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Classical Yoga

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Om Bhur Bhuvat Svah
Om Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Deva
sya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Pracodayat

Gayatri Mantra

“O Self-effulgent light that has given birth to all the spheres of consciousness, who is worthy of worship and appears through the orbit of the Sun, illumine our intellect”

Classical Yoga is a term often used to describe the accumulated knowledge of yoga philosophy and practices dating from the Ancient Vedic scriptures (1500 - 2000 B.C) to the British Invasion (1750 AD). The word “yoga” comes from the root “yuj” and literally means to “yoke or to harness.” Although it has a wide range of applications in the Sanskrit language it has ultimately come to express the union of man’s individual consciousness with Universal Consciousness in order to transcend the human condition.

There are several paths of yoga: Bhakti Yoga, the path of devotion; Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge; Karma Yoga, the path of selfless service; Raja Yoga, the path of mind mastery; Hatha Yoga, the path of physical purification; Mantra Yoga, the path of sound vibration; Kundilini Yoga, the path of awakening the psycho-spiritual force and Laya Yoga, the yoga of absorption or dissolution. All of these paths lead to One.

Classical Yoga is also the term used to describe the Yoga of Patanjali (Raja Yoga), the Sanskrit Scholar who gave the Yoga tradition its classical format by systematizing yogic discipline as a means to expand consciousness, through a four-chapter treatise known as the Yoga Sutras. Built upon Samkhya philosophy, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are said to have been written around 200 AD. The four padas (chapters) are comprised of 195 verses or aphorisms that describe how to “yoke” one’s mind in order to dwell in one’s true nature. Sutra 1:2 (second sutra from chapter one) sums up the entire endeavor in one succinct verse:

“Yoga citta vritti nirodha”

“Control of thought waves in the mind is yoga”

Classical Yoga

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Patanjali's Eight Limbed Ashtanga Yoga System
Therapuetic Applications of Ashtanga Yoga
Suggested Reading for Classical Yoga
   
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