Yoga is a family of ancient spiritual practices originating in India. It is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy. In India and across the World, Yoga is seen as a means to both physical health and spiritual mastery. Outside India, Yoga has become primarily associated with the practice of asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga.
Yoga as a means of spiritual attainment is central to Hinduism (including Vedanta schools), Buddhism, and Jainism, and has influenced other religious and spiritual practices throughout the world. Hindu texts establishing the basis for yoga include the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and many others.
The four main paths of Yoga are Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga. A committed practitioner of yoga is referred to as a yogi, yogin (masculine), or yogini (feminine).
Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one's being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union - the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one's actions.
B. K. S. Iyengar
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