In the past two decades, yoga has moved from relative anonymity in the West to a wellrecognized practice offered

in thousands of studios, community centres, hospitals, gyms, and health clubs. Although yoga is commonly portrayed as a popular fitness trend, it's actually the core of the Vedic science that developed in the Indus Valley more than 5,000 years ago. The word yoga derives from the Sanskrit root yuj, which means union with the source of existence. Unity consciousness is also referred to as the state of enlightenment in which there is complete freedom from all conditioning and one is no longer constrained by habit, past experiences or "karma," and any forms of dogma or ideology. It is a state of spontaneous creativity, love, compassion, joy, and equanimity. These are also known as divine qualities. As yoga has evolved and blossomed over thousands of years, numerous forms and schools of yoga have developed. Traditionally there are four types of yoga: 1.) Gyan Yoga - the yoga of the intellect, science, and knowledge; 2.) Bhakti Yoga - the yoga of love and devotion; 3.) Karma Yoga - the yoga of service and action; and 4.) Raja Yoga - the yoga of meditation, physical poses and breathing practices. Raja yoga is frequently referred to as the "royal path to yoga" because it focuses on practices that take our awareness inward and promote the integration of the mind, body and spirit. The classic text on raja yoga is the Yoga Sutras, attributed to the legendary sage Patanjali. While the precise dates of Patanjali's life and writings remain fuzzy, scholars estimate that the Yoga Sutras was written at least 1,700 years ago. According to the Yoga Sutras, "Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence. When the mind has settled, we are established in our essential nature, which is unbounded consciousness." The essence of yoga is the union or integration of all the layers of life - physical, emotional, and spiritual. It is a practice for going beyond the ego's habitual identification with the mind and body and directly experiencing our true spiritual self. Rooted in this connection to spirit, we are able to solve the challenges that arise in life with greater ease and grace. The Yoga Sutras, which consists of 195 aphorisms (sutras), describes the eight branches or "limbs" of yoga, providing a clear roadmap for the evolution of consciousness from ordinary states of awareness such as waking, dreaming, and sleeping - to higher states of consciousness, including the nonlocal consciousness known as Atma Darshan, cosmic consciousness, divine consciousness and unity consciousness. Like anything else, knowledge must evolve and although there are standard interpretations of the eight limbs of yoga, at the Chopra Center for Well-being, we have developed more contemporary perspectives that are in alignment with our philosophy of spiritual evolution. Here is a distillation of the standard interpretations of the eight limbs and our contemporary interpretations: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga program offered at the Chopra Center is a consciousnessbased practice rooted in the wisdom teachings of raja yoga and the eight limbs of the Yoga Sutras. My colleague and friend Dr. David Simon and I developed the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga as a practice for integrating and balancing all the layers of our life so that our body, mind, heart, intellect and spirit flow in harmony. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga is also based on the principles presented in my book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. These principles can be briefly summarized as follows:

abundance. Since we are an inextricable part of the field of consciousness. and true fulfilment in our lives. Since the universe is in constant and dynamic exchange. we are also infinitely creative. the attention and intention they give to these principles improves the quality of all aspects of their lives. Law of Detachment At the level of spirit. we harness the universe's infinite organizing power. imagination and inspiration. We have found that even as our students are learning "standard" yoga postures. health and well-being. the time spent in practice would be fully worthwhile. yoga offers much more than just a way to exercise the body. The mindful application of the seven spiritual laws promotes success and material abundance. Law of Giving and Receiving Giving and receiving are different expressions of the same flow of energy in the universe. insight.Law of Pure Potentiality Our essential nature is pure consciousness. and higher consciousness. When we become quiet and introduce our intentions into the field of pure potentiality. the fruit of our karma is happiness and success. we can intend for everything to work out as it should. we expend the least effort and we offer no resistance. The deeper meaning and gift of yoga is the path it offers us into the . creativity. take action. Law of Intention and Desire Inherent in every intention and desire are the mechanics for its fulfilment. When we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others. the infinite source of everything that exists in the physical world. However. we include the movements with these seven principles. everything is always unfolding perfectly. we need to both give and receive to keep abundance. Law of Least Effort We can most easily fulfil our desires when our actions are motivated by love. including intuition. and then allow opportunities to spontaneously emerge. By expressing our unique talents and using them to serve others. When we teach the yoga postures in Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga classes. Law of Karma (Cause and Effect) Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in kind. We don't have to struggle or force situations to go our way. Law of Dharma Everyone has a dharma or purpose in life. We tap into the infinite organizing power of the universe to do less and accomplish everything. nurturing personal relationships. we will experience unlimited love. unbounded and eternal. Instead. which can manifest our desires with effortless ease. love and anything else we want circulating in our lives. Even if yoga only enhanced physical fitness. peaceful social interactions. while the health benefits are many.

com/health/deeper+meaning+yoga/6203206/story. In this expanded state of consciousness.vancouversun. we experience freedom from suffering. mind-body healing expert. Deepak Chopra is an international best-selling author.timeless. Read more: http://www. California. Yoga teaches us both to let go and to have exquisite awareness in every moment. founder of the Chopra Foundation and co-founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad. spaceless world of spirit. We remember our essential spiritual nature and life becomes more joyful. meaningful and carefree.html#ixzz1nug8x9 qx .