What is Yoga today?
In Yoga history, we see that it was based on spirituality, which included believing in relying on rishises to teach how to live in "divine harmony."
Modern Yoga is a physical practice with a spiritual part and traditional yoga is spiritual practice with physical part. We want to practice Yoga in order to be satisfied. If we are sincere to ourselves, we know that we have everything except satisfaction.
Some feel that everything in life has meaning only when God or the divine comes first. They feel that God is the root. When they become one with the root, the source, then everything has meaning and everything is satisfaction. The practice of Yoga can lead us to this goal.
The history of Yoga can conveniently be divided into the following four broad categories: Vedic Yoga, Preclassical Yoga, Classical Yoga, Postclassical Yoga.
Now the question as to whether yoga is used only for physical fitness or it still has value for spirituality somewhere? The answer is “Yes”. Yoga and spirituality are always inseparable.
Yoga is an ancient teaching that helps the persistent practitioner to achieve the spiritual enlightenment. By no means it consists of a set of exercise routines only. Yoga is a comprehensive system, a way of thinking, a way of living our everyday lives. Physical postures or Asanas and breathing exercises or Pranayama that are so popular in the West are just a few steps of Raja yoga, which is one of the yogic paths to spiritual development.
In brief, demeaning yoga as only for physical fitness or exercises to lose weight quickly is not justifiable. It has its own relevance even today which always enlightens the path of spirituality. There are so many regional institutions who are preaching spirituality through yoga, especially in India, we have “Art of Living” by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Baba Ramdev, Asaram Bapu etc. So Any attempt to separate yoga from the path of spirituality even in modern age has to be defeated.
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