group of physical, mental and spiritual practices originating from ancient India
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Yoga (Sanskrit: योग pronunciation (help•info)) is the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace of mind in order to experience one's true self. The term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga (to yoke) or yuj samādhau (to concentrate). The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali defines yoga as "the stilling of the changing states of the mind" (Sanskrit: योग: चित्त-वृत्ति निरोध:). Yoga has also been popularly defined as "union with the divine" in other contexts and traditions. Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. In Hinduism, yoga is one of the six āstika schools (accepts authority of Vedas of Hindu philosophy. Yoga is also an important part of Vajrayana and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. Gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world.

Patanjali author of Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali: The stilling of the changing states of the mind.
Gillian Anderso: I mean the whole thing about meditation and yoga is about connecting to the higher part of yourself, and then seeing that every living thing is connected in some way.
Self-healing is the privilege of every person. Self-healing is not a miracle and has nothing to do with doing something, being able to do something. Self-healing is a process that develops from the relationship of the body with the infinite power of the soul. It is an engagement, a unity – that is the science of the Kundalini Yoga. - Yogi Bhajan.
Terri Guillemets:Warrior pose battles inner weakness and wins focus. You see that there is no war within you. You are on your own side, and you are your own strength.
Nancy is one of the few forms of exercise that has been studied separately in relation to depression. Yoga means ‘union’. It is often interpreted as the union of mind, body and soul, and can provide perfect harmony and balance.

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  • Yoga — that supreme bridge to cosmic attainment — has existed through all ages. Each Teaching comprises its own Yoga, applicable to that step of evolution. The Yogas do not contradict each other. As the branches of one tree they spread their shade and refresh the traveler exhausted from heat. His strength regained, the traveler continues on his way. He took naught that was not his, nor did he divert his striving. He embraced the manifested benevolence of space. He liberated the preordained forces. He mastered his single belonging. Do not reject the forces of Yoga, but like light carry them into the twilight of labor unrealized. For the future, we arise out of sleep. For the future, we renew our garments. For the future, we sustain ourselves. For the future, we strive in our thought. For the future, we gather strength. First we shall apply the counsels of life. Then we shall pronounce the name of the Yoga of the time approaching. We shall hear the advancing footsteps of the element of fire, but we shall already be prepared to master the undulations of the flame. Therefore, we hail the yoga of the past — the Raja Yoga. And we affirm that of the future — the Agni Yoga. Preface
  • Hatha Yoga cannot be regarded as an independent form. The growth of the spirit changes it into Raja Yoga. It is impossible to name anybody who attained through Hatha Yoga alone. Besides, in a world of darkness and prejudice, accomplishments through Hatha Yoga can even bring harm, by its strengthening of the astral body. The fakirs may adapt themselves to this world of darkness and unwittingly weaken the ascent of thought. Even a person sitting quietly and contemplating can attain further, because thought is the Raja of all that exists. Beauty is born through the lightning of thought. Truly, a flaming Bhakti can kindle new worlds with a thought. And the step of a Jnani will be but the smile of a Raja-Bhakti. Therefore Hatha and Jnana are not original and are insufficient. What sage of wisdom would not be the lord of love? 28.
  • One must give attention to the middle brain, for in its development lies the attainment of yoga in life. This development, as experienced in one's life, proves to what extent the Yoga of everyday life is superior to any artificial ascent achieved in isolation from reality. 155
  • Urusvati knows how multicolored Agni Yoga is. An attentive eye can distinguish many tints in its flame. Surrounding conditions do of course affect the colors of the flame. And at different times different kinds of yoga are needed. One can perceive the magnificence of Raja Yoga, the radiance of Bhakti Yoga, and the tension of Jnana Yoga, but one can also see the ever present need for the luminous Karma Yoga. Labor is a constant during these days of mankind’s confusion. Thus, amidst the varied flowers of Agni Yoga we can find the stem of Karma Yoga, upon whose foundation humanity will find salvation. 558.
  • Urusvati knows that all yogas demand profound discipline. This should be stressed, because some people think that there are yogas that do not require strictly disciplined conduct. They believe that some yogas are more difficult than others, and dream about following the easiest. But all require the same degree of inner discipline. For the yogi, there must be a great degree of tension of the psychic energy, because it builds an immunity that is so needed during the opening of the centers. The yogi has been compared to a person with flayed skin. This is a crude analogy, but not without truth. If the yogi did not develop immunity, he would not be able to endure the contact with the spatial currents. Urusvati knows that certain currents cause painful scraping and prickly sensations. One can imagine what might happen without the building of immunity!
    Some will be sure to smile when We say that the main factor in the acquiring of immunity is a good thought. But one cannot become a yogi without acknowledging the power of good thoughts. Such thoughts are the best gatekeepers at the entrance to the Subtle World. So many people imagine themselves to be yogis, yet they are filled with malice! People assume that they will experience a sudden enlightenment that will by its own power carry them over all obstacles... 559.
  • Urusvati knows that the Yoga of today—the link with the Highest—must be accomplished amidst the routine of everyday life. Not hiding from life, but transforming it is required. The fiery essence of the heart is its magnet. Precisely, the heart can open the entrance into Higher Worlds. No special asceticism is needed. Love, labor, and beauty are within the reach of all, under any conditions. Life must be affirmed upon these foundations. Children must be taught that they are the creators of their own happiness. Proper upbringing must precede formal education. Subtle energies are like a wondrous, many-stringed harp. The Thinker said, “Fiery Banner, illumine the Higher Path!” 812.
  • All the various Yogas have had their place in the unfoldment of the human being. In the first purely physical race, which is called the Lemurian, the Yoga at that time imposed upon infant humanity was Hatha Yoga, the Yoga of the physical body, that Yoga which brings into conscious use and manipulation the various organs, muscles and parts of the physical frame... In Atlantean days, the progress of the sons of men was procured through the imposition of two Yogas. First, the Yoga which is called by the name of Laya Yoga, the Yoga of the centres which produced a stabilizing of the etheric body and of the centres in man and the development of the astral and psychic nature. Later on, Bhakti Yoga, growing out of the development of the emotional or astral body, was incorporated with Laya Yoga and the foundation of that mysticism and devotion... Now... the subjugation of the mental body and the control of the mind is brought about through the practice of Raja Yoga, and the fifth initiation, that of adept, is the goal for evolving humanity.
  • Thus all the Yogas have had their place and served a useful purpose and it will become apparent that any return to Hatha Yoga practices or those practices which deal specifically with the development of the centres, brought about through various types of meditation practices and breathing exercises, is, from a certain aspect, a retrogression. It will be found that through the practice of Raja Yoga, and through assuming that point of directional control which is to be found by the man who centers his consciousness in the soul, the other forms of Yoga are unnecessary, for the greater Yoga automatically includes all the lesser in its results, though not in its practices.
  • Yoga is the unifying art of transforming dharma into action, be it through inspired thought, properly nurtuting our children, a painting, a kindness or an act of peace that forever moves humanity forward.
    • Micheline Berry, in The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom, p. 24.
  • Yoga is a science, and not a vague dreamy drifting or imagining. It is an applied science, a systematized collection of laws applied to bring about a definite end. It takes up the laws of psychology, applicable to the unfolding of the whole consciousness of man on every plane, in every world, and applies those rationally in a particular case. This rational application of the laws of unfolding consciousness acts exactly on the same principles that you see applied around you every day in other departments of science.
  • The Self in you is the same as the Self Universal. Whatever powers are manifested throughout the world, those powers exist in germ, in latency, in you.... If you realize the unity of the Self amid the diversities of the Not-Self, then Yoga Will not seem an impossible thing to you.
  • For all the practical purposes of Yoga, the man, the working, conscious man, is so much of him as he cannot separate from the matter enclosing him, or with which he is connected. Only that is body which the man is able to put aside and say: "This is not I, but mine."
  • That which we know as Yoga is the method by which evolution is quickened in the individual, and all the powers of the Self, up to the threshold of divinity, may by it be brought into manifestation in the man of the present. That is why Yoga training was necessary for the ancient scientist; he must develop in himself the three aspects of God, if he were to understand them as manifested in the universe around him. Now, at our own stage of evolution, it is specially the life of Brahmâ—or the Brahmâ aspect of God—with which the human mind is coming into touch, because the mind in man is the reflection of the universal mind in Kosmos. That life is the life that is the force in the atom, that vivifies every atom, nay, that brings the atom into existence, as we shall see, and remains during the whole of the growth of the universe as the fundamental life that keeps those atoms as active particles building up innumerable forms.
  • Self-healing is the privilege of every person. Self-healing is not a miracle and has nothing to do with doing something, being able to do something. Self-healing is a process that develops from the relationship of the body with the infinite power of the soul. It is an engagement, a unity – that is the science of the Kundalini Yoga.
    • Yogi Bhajan, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom], p. 20.
  • Yoga (Sk.). (1) One of the six Darshanas or schools of India; a school of philosophy founded by Patanjali, though the real Yoga doctrine, the one that is said to have helped to prepare the world for the preaching of Buddha, is attributed with good reasons to the more ancient sage Yâjnawalkya, the writer of the Shatapatha Brâhmana, of Yajur Veda, the Brihad Âranyaka, and other famous works. (2) The practice of meditation as a means of leading to spiritual liberation. Psycho-spiritual powers are obtained thereby, and induced ecstatic states lead to the clear and correct perception of the eternal truths, in both the visible and invisible universe.
H.E. Davey:Indian forms of yoga have spread throughout the world due to their objectives of promoting health and harmony. Japan is but one of many countries that have received these age-old teachings. While Indian yogic discipline]s (Hatha yoga in particular) have become well known, not everyone realizes that certain distinctive Japanese versions of Indian spiritual paths have evolved....
  • Yoga is defined as a method – the process of nirodha (mental control) – by which union (the goal of yoga) is achieved. Yoga is therefore both the process of nirodha and the unqualified state of niruddha (the perfection of that process). The word yoga (union) implies duality (as in joining of two things or principles); the result of yoga is the nondual state..., or as the union of the lower self and higher Self. The nondual state is characterized by the absence of individuality; it can be described as eternal peace, pure love, Self-realization, or liberation.
    • Baba Hari Dass, 1999, A Study Guide and Commentary for Book I, Samadhi Pada (Sutra 2, p.5); Sri Rama Publishing, Santa Cruz, CA
    • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Book I
  • The ego rules the mind because it links the “I” with the mind and body. If the “I,” which is another name for the self, were not identified with the mind and body, the ego would have no power. Self-study [svadhyaya], therefore, is the set of practices that investigates the nature of the self to discover its origin. When the origin is found to be separate from the body, the ego loses the battle and peace is attain.
    • Baba Hari Dass, 2008, Book II, Sadhana Pada (Sutra 1, p.5)
    • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Book II
  • Samyama, which is the application of concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and superconscious trance (samadhi) in lightning succession, is practiced with the intent to gain specific knowledge of the object of concentration. The object is seen from all sides, in all its aspects, with full depth and breadth. As such, this complete absorption of the mind using the process of samyama brings complete and specific knowledge of the object. This power of knowing is vibhuti.
    • Baba Hari Dass, 2013, Book III, Vibhuti Pada (Sutra 4, p.7)
    • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Book III
  • The word "yoga" literally means "uniting", because when you're doing it you are uniting your mind and your body. You can tell this almost immediately because your mind will be thinking, "Ouch, that hurts," and your body will say, "I know." And your mind will think, "You have to get out of this position." And your body will say, "I agree with you, but I can't right now. I think I'm stuck.
  • Yoga exists in the world because everything is linked.
    • Desikachar, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom", p. 20.
  • The worldly man lives in society, marries, establishes a family; Yoga prescribes absolute solitude and chastity. The worldly man is “possessed” by his own life; the yogin refuses to “let himself live”; to continual movement, he opposes his static posture, the immobility of āsana; to agitated, unrhythmical, changing respiration, he opposes prānāyāma, and even dreams of holding his breath indefinitely; to the chaotic flux of psychomental life, he replies by “fixing thought on a single point,” the first step to that final withdrawal from the phenomenal world which he will obtain through pratyāhāra. All of the yogic techniques invite to one and the same gesture—to do exactly the opposite of what human nature forces one to do. From solitude and chastity to samyama, there is no solution of continuity. The orientation always remains the same—to react against the “normal,” “secular,” and finally “human” inclination.
    • Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, W. Trask, trans. (Princeton: 1969), pp. 95–96
  • Yoga, is a ’science’ of achieving the transformation of finite man into the infinite One, has to be recognized as something intrinsically Indian or, as ’a specific dimension of the Indian mind.’
    • Mircea Eliade, source: Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Mircea Eliade.Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
  • Yoga does not remove us from the reality of responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.
    • Donna Farhi, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom", p. 22.
  • A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves.
  • A person is said to have achieved yoga, the union with Self, when the perfectly disciplined mind gets freedom from all desires, and becomes absorbed in the Self alone.
  • The real Meaning of Yoga is a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow.
  • Warrior pose battles inner weakness and wins focus. You see that there is no war within you. You are on your own side, and you are your own strength.
    • Terri Guillemets, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 133.
  • Chair pose is a defiance of spirit, showing how high you can reach even when you are forced down
    • Terri Guillemets, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 134.
  • I am losing balance is a pose, I stretch higher and God reaches down to steady me. It works every time, and not just in yoga.
    • Terri Guillemets, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, pp.135-36.
  • Concentrating on poses clears the mind, while focusing on the breath helps the body shift out of fight or flight mode.
    • Melanie Haiken, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 134.
  • There are many different schools of yoga and also several different aspects, including postures, breathing exercises and can practiced by people of all shapes and sizes.
    • Nancy Hine, in “The Depression Trap: Ten Ways to Set Yourself Free”, p. 61.
  • is one of the few forms of exercise that has been studied separately in relation to depression. Yoga means ‘union’. It is often interpreted as the union of mind, body and soul, and can provide perfect harmony and balance.
    • Nancy Hine, in “The Depression Trap: Ten Ways to Set Yourself Free”, p. 61.
BKS Iyengar:Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
BKS Iyengar:When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. hen you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.
  • The feeling in the spiritual heart must be, “ I am not separate from asana, asana is not separate from me, I am asana and asana is me.
    • BKS Iyengar, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 136.
  • You must purge yourself before finding faults in others. When you see a mistake in somebody else, try to find if you are making the same mistake. This is the way to take [[judgmen]t]] and to turn it into improvement. Do not look at others’ bodies with envy or with superiority. All people are born with different constitutions. Never compare with others. Each one’s capacities are a function of his or her internal strength. Know your capacities and continually improve upon them.
    • BKS Iyengar in “Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace and Ultimate Freedom, quoted in “Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon.
  • When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.
    • BKS Iyengar, in “Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freed]om”, p.xxi.
  • When this body has been so magnificently and artistically created by God, it is only fitting that we should maintain it in good health and harmony by the most excellent and artistic science of Yoga.
    • Geeta Iyengar, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom", pp.23-24.
  • Yoga is possible for anybody who really wants it. Yoga is universal.... But don’t approach yoga with a business mind looking for worldly gain.
  • Yoga is about awakening. Yoga is about creating a life that brings more beauty and more love into the world.
    • John Friend, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 23.
  • No system of thought or body control is more widely known today than Yoga. When a religious method recommends itself as ’scientific’, it can be certain of its public in the West. Yoga fulfills this expectation. Quite apart from the charm of the new and the fascination of the half-understood, there is good cause for Yoga to have many adherents. It offers the possibility of controllable experience and thus satisfies the scientific need for ’facts’; and, besides this, by reason of its breadth and depth, its venerable age, its doctrine and method which include every phase of life, it promises undreamed-of possibilities.
    • Carl Jung. source: Let’s Regain Our Lost Soul, Nani A. Palkhivala.Quoted from Gewali, Salil (2013). Great Minds on India. New Delhi: Penguin Random House.
Carol Krucoff:Sun salutations can energise and warm you, even on the darkest, coldest winter day.
Sri T. Krishnamacharya:Nowadays, the practice of yoga stops with just asanas. Very few even attempt dharana and dhyana [deeper meditation] with seriousness. There is a need to search once more and reestablish the practice and value of yoga in modern times.
  • Yoga does not ask you to be more than you are. But it does ask you to be all that you are.
    • Bryan Kest, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom], p. 23.
  • Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying, knows spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer, Crying includes all the principles of Yoga.
  • Properly speaking, Yoga is an adjunct to religion and has always been treated as such in India, the country of its birth. The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj which means to yoke or join. As such, Yoga signifies the union of the individual soul with universal Consciousness or, in the language of the Upanishads, with the uncreated, all-pervading Brahman.
  • The word yoga is met for the first time in Vedas in the Katha Upanishad and some description of it is contained in Svetasvatra, the last of the early Upanishads. It is more frequently met with in Puranas, the epics and other later literature, and is sometimes synonymously used for tapa and dhyana (i.e., religious austerity and meditation). Basically Yoga is nothing more or less than systematized concentration. Fixity of attention, whether on a God or a Goddess, on a symbol or a diagram, on the void or any material object, or whether on a mantra or any particular region of the body, is the main exercise of every ancient form of Yoga.
  • What is yoga? The essence of yoga is to withdraw the mind from all external activities, draw in inward, and keep it contained within [laya]. The example of sleep is a way to illustrate the benefits of yoga. However, the withdrawal of the mind from external activities during sleep is due to the influence of tamas [the quality of dullness that clouds the mind]. The inward turning or steadiness of the mind in yoga is due to sattva [the quality of clarity and knowing in the mind]. The steadiness of mind brought about sattva is a thousand times more beneficial than that brought about tamas, though it may not be common knowledge to all. This [steadiness of the mind due to sattva] is yoga-nidra. In fact, all of our time is wasted until we attain such steadiness of mind through yoga.
  • Sun salutations can energise and warm you, even on the darkest, coldest winter day.
    • Carol Krucoff, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 133.
  • The second school of yoga is that of Shri Krishna, particularly expounded in the great poem the Bhagavad-Gita... This teaches above all else the doctrine of love. The disciple Arjuna, to whom the Guru spoke, was a great lover of mankind; according to the scripture this great soldier sank down upon the floor of his chariot before the battle of Kurukshetra began, full of sorrow because he loved his enemies and could not bear to injure them. The teacher Shri Krishna then explained to him, amid much philosophical teaching, that the greatest thing in life is service, that God himself is the greatest server—for he keeps the wheel of life revolving, not because any benefit can possibly accrue to him in consequence, but for the sake of the world—and that men should follow his example and work for the welfare of mankind. Many Great Ones, he said, had reached perfection by following this path of life, by doing their duty without personal desire. To love without ceasing is the way of the second Ray; in the Gita it is shown how this love should be directed to men and other beings in karma yoga (the yoga by action or work) and to God in bhakti yoga (the yoga by devotion).
  • The sixth school is that of bhakti or devotion...taught to a large extent in the Bhagavad-Gita; indeed, we find it in every religion among those true devotees who put their trust entirely in the Divine— who do not pray for personal favours, but are quite convinced that God is perfect master of his world, that he knows what he is doing, and that therefore all is well; they are therefore more than content, they are thrilled with ecstasy, if they can but have the opportunity and the privilege to serve and obey him in any way.
Perfection in asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.-Patanjali.
Asanas bring perfection in body, beauty in form,grace, strength, compactness, and the harness and brilliance of a diamond.-Patanjali.
Amit Ray: Yoga is the art work of awareness on the canvas of body, mind, and soul.
  • Yoga practice can make us more sensitive to subtler sensations in the body. Paying attention to and staying with finer sensations within the body is one of the surest ways to steady the wandering mind.
    • Ravi Ravindra, in “Yoga and You”
  • Life is a living flute, yoga is the art of creating melody and rhythm in it.
    • Amit Ray in Yoga The Science of Well-Being (2016)
  • Yoga is like an ocean of wisdom, but we have to go inside to see the beauty of it. An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of theory.
  • Now, the science of Hatha Yoga rests upon the 'suppression of breath,' or Pranayama, to which exercise our Masters are unanimously opposed. For what is Pranayama? Literally translated, it means the 'death of (vital) breath.' . . . Several impatient Chelas, whom we knew personally in India, went in for the practice of Hatha Yoga, notwithstanding our warnings. Of these, two developed consumption, one of whom died; others became almost idiotic; another committed suicide; and one developed into a regular Tantrika, a Black Magician, but his career, fortunately for himself, was cut short by death.
  • I may cheer you up by saying that, although the path of preparatory discipleship is long and there are many obstacles and trials on this path, the mastering of these difficulties bring its own joy, achievement and revelation. Also, you must know that these tests are not artificially created but deal with the inner attitude and presence of mind of the disciple, giving him a chance to show how he will act in cases of sudden difficulty and amid general trying circumstances. In Theosophical literature seven years is usually mentioned as the first period of trial, followed by the next period of seven years. But these periods can be shortened or prolonged indefinitely. All depends upon the karma of the disciple and on his inner development and aspiration. For one must achieve the gradual opening of the higher centers; otherwise it is impossible to become an accepted disciple. But remember that until the age of thirty years is reached, not all the centers can be awakened without terrible harm to the organism. To force their opening is equal to suicide.
Gene Stone:Because the technique was handed down orally from teachers to students, yoga’s precise beginnings are unknown, but it is thought to have originated more than five thousand years ago in northern India....
  • Practising yoga during the day is a matter of keeping your eyes on the road and one ear turned toward the infinite. It’s about listening inwardly as often as you can for your deepest impulses about what to say, think, or do, or be.
  • In Kundalini Yoga, there is a multitude of seated asanas. There are many variations to choose from based on physical condition and skill level.
    • Athansios Karta Singh, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 134.
  • Yoga is not gymnastics or a competition. The goal is not to achieve an outwardly perfect form through excessive ambition but rather to experience your own spirituality and the interaction of body and mind in each pose.
    • Athanasios Karta Singh, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom], pp.22-23.
  • I think the time is right for yoga, We really are living in a very complex time. - a time of great turmoil and change. Yoga is a good antidote to all that...It is almost like music in a way; there’s no end to it.
  • But long before there were airline delays and fancy gyms at every corner there was yoga–the pretzel-twisting system of meditative exercise that is designed to enhance overall well-being. The term which comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “to yoke or join together”, refers to the unity of body, mind and spirit achieved in a successful yoga practice.
    • Gene Stone, in “The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick: What They Know, Why It Works, and ...”, p. 190.
  • Because the technique was handed down orally from teachers to students, yoga’s precise beginnings are unknown, but it is thought to have originated more than five thousand years ago in northern India. The Yoga Sutras, one of the earliest texts on yoga (it dates from the year around 1 AD), attempts to organize its previously diverse practices into one system based on eight doctrines, or “limbs.” The third, fourth, and fifth of these limbs evolved into modern Western yoga asana, or physical exercises, pranayama or breating techniques and prathyahara or meditation (literally recovering).
    • Gene Stone, in “The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick: What They Know, Why It Works, and ...”, p. 190.
  • Two generations ago, yoga was a mysterious Eastern practice few Americans knew much about....Fifteen million Americans now say they include some form of yoga in their fitness regimen, and about 75% of all American health clubs offer yoga classes.
    • Gene Stone, in “The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick: What They Know, Why It Works, and ...”, p. 189-190.
  • Today more than a hundred types of yoga are practiced. Braver souls try power yoga, which does not pause between poses, or Bikram Yoga, pioneered by Olympic gold medal weight lifter Bikram Choudhury, which takes place in rooms heated to a minimum of 105 degree F. In the United states the most widely practiced yoga is the slow and gentle hata yoga, in t which the instructor takes students through a series of poses while helping them become aware of and change their breathing and thought patterns.
    • Gene Stone, in “The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick: What They Know, Why It Works, and ...”, p. 190.
  • NIH (The US national Institute of Health) considers yoga a “form of complementary and alternative medicine”, and physicians sometimes recommend it as an adjunct to conventional treatments for a range of chronic conditions, including asthma, back pain, arthritis. In general, yoga helps the body by; triggering and enhancing the immune system; relieving stress; and massaging the organs.
    • Gene Stone, in “The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick: What They Know, Why It Works, and ...”, pp.191-92.
  • The connection between yoga and heart disease has been particularly well researched. In 1990, as reported in Dr Green Ornish’s “Program for Reversing Heart Disease”... yoga was found to decrease participants cholesterol and triglycerides. And in 2007, [according to] a study published in the journal “Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice”, yoga could reverse several heart disease risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Participants who practiced yoga also developed higher levels of HDL (healthy cholesterol).
    • Gene Stone, in “The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick: What They Know, Why It Works, and ...”, p. 192.
  • Remember, it does not matter how deep into a posture you go – what does matter is who you are when you get there.
    • Max Strom, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 135.
  • Yoga is about clearing away whatever is in us that prevents our living in the most full and whole way. With yoga, we become aware of how and where we are restricted -- in body, mind, and heart -- and how gradually to open and release these blockages. As these blockages are cleared, our energy is freed. We start to feel more harmonious, more at one with ourselves. Our lives begin to flow -- or we begin to flow more in our lives.
Swami Vivekananda:Vairâgya or renunciation is the turning point in all the various Yogas. The Karmi (worker) renounces the fruits of his work. The Bhakta (devotee) renounces all little loves for the almighty and omnipresent love. The Yogi renounces his experiences, because his philosophy is that the whole Nature, although it is for the experience of the soul, at last brings him to know that he is not in Nature, but eternally separate from Nature. The Jnâni (philosopher) renounces everything, because his philosophy is that Nature never existed, neither in the past, nor present, nor will It in the future.
  • Yoga philosophy teaches that real man is not his body, but that the immortal I, of which each human being is conscious to some degree according to his mental evolution, is not the body but merely occupies and uses the body as an instrument.
    • Swami Vishnu Devananda, The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga (1995)
  • The fire of Yoga burns the cage of sin that is around a man. Knowledge becomes purified and Nirvana is directly obtained. From Yoga comes knowledge; knowledge again helps the Yogi. He who combines in himself both Yoga and knowledge, with him the Lord is pleased. Those that practise Mahayoga, either once a day, or twice a day, or thrice, or always, know them to be gods. Yoga is divided into two parts. One is called Abhava, and the other, [[w:Mahayoga}Mahayoga]]. Where one's self is meditated upon as zero, and bereft of quality, that is called Abhava. That in which one sees the self as full of bliss and bereft of all impurities, and one with God, is called Mahayoga. The Yogi, by each one, realises his Self. The other Yogas that we read and hear of, do not deserve to be ranked with the excellent Mahayoga in which the Yogi finds himself and the whole universe as God. This is the highest of all Yogas.
  • Yoga has essentially to do with the meditative side of religion, rather than the ethical side, though, of necessity, a little of the latter has to be considered....This is no child's play, no fad to be tried one day and discarded the next. It is a life's work; and the end to be attained is well worth all that it can cost us to reach it; being nothing less than the realisation of our absolute oneness with the Divine. Surely, with this end in view, and with the knowledge that we can certainly succeed, no price can be too great to pay.
64 Yoginis temple:Patricia Walden: "Vogue" and "Self" (magazines) are putting out the message of yoginis as buff and perfect. If you start doing yoga for those reasons, fine. Most people get beyond that and see that it’s much, much more.
  • "Vogue" and "Self" (magazines) are putting out the message of yoginis as buff and perfect. If you start doing yoga for those reasons, fine. Most people get beyond that and see that it’s much, much more.


  • The pose begins when you want to leave it.
    • In “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 134.
  1. AUM. The following instruction concerneth the Science of Union.
  2. This Union (or Yoga) is achieved through the subjugation of the psychic nature, and the restraint of the chitta (or mind).
  3. When this has been accomplished, the Yogi knows himself as he is in reality.
  • Book 1, The Problem of Union
  • We must here bear in mind that we are beginning the book which outlines the practical part of the work, which gives the rules which must be followed if the aspirant hopes to achieve, and which indicates those methods which will bring about the realization of spiritual consciousness. The objective has been dealt with in Book I. The aspirant naturally says on concluding Book I, "how desirable and how right, but how shall this be? What must I do? Where shall I begin?" Patanjali starts at the very beginning and in this second book he indicates:
  1. The basic personality requirements,
  2. The hindrances which can then be noted by the earnest disciple,
  3. The eight "means of yoga" or the eight kinds of activity which will bring about the needed results.
  • Book II, The Steps to Union (Commentary)
  • It might be of value here if we dealt with the various "yogas" so as to give to the student a clear concept as to their distinctions and thus cultivate his discrimination. The principal yogas are three in number, the various other so-called "yogas" finding their place in one of these three groups:
  1. Raja Yoga...the yoga of the mind or will,
  2. Bhakti Yoga... the yoga of the heart or the devotee,
  3. Karma Yoga.... the yoga of action.
  • Book II, The Steps to Union (Commentary)
  • Raja Yoga stands by itself and is the king science of them all; it is the summation of all the others, it is the climax and that which completes the work of development in the human kingdom. It is the science of the mind and of the purposeful will, and brings the higher of man's sheaths in the three worlds under the subjection of the Inner Ruler. This science coordinates the entire lower threefold man, forcing him into a position where he is nothing but the vehicle for the soul, or God within. It includes the other yogas and profits by their achievements. It synthesises the work of evolution and crowns man as king.
    • Book II, The Steps to Union (Commentary)
  • Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of the heart; it is the bringing into submission of all the feelings, desires and emotions, to the one beloved, seen and known in the heart. It is the sublimation of all the lower loves and the bringing captive of all longings and desire, to the one longing to know the God of love and the love of God. It was the "kingly" or crowning science of the last rootrace, the Atlantean, just as the science of Raja Yoga is the great science of our Aryan civilization. Bhakti Yoga made its exponent an arhat or led him to the fourth initiation. Raja Yoga makes him an adept and leads him to the portal of the fifth initiation. Both lead to liberation, for the arhat is released from the cycle of rebirth but Raja Yoga liberates him to complete service and freedom to work as a White Magician. Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of the heart, of the astral body.
    • Book II, The Steps to Union (Commentary)
  • Karma Yoga has a specific relation to physical plane activity, and to the working out into objective manifestation of all the inner impulses. In its ancient and simplest form it was the yoga of the third or Lemurian root race and its two best known expressions are: a. Hatha Yoga, b. Laya Yoga. The former has specifically to do with the physical body, its conscious (not subconscious and automatic) functioning and all the various practices which give man control over the different organs and the entire mechanical apparatus of the physical body. The latter has to do with the etheric body, with the force centers or chakras found in that body...
    • Book II, The Steps to Union (Commentary)
  • ...if we divide the human torso into three departments it might be stated that:
  1. Karma Yoga resulted in the awakening of the four centres below the diaphragm,
  2. Bhakti Yoga resulted in their transmutation and transference into the two centres above the diaphragm, yet in the torso, the heart and the throat.
  3. Raja Yoga synthesizes all the forces of the body in the head and from there distributes and controls them.
  • Book II, The Steps to Union (Commentary)

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