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Statue of Shiva doing Yogic meditation. The statue is in Bangalore, India.

Yoga is an old discipline from India. Yoga uses breathing techniques, exercise and meditation. It claims to improve health and happiness.

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).

For example, the "sun-salutation" contains 12 poses of asanas one after the other and is said to help balance body and soul.


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.[1] 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.[2] 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.

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).'

Other websites


  1. Flood, p. 94.
  2. Possehl (2003), pp. 144–145
  3. Werner, Karel (1998). Yoga and Indian Philosophy. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. p. 103. ISBN 9788120816091 .