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Yoga is the Sanskrit word for union.
Patanjali was a pioneer of classical yoga. He defined yoga as "the cessation of the modification of the mind." (stopping changing the mind).
The Vedic Samhitas contain references to ascetics, while ascetic practices (tapas) are referenced in the Brāhmaṇas (900 to 500 BCE), early commentaries on the Vedas. Several seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300–1700 B.C.E.) sites in Pakistan depict figures in positions resembling a common yoga or meditation pose, showing "a form of ritual discipline, suggesting a precursor of yoga", according to archaeologist Gregory Possehl. Some type of connection between the Indus Valley seals and later yoga and meditation practices is speculated (thought) upon by many scholars, though there is no conclusive evidence.
- Jonathan Mark Kenoyer describes one figure as "seated in yogic position". Around the Indus in 90 Slides by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer
- Karel Werner writes that "Archeological discoveries allow us therefore to speculate with some justification that a wide range of Yoga activities was already known to the people of pre-Aryan India."
Important yoga words (Eight Organs of Yoga)
- Yama: Positive Rules of meditations
- Niyama: Prohibitory Rules of meditations
- Asanas: physical postures and movements
- Pranayama: breathing techniques
- Prtyahar: controlling the mind
- Dharana: gazing inward
- Dhyan: meditation with object
- Samadhi: meditation without object
- Dhyana: meditation
Types of yoga
- Classification based on Mind and Body.
- Rajayoga: Emphasizes the most on exercises of the mind.
- Hathayoga: Emphasizes the most on exercise of physical body.
- Classification based on way of spiritual life.
- Gyanyoga: It is a way of knowledge.
- Karmayoga: It is a way of work.
- Bhaktiyoga: It is a way of worship.
- Classification based on a way of other things.
- Swaryoga: Emphasizes the most on breathing.
- Kriyayoga: Emphasizes the most on blending Karmayoga (Tapa), Gyanyoga (Swadhyay) and Bhaktiyoga (Ishwar Pranidhan).'
- Flood, p. 94.
- Possehl (2003), pp. 144–145
- Werner, Karel (1998). Yoga and Indian Philosophy. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. p. 103. . http://books.google.com/books?id=c6b3lH0-OekC&pg=PA103.