In general YOGA means-Integrator, proficiency of deeds, abdication of all anxiety and becoming fearless, restraining the emotions of mind, union of Jivatma to Parmatma and many more. Yoga is a way of life. By practicing YOGA in life, one can lead a happy, healthy and successful life.
Different texts and many Masters have defined YOGA in several ways. Due to all these definitions, YOGA is having different modes-Bhakti Yoga, Gyan Yoga, Karma Yoga, Buddhi Yoga, Dhayan Yoga, Nad Yoga, Laya Yoga, Siva Yoga, Prem Yoga, Japa Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Yantra Yoga, Kundlini Yoga and many more.
Four main modes of Yoga are accepted in ‘Sadhan-Chatushya’. Mantra Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Laya Yoga and Raj Yoga. Leaving aside all the arguments and counter arguments presented by the various learned scholars of this world, shall define only Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is also explained in two ways-Ashtang Yoga and Hatha Yoga. End result is the same for both the paths, and they are similar too.
Asthang Yoga is narrated in eight parts, namely-
I. Yama- Self restrain, self control, devoted, take care of, moral duty etc
#Ahinsa– Non voilance. Should not allow any kind of suffering, to any living creature by any means of deeds, words and thoughts.
# Satya-Truth. Persuance of truth, by means of deeds, words and thoughts in all condition of life.
#Asteya- Do not attempt, to get unauthorized possession of someone else’s articles. Like theft, fraud, bribe and similarly more.
# Aparigraha-Non materialistic. Do not accumulate or collect any article or property, which is not regularly in use or needed utmost.
#Brahamcharya-Continence. Manhood, knighthood, velour, doughtiness, gallantry, braveness, virile, power, energy, courage, toughness, strong and similar other traits are covered under Brahamcharya. But in modern days Brahamcharya is described as, prohibition of all kind of sex, exercising self restrain, specially about sex. Possess above mentioned traits.
II.Niyam- Self decipline, regularity, regulate.
#Shauch-Purity. Internal (mind) and external (body) cleanness and purity. Under the internal cleanness-Kam-Passion, krodh-Anger, Mada-Pride, Lobha-Greed, Moha-Infatuation, Matsharya-Envy. Under the external cleanness-getup early morning, excrement, mouth wash, clean teeth, bathe, wear clean cloth, always be cleaned and fresh.
# Santosh-contentment. What-ever is experienced or received in life be satisfied with that.
# Swadhyaya-Self contemplation.
# Ishwer Aaradhana-Worship of God.
III.Pranayam-Special technique of breathing to gain Vitality.
Pranayam is regulation and control of breathing. Pranayam should be practiced under the strict supervision of well qualified teacher. There are different ways to practice the Pranayam.
Saral Pranayam is simple berathing technique. Breathe in air, hold breathing and then breathe out air and hold breathing again. Slowly and gradually increase the breathing in, hold, breathing out and hold time. Do not exert any kind of pressure, it should go naturally. It must be carried out with utmost ease and care.
Nadi Shodhan. First Breathe in with left nostril, hold breathing and then breathe out with right nostril. Next breathe in with right nostril, hold breathing and then breathe out with left nostril. Go on like this.
Main aim of Pranayam is to inhale maximum oxygen, in turn maximize the blood purification process. Pure blood helps in gaining Vitality.
There are many body postures, but Masters of this subject have recommended thirty body postures worth, for practicing Yoga. Any one of them should be mastered. These are Padmasan, Swastikasan, Pithasan, Sinhasan, Kukutasan, Kunjarasan, Kurmasan, Vajrasan, Varahasan, Mrigasan, Chaulikasan, Crochchasan, Nalikasan, Sarvtobhadrasan, vrishbhasan, Nagasan, Matsayasan, Vyagrasan, Ardhachandrasan, Dandavatasan, Shailasan, Khadgasan, Mudrasan, Makarasan, Tripathasan, Kasthasan, Sthanuasan, Vekarnikasan, Bhoumasan, and Virasan.
There are many hand shapes, but Masters of this subject have recommended nine hand shapes worth, for balancing PachaTatva (Earth, Water, Heat, Air, Space). These are Gyan Mudra, Vayu Mudra, Aakash Mudra, Shunya Mudra, Pruthivi Mudra, Varun Mudra, Apan Mudra, Pran Mudra and Linga Mundra.
The body postures and hand shapes are devised in such a way that maximizes the blood circulation in the body. Good blood circulation is essential for keeping body fit, healthy and agile. Each posture exhibits its own special characteristic, which helps in improving fitness of different body parts and various mental weaknesses.
V.Pratyahar-Divert external stimulus inward.
Eyes, nose, ear tongue and shin perceive external stimulus sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch. Nonchalant all the five senses from their external subjects, and divert them inward.
VI.Dharna-Perceive, notion, belief.
Believe in something, absorb in that belief, adopt the belief and concentrate on that belief.
Strong and prolong concentration on that belief. Meditate on it.
Divine feeling, Extreme state of mind and body where everything is zero.
Hatha Yoga is narrated in seven parts, namely-
Nath Sampraday’s Hatha Yoga is a fundamental, unparalleled, incomparable, prominent and unique gift to the world. Practice of Hatha Yoga is a effectual resource to keep body healthy and fit, to attain peace and happiness of mind, to post eternal soul in ultimate state.
Refinement, purification, cleaning or rectification of body is carried out with the help of Shatkarma. Shatkarma are Vasti, Dhoti, Nauti, Nauli, Tratak, and Kapalbhati.
Toughness is acquired by Asana
Stability, firmness and unshakeable is achieved by practicing Mudra and Bandha.
Endurance, self-possession, calmness and patience is achieved by Pratyahar.
Laghav is acquired with the help of Pranayam.
VI.Pratayaksh Darshan by Dhayan.
VII.Nirlipt by Samadhi.