The most common style of yoga, many may not know by its official title, "Hatha Yoga", aka western yoga, is the practice modern society has come to know, and love. But did you know that it is only one part of yoga as a whole?
Essentially, yoga defined, is an Eastern philosophy, traditionalized into a religious belief by the people of India. Yoga, as a religion, is the belief that one can achieve eternal peace in mind, body, and spirit by creating and maintaining a balance between oneself and nature. Yoga practices, such as hatha, meditation, and many other segments, all help to strengthen the mind, body, and spirit. They also help connect to nature.
I know most of us don't consider yoga an exercise but it is. It is designed to channel physical strength, increase physical agility, create mental agility, and increase sensibility, all while toning and strengthening muscles. Shocked me too! It is the physical part of yoga, that allows a connection with the natural environment, by uniting our inner balance with the balance of nature. This is where meditation comes in.
Meditation, is a practice that has more focus on developing mental peace, and spiritual development. Although hatha yoga has breathing exercises as part of its routine, just like meditation does, meditation does not require movement, instead, it is the complete opposite requiring full concentration, and focus of the mind.
Obviously yoga cannot be completely explained in one little post. Therefore I will go in-depth about these other aspects of the yoga religion soon.
If your interested you can find out more about the history of yoga in an ancient text known as, "The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali", established approximately in the year 200 ad. This doctrine contains all the aspects of yoga, how to achieve peace, and exist in harmony with oneself, and nature long-term.
I hope you've enjoyed my post. Until next time!