|Picture of Briony Smith Yogi from the Mind body Spirit Website|
The Sanskrit word yoga has the literal meaning of "yoke", from a root yuj meaning 'to join', 'to unite', or 'to attach'. As a term for a system of abstract meditation or mental abstraction it was introduced by Patañjali in the 2nd century BC. Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi or yogini.
Within Hindu philosophy, the word yoga is used to refer to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy. Yoga in this sense is based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and is also known as Rāja Yoga to distinguish it from later schools. Patanjali's system is discussed and elaborated upon in many classical Hindu texts, and has also been influential in Buddhism and Jainism. The Bhagavad Gita introduces distinctions such as Jnana Yoga ("yoga based on knowledge") vs. Karma Yoga ("yoga based on action").
I have been doing Yoga this year and whilst there is no major break through , I have a greater appreciation for this form of exercise.
It is hard and beautiful. It builds core strength and many professional athletes like Miami heat MVP LeBron James , heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield, tennis greats Monica Seles and Pete Sampras, all practice Yoga. I find it tough but I will need to double my efforts as it is really a good way of getting that core strength needed for endurance sports . If I can do a handstand then I think my swim stroke will be a lot better.But that is a long way off.
Today's class was made all the more meaningful as I had read a number of articles on Yoga and watched a number of video clips.It was all inspiring. It isn't about looking good or strength , those are by products , it is about a journey of both external and inner discovery. I don't begin to understand or appreciate the philosophy of Yoga but I am sure there aren't many better ways spending a Saturday afternoon learning to be centred.
26 Poses of Bikram Yoga
The controversial Video by Equinox.It is beautiful to watch but does it sexualise Yoga. .And what is it with the guy sleeping through the session. I do like it for the beauty and strength .It makes Yoga look graceful but so powerful.