History of Yoga

The Teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda

Yogananda relayed many of his spiritual experiences throughout his lifetime in his extraordinary accounting of the stages of his spiritual unfolding in the seven hundred page book, “Autobiography of a Yogi.” If you are on the Yogic path, this is one of the most highly recommended books about the practice of sadhana and the deepening experience of merging with God. If you do read “Autobiography of a Yogi,” the footnotes themselves contain almost as much esoteric wisdom as the text proper.

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Yoga in the Former Soviet Union

In pre-Communist Russia, some credit a painter and aristocrat, named Nicolas Roerich, and his wife, with traveling to India to study Agni or Fire Yoga and bringing back the teachings around 1894. The man was nearly single-handedly responsible for Yoga in the Soviet Bloc; Vasily Brodov, was an intriguing figure. A Moscow native, born in 1912, he was a natural dissident who spent time in the gulags, and on the front lines, in World War II.

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Tradition of Yoga in the Indian Society

Yoga has a deep hidden philosophy of life that harmonizes body, mind, and soul. The term was originated from a Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ that means ‘union’ or ‘joint’. As the name suggests so does the traditional spiritual activity reflects the true life’s philosophy.

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Yoga History – A Brief Outline

Yoga has always focused on “perfect alignment,” in which the spine returns to its natural positioning over time, as yoga is practiced. Because of yoga’s focus, relaxation must actually be achieved at the same time as the asanas are being performed, which can actually be a challenge to those who have only done traditional exercise. Nonetheless, this “relaxation and focus” is key to yoga’s benefits, and teach students concentration; as poses continue, focus can intensify to a meditative state.

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