The History of Yoga: Classical Yoga

Do you know what creation of yoga which marks the classical period in the history of yoga? If you know the answer, what makes the creation becomes identical with the classical period of yoga? Following our previous article about the history of yoga, now we explain about the classical yoga period.

History of Yoga – Raja Yoga

The classical yoga is marked by the Raja Yoga (the eightfold of yoga). Raja Yoga was composed and taught by Patanjali around year 100-200 A.C. through his Yoga Sutra, which consists about 195 aphorisms (words of wisdom). The meaning of sutra is thread. Patanjali through Yoga Sutra conveys the thread of memory and encourage the students to retain Patanjali’s knowledge and wisdom.

Raja Yoga is primarily concerned about the development of human’s mind through the meditation (dhyana) to further understanding of self’s acquaintance with reality. Once the practitioner is able to finish the lessons with a strong discipline, he/she will achieve liberation.

Every thought, feeling, perception, or memory you may have causes a modification, or ripple, in the mind. It distorts and colors the mental mirror. If you can restrain the mind from forming into modifications, there will be no distortion, and you will experience your true Self (Swami Satchidananda).

Patanjali’s Eightfold of Yoga (Eight Limbs of Classical Yoga)
The essence of Patanjali’s teachings is the eight limbs of yoga, which also called as the eightfold in the history of yoga. Patanjali suggested these steps in order to have a better life through yoga.

The eight limbs of Patanjali are as follows:

  • Yama – code of conduct, social restraints, ethical values
  • Niyama – religious observances and commitments of purity, tolerance, study and devotion
  • Asana – physical exercises to integrate the body and mind
  • Pranayama – breath control to integrate the body and mind
  • Pratyahara – sense withdrawal of perception in preparing the meditation
  • Dharana – concentration
  • Dhyana – mediation (silence activity that leads to samadhi)
  • Samadhi – ecstasy, super conscious state

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