What is Yoga?

It is a holistic system for the mind body and soul.

The Patanjali Yoga Sutras have said that Yoga is controlling the patterns of the mind -Chitta Vritti. A more expanded meaning of Yoga is given in the first Sutra -yoga is the means to control/discipline the subtle expressions of ones personality.

When Patanjali is queried on what happens after the control he answers -that having mastered the first we attain the ability to block off channels i.e.-the currents of consciousness - the vrittis.

These currents of consciousness contain, either, inertia i.e. Tamsic or active i.e. Rajsic, but never pure and tranquil i.e. Sattwic, elements, if the latter was the case, we would not need Yoga, Sattwa is unconditional and even our expression of love and compassion which we may say is pure are not, because of the conditioning behind our expression of pure traits.

From discipline we arrive at mind control, from mind control, we arrive to realization of the inner nature, with the realization of the inner nature we come to the experience of 'wisdom' (prajna) with the experience of wisdom, prajna, we arrive at the state of meditation and that meditative state* evolves into a permanent state of bliss i.e. Samadhi.

The progression as such must of course be seen in relation to the personality make up of each person. Progress from one level to the next, or a simultaneous progression in all depends upon different aspects of the human personality, and the personal experience of each person.

Yoga says that there are four major tendencies which bear upon personality and behavior. These are-(i) craving (Ahara) for food or emotional needs (ii) fear (Bhaya) or insecurity of losing identity/ material possessions (iii) sleep (Nidra) and (iv) Sexual urge (Maithuna)

These four tendencies are linked to the 7 chakras in our body.

Sexual urge -- Muldhara and Swadisthan

Craving -- Manipura and Anahata

Fear -- Vishuddhi and Ajna

Sleep is a state of total blankness.

These 6 are the areas of our blocks and when we practice bandhan in Yoga these areas get affected in the sense of removing the blocks.

Moolbandha----block of the perineal muscles

Uddayana bandha----block of the diaphragm muscles

Jalandhara-----Block of the neck muscles


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