Study"
(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/vonglasenapp/wheel002.html). Retrieved 29 August 2012.
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116. ^ Whicher, p. 20.
117. ^ Whicher, p. 21.
118. ^ Feuerstein, Georg (JanuaryFebruary 1988). "Introducing Yoga's Great Literary Heritage". Yoga Journal (78):
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119. ^
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b
White, David Gordon. Yoga in Practice. Princeton University Press 2012, page 14.
120. ^
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b
White, David Gordon (2003). Kiss of the Yogini. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 224. ISBN 0-226-
89483-5.
121. ^
a

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External links
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