Yoga - Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yoga (Sanskrit: योग yoga pronunciation ) is the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines
which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace.
Yoga is a Sanskrit
word which means "union" and is interpreted as "union with the divine".
One of the most detailed and
thorough expositions on the subject is the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, which defines yoga as "the stilling of
the changing states of the mind"
(Sanskrit: योग: िच-वि नरोध:). Yoga is also interpreted as the yoke
that connects beings to the machine of existence.
Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
In Hinduism, yoga is
one of the six āstika ("orthodox") schools of Hindu philosophy.
Post-classical traditions consider Hiranyagarbha as the originator of yoga.
speculations and diverse ascetic practices of first millennium BCE were systematized into a formal
philosophy in early centuries CE by the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
By the turn of the first millennium,
hatha yoga emerged from tantra.
It along with its many modern variations, is the style that many
people associate with the word yoga today. Vajrayana Buddhism, founded by the Indian Mahasiddhas,
has a parallel series of asanas and pranayamas, such as caṇḍālī
and yantra yoga.
Hindu monks, beginning with Swami Vivekananda, brought yoga to the West in the late 19th century. In
the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. This form of
yoga is often called Hatha yoga. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a
complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma and heart patients.
In a
national survey, long-term yoga practitioners in the United States reported musculo–skeletal and mental
health improvements.
1 Terminology
2 Purpose
3 History
3.1 Prehistory
3.2 Vedic period
3.3 Preclassical era
3.3.1 Upanishads
3.3.2 Bhagavad Gita
3.3.3 Mahabharata
3.4 Classical yoga
3.4.1 Early Buddhist texts
3.4.2 Samkhya
3.4.3 Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
3.4.4 Yoga Yajnavalkya
3.4.5 Jainism
3.4.6 Yogacara school
3.5 Middle Ages
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Statue of Shiva in Bangalore, India,
performing yogic meditation in the
Padmasana posture.
3.5.1 Bhakti movement
3.5.2 Tantra
3.5.3 Vajrayana
3.5.4 Hatha Yoga
3.5.5 Sikhism
3.6 Modern history
3.6.1 Reception in the West
3.6.2 Medicine Potential benefits for adults Physical injuries Pediatrics
4 Yoga compared with other systems of meditation
4.1 Zen Buddhism
4.2 Tibetan Buddhism
4.3 Christian meditation
4.4 Islam
5 See also
6 References
6.1 Notes
6.2 Citations
6.3 Bibliography
7 External links
In Vedic Sanskrit, the more commonly used, literal meaning of the
Sanskrit word yoga which is "to add", "to join", "to unite", or "to
attach" from the root yuj, already had a much more figurative
sense, where the yoking or harnessing of oxen or horses takes on
broader meanings such as "employment, use, application,
performance" (compare the figurative uses of "to harness" as in
"to put something to some use"). All further developments of the
sense of this word are post-Vedic. More prosaic moods such as
"exertion", "endeavour", "zeal" and "diligence" are also found in
Epic Sanskrit.
[citation needed]
There are very many compound words containing yog in Sanskrit.
Yoga can take on meanings such as "connection", "contact",
"method", "application", "addition" and "performance". For
example, guṇá-yoga means "contact with a cord"; chakrá-yoga
has a medical sense of "applying a splint or similar instrument by
means of pulleys (in case of dislocation of the thigh)"; chandrá-
yoga has the astronomical sense of "conjunction of the moon with a constellation"; puṃ-yoga is a
grammatical term expressing "connection or relation with a man", etc. Thus, bhakti-yoga means "devoted
attachment" in the monotheistic Bhakti movement. The term kriyā-yoga has a grammatical sense, meaning
"connection with a verb". But the same compound is also given a technical meaning in the Yoga Sutras
(2.1), designating the "practical" aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the "union with the Supreme" due to
performance of duties in everyday life
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In Hindu philosophy, the word yoga is used to refer to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu
[note 1]
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are often labelled as Rāja yoga.
According to Pāṇini, a
6th-century BCE Sanskrit grammarian, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga
(to yoke) or yuj samādhau (to concentrate).
In the context of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the root yuj
samādhau (to concentrate) is considered by traditional commentators as the correct etymology.
accordance with Pāṇini, Vyasa (c. 4th or 5th century CE), who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga
states that yoga means samādhi (concentration).
In other texts and contexts, such as the
Bhagavad Gītā and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the word yoga has been used in conformity with yujir yoge
(to yoke).
Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a
yogi or yogini.
Generally put, yoga is a disciplined method utilized for attaining a goal.
The ultimate goal of Yoga is
moksha (liberation) though the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or
theological system with which it is conjugated. In Shaiva theology, yoga is used to unite kundalini with
Mahabharata defines the purpose of yoga as the experience of Brahman or Ātman pervading all
In the specific sense of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, yoga is defined as citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ (the cessation of the
perturbations of the mind).
This is described by Patanjali as the necessary condition for transcending
discursive knowledge and to be one with the divinely understood "spirit" ("purusha"): "Absolute freedom
occurs when the lucidity of material nature and spirit are in pure equilibrium."
In the Yoga Sutras,
Patanjali indicates that the ultimate goal of yoga is a state of permanent peace or Kaivalya.
Apart from the spiritual goals the physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce
stress and make the spine supple in contemporary times. Yoga is also used as a complete exercise program
and physical therapy routine.
Several seals discovered at Indus Valley Civilization sites, dating to the mid 3rd millennium BCE, 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.
Ramaprasad Chanda,
who supervised Indus Valley Civilization excavations, states that, "Not only the seated deities on some of
the Indus seals are in yoga posture and bear witness to the prevalence of yoga in the Indus Valley
Civilization in that remote age, the standing deities on the seals also show Kayotsarga (a standing posture
of meditation) position. It is a posture not of sitting but of standing."
Some type of connection between
the Indus Valley seals and later yoga and meditation practices is speculated upon by many scholars, though
there is no conclusive evidence.
[note 2]
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Male figure in a crossed legs posture
on a mold of a seal from the Indus
valley civilization
Many scholars such as Marshall associated Pashupati seal with Shiva because We would discuss these
features under the following heads : (1) three faces (2) the attitude of yoga (3) ithyphallicism (4)
connection with animals (5) pair of horns.
The standing yogic position in Hindu scriptures is associated with Shiva and has in earliest occurrences
been mentioned as the sthanu asana. Shiva has repeatedly been called Sthanu in several scriptures.
Shiva's standing pose is a meditative penance is clear from the pose being associated in Kalidas' literature
as "Tapasvinah Sthanu"
and tapasvin is the term for a mendicant. Also Shiva as Sthanu in Kalidas'
literature has been described as "Sthanu sthira-bhakti-yoga-sulabha" meaning "attainable through devotion
In modern Hindu yoga too the standing yoga asana is applied and called samabhanga asana
and tadasana.
Shiva's association with the 'Pashupati seal' is that the seal reads
"Lord of the Cattle" and "Lord of the animals" and Shiva has been
described as both the lord of cattle and animals. The Pashupati seal
also depicts the mendicant in the yogasana which is another
attributed associated with Shiva from scriptures.
In reference to the bulls that appear on the Indus Valley seals,
archeologists have linked them to Shiva as the bull is associated
with him in scriptures. In the Rig Veda, Shiva (Rudra) is termed
Vrishaba or "bull."
Shiva connection with the three heads on the Indus Valley yogi
seal is that Shiva has been described and portrayed a three-headed
in certain parts of history. For example, in the an Elora temple he
is depicted with three heads.
Vedic period
Ascetic practices (tapas), concentration and bodily postures used by Vedic priests to conduct yajna (Vedic
ritual of fire sacrifice) might have been precursors to yoga.
[note 3]
Vratya, a group of ascetics mentioned in
the Atharvaveda, emphasized on bodily postures which probably evolved into yogic asanas.
Vedic Samhitas also contain references to other group ascetics such as, Munis, the Keśin, and Vratyas.
Techniques for controlling breath and vital energies are mentioned in the Brahmanas (ritualistic texts of the
Vedic corpus, c. 1000–800 BCE) and the Atharvaveda.
Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda suggests
the presence of an early contemplative tradition.
[note 4]
The Vedic Samhitas contain references to ascetics, and ascetic practices known as (tapas) are referenced in
the Brāhmaṇas (900 BCE and 500 BCE), early commentaries on the Vedas.
The Rig Veda, the earliest
of the Hindu scripture mentions the practice.
Robert Schneider and Jeremy Fields write,
Yoga asanas were first prescribed by the ancient Vedic texts thousands of years ago and are
said to directly enliven the body's inner intelligence.
According to David Frawley, verses such as Rig Veda 5.81.1 which reads, "Seers of the vast illumined
seer yogically [yunjante] control their minds and their intelligence,"
show that "at least the seed of the
entire Yoga teaching is contained in this most ancient Aryan text".
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According to Feuerstein, breath control and curbing the mind was practiced since the Vedic times.,
yoga was fundamental to Vedic ritual, especially to chanting the sacred hymns
While the actual term "yoga" first occurs in the Katha Upanishad
and later in the Shvetasvatara
an early reference to meditation is made in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the earliest
Upanishad (c. 900 BCE).
[note 5]
Yoga is discussed quite frequently in the Upanishads, many of which
predate Patanjali's Sutras.
Preclassical era
Diffused pre-philosophical speculations of yoga begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500–200 BCE such as
the middle Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Mokshadharma of the Mahabharata. The terms samkhya
and yoga in these texts refer to spiritual methodologies rather than the philosophical systems which
developed centuries later.
Alexander Wynne, author of The Origin of Buddhist Meditation, observes that formless meditation and
elemental meditation might have originated in the Upanishadic tradition.
The earliest reference to
meditation is in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, one of the oldest Upanishads.
Chandogya Upanishad
describes the five kinds of vital energies (prana). Concepts used later in many yoga traditions such as
internal sound and veins (nadis) are also described in the Upanishad.
Taittiriya Upanishad defines
yoga as the mastery of body and senses.
The term "yoga" first appears in the Hindu scripture Katha Upanishad (a primary Upanishad c. 400 BCE)
where it is defined as the steady control of the senses, which along with cessation of mental activity, leads
to the supreme state.
[53][note 6]
Katha Upanishad integrates the monism of early Upanishads with concepts
of samkhya and yoga. It defines various levels of existence according to their proximity to the innermost
being Ātman. Yoga is therefore seen as a process of interiorization or ascent of consciousness.
It is
the earliest literary work that highlights the fundamentals of yoga. Shvetashvatara Upanishad (c. 400-200
BCE) elaborates on the relationship between thought and breath, control of mind, and the benefits of
Like the Katha Upanishad the transcendent Self is seen as the goal of yoga. This text also
recommends meditation on Om as a path to liberation.
Maitrayaniya Upanishad (c. 300 BCE)
formalizes the sixfold form of yoga.
Physiological theories of later yoga make an appearance in this
While breath channels (nāḍis) of yogic practices had already been discussed in the classical Upanishads, it
was not until the eighth-century Buddhist Hevajra Tantra and Caryāgiti, that hierarchies of chakras were
Further systematization of yoga is continued in the Yoga Upanishads of the
Atharvaveda (viz., Śāṇḍilya, Pāśupata, Mahāvākya).
Bhagavad Gita
Main article: Bhagavad Gita
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Krishna narrating the Gita to Arjuna.
The Bhagavad Gita ('Song of the Lord'), uses the term "yoga" extensively in a variety of ways. In addition
to an entire chapter (ch. 6) dedicated to traditional yoga practice, including meditation,
it introduces
three prominent types of yoga:
[note 7]
Karma yoga: The yoga of action.
[note 8]
Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion.
[note 9]
Jnana yoga: The yoga of knowledge.
[note 10]
In Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna explains to Arjuna
about the essence of yoga as practiced in daily lives:
योग-थ: कF कमÎिण सIग ïय+ïवा धनजय ।
Íस¶Íस¶ो: समो भ¸ïवा समïव योग उ÷यJ ।।
(yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmani sanyugam tyaktvā
siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhutvā samatvam yoga ucyate)
- Bhagavad Gita 2.48
A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada translates it as "Be steadfast in yoga (yoga-sthaḥ), O Arjuna.
Perform your duty (kuru karmani) and abandon all attachment (sangam) to success or failure (siddhy-
asiddhyoḥ). Such evenness of mind (samatvam) is called yoga."
Madhusudana Sarasvati (b. circa 1490) divided the Gita into three sections, with the first six chapters
dealing with Karma yoga, the middle six with Bhakti yoga, and the last six with Jnana (knowledge).
Other commentators ascribe a different 'yoga' to each chapter, delineating eighteen different yogas.
Aurobindo, a freedom fighter and philosopher, describes the yoga of the Gita as "a large, flexible and
many-sided system with various elements, which are all successfully harmonized by a sort of natural and
living assimilation".
Description of an early form of yoga called nirodha–yoga (yoga of cessation) is contained in the
Mokshadharma section of the 12th chapter (Shanti Parva) of the Mahabharata epic. The verses of the
section are dated to c. 300–200 BCE. Nirodha–yoga emphasizes progressive withdrawal from the contents
of empirical consciousness such as thoughts, sensations etc. until purusha (Self) is realized. Terms like
vichara (subtle reflection), viveka (discrimination) and others which are similar to Patanjali's terminology
are mentioned, but not described.
There is no uniform goal of yoga mentioned in the Mahabharata.
Separation of self from matter, perceiving Brahman everywhere, entering into Brahman etc. are all
described as goals of yoga. Samkhya and yoga are conflated together and some verses describe them as
being identical.
Mokshadharma also describes an early practice of elemental meditation.
Classical yoga
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Amitabha (Buddha) depicted as a
yoga practitioner, Kamakura, Japan.
During the period between the Mauryan and the Gupta era (c. 200 BCE–500 CE) philosophical schools of
Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to
Early Buddhist texts
Werner notes that "only with Buddhism itself as expounded in the
Pali Canon" do we have the oldest preserved comprehensive yoga
"But it is only with Buddhism itself as expounded in the
Pali Canon that we can speak about a systematic and
comprehensive or even integral school of Yoga practice,
which is thus the first and oldest to have been preserved for
us in its entirety"
Another yoga system that predated the Buddhist school is Jain
yoga. But since Jain sources postdate Buddhist ones, it is difficult
to distinguish between the nature of the early Jain school and
elements derived from other schools.
Most of the other contemporary yoga systems alluded in the Upanishads and some Pali canons are lost to
[94][95][note 11]
The early Buddhist texts describe meditative practices and states, some of which the Buddha borrowed
from the ascetic (shramana) tradition.
One key innovative teaching of the Buddha was that
meditative absorption must be combined with liberating cognition.
Meditative states alone are not an
end, for according to the Buddha, even the highest meditative state is not liberating. Instead of attaining a
complete cessation of thought, some sort of mental activity must take place: a liberating cognition, based
on the practice of mindful awareness.
The Buddha also departed from earlier yogic thought in
discarding the early Brahminic notion of liberation at death.
While the Upanishads thought liberation
to be a realization at death of a nondual meditative state where the ontological duality between subject and
object was abolished, Buddha's theory of liberation depended upon this duality because liberation to him
was an insight into the subject's experience.
The Pali canon contains three passages in which the Buddha describes pressing the tongue against the
palate for the purposes of controlling hunger or the mind, depending on the passage.
However there is
no mention of the tongue being inserted into the nasopharynx as in true khecarī mudrā. The Buddha used a
posture where pressure is put on the perineum with the heel, similar to even modern postures used to
stimulate Kundalini.
Further information: Samkhya
Samkhya emerged in the first century CE.
When Patanjali systematized the conceptions of yoga, he
set them forth on the background of the metaphysics of samkhya, which he assumed with slight variations.
In the early works, the yoga principles appear together with the samkhya ideas. Vyasa's commentary on
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Traditional Hindu depiction of
Patanjali as an avatar of the divine
serpent Shesha.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Pada (Chapter) English meaning Sutras
Samadhi Pada On being absorbed in spirit 51
Sadhana Pada On being immersed in spirit 55
Vibhuti Pada On supernatural abilities and gifts 56
Kaivalya Pada On absolute freedom 34
the Yoga Sutras, also called the Samkhyapravacanabhasya (Commentary on the Exposition of the
Sankhya Philosophy), brings out the intimate relation between the two systems.
Yoga agrees with the
essential metaphysics of samkhya, but differs from it in that while samkhya holds that knowledge is the
means of liberation, yoga is a system of active striving, mental discipline, and dutiful action. Yoga also
introduces the conception of god. Sometimes Patanjali's system is referred to as Seshvara Samkhya in
contradistinction to Kapila's Nirivara Samkhya.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Main articles: Raja Yoga and Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
In Hindu philosophy, yoga is the name of one of the six orthodox
(which accept the testimony of Vedas) philosophical
founded by Patanjali. Karel Werner, author of
Yoga And Indian Philosophy, believes that the process of
systematization of yoga which began in the middle and Yoga
Upanishads culminated with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
[note 12]
Scholars also note the influence of Buddhist and Samkhyan ideas
on the Yoga Sutras.
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras reminds us of
Buddhist formulations from the Pāli Canon, Sarvāstivāda
Abhidharma and Sautrāntika.
The yoga school accepts the
samkhya psychology and metaphysics, but is more theistic than
the samkhya, as evidenced by the addition of a divine entity to the
samkhya's twenty-five elements of reality.
The parallels
between yoga and samkhya were so close that Max Müller says
that "the two philosophies were in popular parlance distinguished
from each other as Samkhya with and Samkhya without a
The intimate relationship between samkhya and
yoga is explained by Heinrich Zimmer:
These two are regarded in India as twins, the two aspects of
a single discipline. Sāṅkhya provides a basic
theoretical exposition of human nature,
enumerating and defining its elements,
analyzing their manner of co-operation in a
state of bondage ("bandha"), and describing
their state of disentanglement or separation in
release ("mokṣa"), while yoga treats
specifically of the dynamics of the process
for the disentanglement, and outlines
practical techniques for the gaining of
release, or "isolation-integration" ("kaivalya").

Patanjali is widely regarded as the compiler of the formal yoga philosophy.
The verses of Yoga Sutras
are terse and are therefore read together with the Vyasa Bhashya (c. 350–450 CE), a commentary on the
Yoga Sutras.
Patanjali's yoga is known as Raja yoga, which is a system for control of the mind.
Patanjali defines the word "yoga" in his second sutra, which is the definitional sutra for his entire work:
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A sculpture of a Hindu yogi
in the Birla Mandir, Delhi
योग: िच¬-वि¬ Íनरोध:
(yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ)
- Yoga Sutras 1.2
This terse definition hinges on the meaning of three Sanskrit terms. I. K. Taimni translates it as "Yoga is
the inhibition (nirodhaḥ) of the modifications (vṛtti) of the mind (citta)".
The use of the word nirodhaḥ
in the opening definition of yoga is an example of the important role that Buddhist technical terminology
and concepts play in the Yoga Sutras; this role suggests that Patanjali was aware of Buddhist ideas and
wove them into his system.
Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as "Yoga is restraining the mind-
stuff (Citta) from taking various forms (Vrittis)."
Patanjali's writing also became the basis for a system referred to as
"Ashtanga Yoga" ("Eight-Limbed Yoga"). This eight-limbed concept
derived from the 29th Sutra of the 2nd book, and is a core characteristic of
practically every Raja yoga variation taught today. The Eight Limbs are:
1. Yama (The five "abstentions"): Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya
(Truth, non-lying), Asteya (non-covetousness), Brahmacharya (non-
sensuality, celibacy), and Aparigraha (non-possessiveness).
2. Niyama (The five "observances"): Shaucha (purity), Santosha
(contentment), Tapas (austerity), Svadhyaya (study of the Vedic
scriptures to know about God and the soul), and Ishvara-Pranidhana
(surrender to God).
3. Asana: Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to the
seated position used for meditation.
4. Pranayama ("Suspending Breath"): Prāna, breath, "āyāma", to
restrain or stop. Also interpreted as control of the life force.
5. Pratyahara ("Abstraction"): Withdrawal of the sense organs from
external objects.
6. Dharana ("Concentration"): Fixing the attention on a single object.
7. Dhyana ("Meditation"): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
8. Samadhi ("Liberation"): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.
In the view of this school, the highest attainment does not reveal the experienced diversity of the world to
be illusion. The everyday world is real. Furthermore, the highest attainment is the event of one of many
individual selves discovering itself; there is no single universal self shared by all persons.
Yoga Yajnavalkya
Main article: Yoga Yajnavalkya
The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a classical treatise on yoga attributed to the
Vedic sage Yajnavalkya. It takes the form of a dialogue between
Yajnavalkya and his wife Gargi, a renowned female
The text contains 12 chapters and its origin has
been traced to the period between the second century BCE and
fourth century CE.
Many yoga texts like the Hatha Yoga
सयोगो योग इïय+तो
saṁyogo yoga ityukto jīvātma-
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—Yoga Yajnavalkya
Tirthankara Parsva in Yogic
meditation in the Kayotsarga
Pradipika, the Yoga Kundalini and the Yoga Tattva Upanishads
have borrowed verses from or make frequent references to the Yoga
In the Yoga Yajnavalkya, yoga is defined as
jivatmaparamatmasamyogah, or the union between the individual
self (jivatma) and the Divine (paramatma).
According to Tattvarthasutra, 2nd century CE Jain text, yoga is the sum
of all the activities of mind, speech and body.
Umasvati calls yoga the
cause of "asrava" or karmic influx
as well as one of the essentials
—samyak caritra—in the path to liberation.
In his Niyamasara,
Acarya Kundakunda, describes yoga bhakti—devotion to the path to
liberation—as the highest form of devotion.
Acarya Haribhadra and
Acarya Hemacandra mention the five major vows of ascetics and 12
minor vows of laity under yoga. This has led certain Indologists like Prof.
Robert J. Zydenbos to call Jainism, essentially, a system of yogic thinking
that grew into a full-fledged religion.
The five yamas or the
constraints of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali bear a resemblance to the five
major vows of Jainism, indicating a history of strong cross-fertilization
between these traditions.
[131][note 13]
Mainstream Hinduism's influence on Jain yoga is noticed as Haribhadra
founded his eightfold yoga and aligned it with Patanjali's eightfold
Yogacara school
Main article: Yogacara
In the late phase of Indian antiquity, on the eve of the development of
Classical Hinduism, the Yogacara movement arises during the Gupta
period (4th to 5th centuries). Yogacara received the name as it provided a
"yoga," a framework for engaging in the practices that lead to the path of
the bodhisattva.
The yogacara sect teaches "yoga" as a way to reach enlightenment.
Middle Ages
Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Hatha yoga emerged as a dominant
practice of yoga in this period.
Bhakti movement
Main article: Bhakti Yoga
Union of the self (jivātma) with
the Divine (paramātma) is said to
be yoga.
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The Bhakti movement was a development in medieval Hinduism which advocated the concept of a
personal God (or "Supreme Personality of Godhead"). The movement was initiated by the Alvars of South
India in the 6th to 9th centuries, and it started gaining influence throughout India by the 12th to 15th
Shaiva and Vaishnava bhakti traditions integrated aspects of Yoga Sutras, such as the
practical meditative exercises, with devotion.
Bhagavata Purana elucidates the practice of a form of
yoga called viraha (separation) bhakti. Viraha bhakti emphasizes one pointed concentration on
By the turn of the first millennium, hatha yoga emerged from tantra.
Tantrism is a practice that is supposed to alter the relation of its practitioners to the ordinary social,
religious, and logical reality in which they live. Through Tantric practice, an individual perceives reality as
maya, illusion, and the individual achieves liberation from it.
Both Tantra and yoga offer paths that
relieve a person from depending on the world. Where yoga relies on progressive restriction of inputs from
outside; Tantra relies on transmutation of all external inputs so that one is no longer dependent on them,
but can take them or leave them at will. They both make a person independent.
This particular path to
salvation among the several offered by Hinduism, links Tantrism to those practices of Indian religions,
such as yoga, meditation, and social renunciation, which are based on temporary or permanent withdrawal
from social relationships and modes.
During tantric practices and studies, the student is instructed further in meditation technique, particularly
chakra meditation. This is often in a limited form in comparison with the way this kind of meditation is
known and used by Tantric practitioners and yogis elsewhere, but is more elaborate than the initiate's
previous meditation. It is considered to be a kind of Kundalini yoga for the purpose of moving the
Goddess into the chakra located in the "heart", for meditation and worship.
Main article: Vajrayana
While breath channels (nāḍis) of yogic practices had already been discussed in the classical Upanishads, it
was not until the eighth-century Buddhist Hevajra Tantra and Caryāgiti, that hierarchies of chakras were
Hatha Yoga
Main articles: Hatha yoga and Hatha Yoga Pradipika
The basic tenets of Hatha yoga were formulated by Shaiva ascetics Matsyendranath and Gorakshanath c.
900 CE. Hatha yoga synthesizes elements of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras with posture and breathing
Hatha yoga, sometimes referred to as the "psychophysical yoga",
was further
elaborated by Yogi Swatmarama, compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika in 15th century CE. This yoga
differs substantially from the Raja yoga of Patanjali in that it focuses on shatkarma, the purification of the
physical body as leading to the purification of the mind (ha), and prana, or vital energy (tha).
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An early illustration of Indians
performing Yoga Asana in 1688
Compared to the seated asana, or sitting meditation posture, of Patanjali's Raja yoga,
it marks the
development of asanas (plural) into the full body 'postures' now in popular usage
and, along with its
many modern variations, is the style that many people associate with the word yoga today.
It is similar to a diving board – preparing the body for purification, so that it may be ready to receive higher
techniques of meditation. The word "Hatha" comes from "Ha" which means Sun, and "Tha" which means
Various yogic groups had become prominent in Punjab in the 15th and 16th century, when Sikhism was in
its nascent stage. Compositions of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, describe many dialogues he had
with Jogis, a Hindu community which practiced yoga.
Guru Nanak rejected the austerities, rites and
rituals connected with Hatha Yoga.
He propounded the path of Sahaja yoga or Nama yoga
(meditation on the name) instead.
The Guru Granth Sahib states:
Listen "O Yogi, Nanak tells nothing but the truth. You must discipline your mind. The
devotee must meditate on the Word Divine. It is His grace which brings about the union. He
understands, he also sees. Good deeds help one merge into Divination."

Modern history
Reception in the West
Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the
mid 19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy. As
part of this budding interest N. C. Paul published his Treatise on
Yoga Philosophy in 1851. The first Hindu teacher to actively
advocate and disseminate aspects of yoga to a western audience
was Swami Vivekananda, who toured Europe and the United
States in the 1890s.
The reception which Swami
Vivekananda received is inconceivable without the active interest
of intellectuals, in particular the New England Transcendentalists,
among them R. W. Emerson, who drew on German Romanticism
and the interest of philosophers and scholars like G. F. W. Hegel, the Schlegel brothers, Max Mueller, A.
Schopenhauer and others who found Vedanta in agreement with their own ideas and a cherished source of
religious-philosophical inspiration.
Theosophists also had a large influence on the American public's view of Yoga.
Esoteric views
current at the end of the 19th century were a further basis for the reception of Vedanta and of Yoga with its
theory and practice of correspondence between the spiritual and the physical.
The reception of Yoga
and of Vedanta are thus entwined with each other and with the (mostly Neo-platonically based) currents of
religious and philosophical reform and transformation throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. M.
Eliade, who was rooted in the Romanian currents of these traditions brought a new element into the
reception of Yoga by the strong emphasis on Tantric Yoga in his seminal book: Yoga: Immortality and
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A western style Hatha yoga class.
[note 14]
By introducing the Tantra traditions and philosophy of Yoga the conception of the
"transcendent" to be attained by Yogic practice shifted from experiencing the "transcendent" ("Atman-
Brahman" in Advaitic theory) in the mind to the body itself.
In the West, the term "yoga" is today typically associated with Hatha yoga and its asanas (postures) or as a
form of exercise.
In the 1910s and the 1920s Yoga suffered a period of bad public will largely as a
result of backlash against immigration, a rise in puritanical values, and a number of scandals. In the 1930s
and 1940s it began to gain more public acceptance as a result of celebrity endorsement. In the 1950s there
was another period of paranoia against yoga,
but by the 1960s, western interest in Hindu spirituality
reached its peak, giving rise to a great number of Neo-Hindu schools specifically advocated to a western
public. During this period, most of the influential Indian teachers of yoga came from two lineages:
Sivananda Saraswati (1887–1963) and Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888–1989).
Among the teachers
of Hatha yoga who were active in the west in this period were B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, and
Swami Vishnu-devananda, and Swami Satchidananda.
Kundalini Yoga was brought to the
United States by Yogi Bhajan in 1969.
A second "yoga boom" followed in the 1980s, as Dean Ornish, a follower of Swami Satchidananda,
connected yoga to heart health, legitimizing yoga as a purely physical system of health exercises outside of
counter culture or esotericism circles, and unconnected to a religious denomination.
Numerous asanas
seemed modern in origin, and strongly overlapped 19th and early 20th century Western exercise
Since 2001, the popularity of yoga in the USA has been on the constant rise. The number of people who
practiced some form of yoga has grown from 4 million (in 2001) to 20 million (in 2011).
In 2013, for the White House,

Yoga has become a universal language of spiritual
exercise in the United States, crossing many lines
of religion and cultures,... Every day, millions of
people practice yoga to improve their health and
overall well-being. That's why we're encouraging
everyone to take part in PALA (Presidential
Active Lifestyle Award), so show your support for
yoga and answer the challenge.

At this time some schools in America are against its practice inside
educational facilities, saying it promotes Hinduism in violation of the Establishment Clause.
The American College of Sports Medicine supports the integration of Yoga into the exercise regimens of
healthy individuals as long instruction is given by properly trained professionals, citing its promotion of
"profound mental, physical and spiritual awareness" and its benefits as a form of stretching, and as an
enhancer of breathe control and core strength.
Main article: Yoga as exercise or alternative medicine
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Potential benefits for adults
Long-term yoga practitioners in the United States have reported musculoskeletal and mental health
improvements, as well as reduced symptoms of asthma in asthmatics.
Regular yoga practice increases
brain GABA levels and has been shown to improve mood and anxiety more than some other metabolically
matched exercises, such as walking.
The three main focuses of Hatha yoga (exercise, breathing,
and meditation) make it beneficial to those suffering from heart disease. Overall, studies of the effects of
yoga on heart disease suggest that yoga may reduce high blood pressure, improve symptoms of heart
failure, enhance cardiac rehabilitation, and lower cardiovascular risk factors.
For chronic low back
pain, specialist Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs has been found 30% more beneficial than usual care alone
in a UK clinical trial.
Other smaller studies support this finding.
The Yoga for Healthy Lower
Backs programme is the dominant treatment for society (both cheaper and more effective than usual care
alone) due to 8.5 fewer days off work each year.
A research group from Boston University School of
Medicine also tested yoga’s effects on lower back pain. Over twelve weeks, one group of volunteers
practiced yoga while the control group continued with standard treatment for back pain. The reported pain
for yoga participants decreased by one third, while the standard treatment group had only a five percent
drop. Yoga participants also had a drop of 80% in pain medication use.
There has been an emergence of studies investigating yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer
patients. Yoga is used for treatment of cancer patients to decrease depression, insomnia, pain, and fatigue
and increase anxiety control.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs include yoga as
a mind-body technique to reduce stress. A study found that after seven weeks the group treated with yoga
reported significantly less mood disturbance and reduced stress compared to the control group. Another
study found that MBSR had showed positive effects on sleep anxiety, quality of life, and spiritual growth
in cancer patients.
Yoga has also been studied as a treatment for schizophrenia. Some encouraging, but inconclusive,
evidence suggests that yoga as a complementary treatment may help alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia
and improve health-related quality of life.
Implementation of the Kundalini Yoga Lifestyle has shown to help substance abuse addicts increase their
quality of life according to psychological questionnaires like the Behavior and Symptom Identification
Scale and the Quality of Recovery Index.
Yoga has been shown in a study to have some cognitive functioning (executive functioning, including
inhibitory control) acute benefit.
Physical injuries
Main article: Sports injury
Since a small percentage of yoga practitioners each year suffer physical injuries analogous to sports
caution and common sense are recommended.
Yoga has been criticized for being
potentially dangerous and being a cause for a range of serious medical conditions including thoracic outlet
syndrome, degenerative arthritis of the cervical spine, spinal stenosis, retinal tears, damage to the common
fibular nerve, so called "Yoga foot drop,"
etc. An exposé of these problems by William Broad
published in January, 2012 in The New York Times Magazine
resulted in controversy within the
international yoga community. Broad, a science writer, yoga practitioner, and author of The Science of
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Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards,
had suffered a back injury while performing a yoga posture.
Torn muscles, knee injuries,
and headaches are common ailments which may result from yoga
An extensive survey of yoga practitioners in Australia showed that about 20% had suffered some physical
injury while practicing yoga. In the previous 12 months 4.6% of the respondents had suffered an injury
producing prolonged pain or requiring medical treatment. Headstands, shoulder stands, lotus and half lotus
(seated cross-legged position), forward bends, backward bends, and handstands produced the greatest
number of injuries.
Some yoga practitioners do not recommend certain yoga exercises for women during menstruation, for
pregnant women, or for nursing mothers. However, meditation, breathing exercises, and certain postures
which are safe and beneficial for women in these categories are encouraged.
Among the main reasons that experts cite for causing negative effects from yoga are beginners'
competitiveness and instructors' lack of qualification. As the demand for yoga classes grows, many people
get certified to become yoga instructors, often with relatively little training. Not every newly certified
instructor can evaluate the condition of every new trainee in their class and recommend refraining from
doing certain poses or using appropriate props to avoid injuries. In turn, a beginning yoga student can
overestimate the abilities of their body and strive to do advanced poses before their body is flexible or
strong enough to perform them.
Vertebral artery dissection, a tear in the arteries in the neck which provide blood to the brain can result
from rotation of the neck while the neck is extended. This can occur in a variety of contexts, for example,
in a beauty shop while your hair is being rinsed, but is an event which could occur in some yoga practices.
This is a very serious condition which can result in a stroke.
Acetabular labral tears, damage to the structure joining the femur and the hip, have been reported to have
resulted from yoga practice.
Yoga can be an excellent training for children and adolescents, both as a form of physical exercise and for
breathing, focus, mindfulness, and stress relief.
Many school districts have considered incorporating yoga into their P.E. programs. The Encinitas,
California school district gained a San Diego Superior Court Judge's approval to use yoga in P.E., holding
against the parents who claimed the practice was intrinsically religious and hence should not be part of a
state funded program.
Yoga compared with other systems of meditation
Zen Buddhism
Zen (the name of which derives from the Sanskrit "dhyaana" via the Chinese "ch'an"
[note 15]
is a form of
Mahayana Buddhism. The Mahayana school of Buddhism is noted for its proximity with yoga.
In the
west, Zen is often set alongside yoga; the two schools of meditation display obvious family
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This phenomenon merits special attention since yogic practices have some of their roots
in the Zen Buddhist school.
[note 16]
Certain essential elements of yoga are important both for Buddhism in
general and for Zen in particular.
Tibetan Buddhism
In the Nyingma tradition, the path of meditation practice is divided into nine yanas, or vehicles, which are
said to be increasingly profound.
The last six are described as "yoga yanas": "Kriya yoga," "Upa
yoga," "Yoga yana," "Mahā yoga," "Anu yoga" and the ultimate practice, "Ati yoga."
The Sarma
traditions also include Kriya, Upa (called "Charya"), and Yoga, with the Anuttara yoga class substituting
for Mahayoga and Atiyoga.
Other tantra yoga practices include a system of 108 bodily postures practiced with breath and heart rhythm.
The Nyingma tradition also practices Yantra yoga (Tib. "Trul khor"), a discipline that includes breath
work (or pranayama), meditative contemplation and precise dynamic movements to centre the
The body postures of Tibetan ancient yogis are depicted on the walls of the Dalai Lama's
summer temple of Lukhang. A semi-popular account of Tibetan yoga by Chang (1993) refers to caṇḍalī
(Tib. "tummo"), the generation of heat in one's own body, as being "the very foundation of the whole of
Tibetan yoga."
Chang also claims that Tibetan yoga involves reconciliation of apparent polarities,
such as prana and mind, relating this to theoretical implications of tantrism.
Christian meditation
Main articles: Christian meditation, A Christian reflection on the New Age, and Aspects of Christian
Some Christians integrate yoga and other aspects of Eastern spirituality with prayer and meditation. This
has been attributed to a desire to experience God in a more complete way.
The Roman Catholic
Church, and some other Christian organizations have expressed concerns and disapproval with respect to
some eastern and New Age practices that include yoga and meditation.
In 1989 and 2003, the Vatican issued two documents: Aspects of Christian meditation and "A Christian
reflection on the New Age," that were mostly critical of eastern and New Age practices. The 2003
document was published as a 90 page handbook detailing the Vatican's position.
The Vatican warned
that concentration on the physical aspects of meditation "can degenerate into a cult of the body" and that
equating bodily states with mysticism "could also lead to psychic disturbance and, at times, to moral
deviations." Such has been compared to the early days of Christianity, when the church opposed the
gnostics' belief that salvation came not through faith but through a mystical inner knowledge.
letter also says, "one can see if and how [prayer] might be enriched by meditation methods developed in
other religions and cultures"
but maintains the idea that "there must be some fit between the nature of
[other approaches to] prayer and Christian beliefs about ultimate reality."
Some fundamentalist
Christian organizations consider yoga to be incompatible with their religious background, considering it a
part of the New Age movement inconsistent with Christianity.
Another view holds that Christian meditation can lead to religious pluralism. This is held by an
interdenominational association of Christians that practice it. "The ritual simultaneously operates as an
anchor that maintains, enhances, and promotes denominational activity and a sail that allows institutional
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boundaries to be crossed."
The development of Sufism was considerably influenced by Indian yogic practises, where they adapted
both physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama).
The ancient Indian yogic text
Amritakunda ("Pool of Nectar)" was translated into Arabic and Persian as early as the 11th century.
Several other yogic texts were appropriated by Sufi tradition, but typically the texts juxtapose yoga
materials alongside Sufi practices without any real attempt at integration or synthesis. Yoga became known
to Indian Sufis gradually over time, but engagement with yoga is not found at the historical beginnings of
the tradition.
Yoga is a growing industry in Islamic countries (Two Bikram Yoga studios in Iran). Also, yoga is used in
developing countries like Palestine to help the population manage stress. This article is a comparative study
of yoga and Islam, showing their similarities.
Malaysia's top Islamic body in 2008 passed a fatwa, which is legally non-binding, against Muslims
practicing yoga, saying it had elements of "Hindu spiritual teachings" and that its practice was blasphemy
and is therefore haraam. Muslim yoga teachers in Malaysia criticized the decision as "insulting."
Sisters in Islam, a women's rights group in Malaysia, also expressed disappointment and said that its
members would continue with their yoga classes.
The fatwa states that yoga practiced only as physical exercise is permissible, but prohibits the chanting of
religious mantras,
and states that teachings such as the uniting of a human with God is not consistent
with Islamic philosophy.
In a similar vein, the Council of Ulemas, an Islamic body in Indonesia,
passed a fatwa banning yoga on the grounds that it contains "Hindu elements"
These fatwas have, in
turn, been criticized by Darul Uloom Deoband, a Deobandi Islamic seminary in India.
In May 2009, Turkey's head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Ali Bardakoğlu, discounted personal
development techniques such as yoga as commercial ventures that could lead to extremism. His comments
were made in the context of yoga possibly competing with and eroding participation in Islamic
See also
List of asanas
List of yoga schools
Yoga series
1. ^ Jacobsen writes, "Yoga has five principal meanings:
yoga as a disciplined method for attaining a goal
yoga as techniques of controlling the body and the mind
yoga as a name of one of the schools or systems of philosophy (darśana)
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yoga as a name of one of the schools or systems of philosophy (darśana)
yoga in connection with other words, such as "hatha-, mantra-, and laya-," referring to traditions
specialising in particular techniques of yoga
yoga as the goal of yoga practice."
Monier-Williams includes "it is the second of the two Sāṃkhya systems," and "abstraction practised as a system
(as taught by Patañjali and called the Yoga philosophy)" in his definitions of "yoga."
2. ^ See:
Jonathan Mark Kenoyer describes one figure as "seated in yogic position."
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
Heinrich Zimmer describes one seal as "seated like a yogi."
Thomas McEvilley writes that "The six mysterious Indus Valley seal images...all without exception
show figures in a position known in hatha yoga as mulabhandasana or possibly the closely related
"utkatasana" or "baddha konasana...."
Dr. Farzand Masih, Punjab University Archaeology Department Chairman, describes a recently
discovered seal as depicting a "yogi."
Gavin Flood disputes the idea regarding one of the seals, the so-called "Pashupati seal," writing that it
isn't clear the figure is seated in a yoga posture, or that the shape is intended to represent a human
Geoffrey Samuel, regarding the Pashupati seal, believes that we "do not actually "know" how to
interpret the figure, nor do we know what he or she represent."
3. ^ See:
Jacobsen writes that "Bodily postures are closely related to the tradition of tapas, ascetic practices in the
Vedic tradition. The use by Vedic priests of ascetic practices in their preparations for the performance of
the sacrifice might be precursor to Yoga."
Whicher believes that "the proto-Yoga of the Vedic rishis is an early form of sacrificial mysticism and
contains many elements characteristic of later Yoga that include: concentration, meditative observation,
ascetic forms of practice (tapas), breath control..."
4. ^ See:
Wynne states that "The Nasadiyasukta, one of the earliest and most important cosmogonic tracts in the
early Brahminic literature, contains evidence suggesting it was closely related to a tradition of early
Brahminic contemplation. A close reading of this text suggests that it was closely related to a tradition
of early Brahminic contemplation. The poem may have been composed by contemplatives, but even if
not, an argument can be made that it marks the beginning of the contemplative/meditative trend in
Indian thought."
Miller suggests that the composition of Nasadiya Sukta and Purusha Sukta arises from "the subtlest
meditative stage, called absorption in mind and heart" which "involves enheightened experiences"
through which seer "explores the mysterious psychic and cosmic forces...".
Jacobsen writes that dhyana (meditation) is derived from Vedic term dhih which refers to "visionary
insight", "thought provoking vision".
5. ^ Flood: "...which states that, having become calm and concentrated, one perceives the self (atman), within
6. ^ For the date of this Upanishad see also Helmuth von Glasenapp, from the 1950 Proceedings of the
"Akademie der Wissenschaften und Literatur"
7. ^ Flood writes, "...Bhagavad Gita, including a complete chapter (ch. 6) devoted to traditional yoga practice.
The Gita also introduces the famous three kinds of yoga, 'knowledge' (jnana), 'action' (karma), and 'love'
8. ^ Karma yoga involves performance of action without attachment to results.
9. ^ The yoga of devotion is similar to the yoga of action, but the fruits of action, in yoga of devotion, are
surrendered to Krishna.
10. ^ Jnana yoga is the path of wisdom, knowledge, and direct experience of Brahman as the ultimate reality. The
path renounces both desires and actions, and is therefore depicted as being steep and very difficult in the
Bhagavad Gita.
11. ^ On the dates of the Pali canon, Gregory Schopen writes, "We know, and have known for some time, that the
Pali canon as we have it — and it is generally conceded to be our oldest source — cannot be taken back further
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Pali canon as we have it — and it is generally conceded to be our oldest source — cannot be taken back further
than the last quarter of the first century BCE, the date of the Alu-vihara redaction, the earliest redaction we can
have some knowledge of, and that — for a critical history — it can serve, at the very most, only as a source for
the Buddhism of this period. But we also know that even this is problematic... In fact, it is not until the time of
the commentaries of Buddhaghosa, Dhammapala, and others — that is to say, the fifth to sixth centuries CE —
that we can know anything definite about the actual contents of [the Pali] canon."
12. ^ Werner writes, "The word Yoga appears here for the first time in its fully technical meaning, namely as a
systematic training, and it already received a more or less clear formulation in some other middle
Upanishads....Further process of the systematization of Yoga as a path to the ultimate mystic goal is obvious in
subsequent Yoga Upanishads and the culmination of this endeavour is represented by Patanjali's codification of
this path into a system of the eightfold Yoga."
13. ^ Worthington writes, "Yoga fully acknowledges its debt to Jainism, and Jainism reciprocates by making the
practice of yoga part and parcel of life."
14. ^ Eliade, Mircea, Yoga - Immortality and Freedom, Princeton, 1958: Princeton Univ.Pr. (original title: Le
Yoga. Immortalité et Liberté, Paris, 1954: Libr. Payot)
15. ^ "The Meditation school, called 'Ch'an' in Chinese from the Sanskrit 'dhyāna,' is best known in the West by
the Japanese pronunciation 'Zen' "
16. ^ Exact quote: "This phenomenon merits special attention since yogic roots are to be found in the Zen Buddhist
school of meditation."
1. ^

Bryant 2009, p. 10.
2. ^

Bryant 2009, p. 457.
3. ^ Bryant 2009, p. xvii.
4. ^ See Abhidhamma Section 365.4:
5. ^ Denise Lardner Carmody, John Carmody, Serene Compassion. Oxford University Press US, 1996, page 68.
6. ^

Stuart Ray Sarbacker, Samādhi: The Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga. SUNY Press, 2005,
pp. 1–2.
7. ^

Tattvarthasutra [6.1], see Manu Doshi (2007) Translation of Tattvarthasutra, Ahmedabad: Shrut Ratnakar
p. 102
8. ^ Changing World Religions, Cults & Occult by Jerry Stokes (
9. ^ Feuerstein, Georg (2001). The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice. Arizona,
USA: Hohm Press. p. Kindle Locations 7299–7300. ISBN 978-1890772185.
10. ^ Aranya, Swami Hariharananda (2000). "Introduction". Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati. Calcutta,
India: University of Calcutta. p. xxiv. ISBN 81-87594-00-4.
11. ^ Whicher, pp. 38–39.
12. ^

James Mallinson, "Sāktism and Hathayoga," 28 June 2012. <URL>
( [accessed 19 September 2013] pg.1 "Scholarship on
hathayoga, my own included, unanimously declares it to be a reformation of tantric yoga introduced by the
gurus of the Nath sampradaya, in particular their supposed founder, Goraksa."
13. ^

Burley, Mikel (2000). Hatha Yoga: Its Context, Theory and Practice. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 16.
"It is for this reason that hatha-yoga is sometimes referred to as a variety of 'Tantrism'."
14. ^ Davidson, Ronald. Indian Esoteric Buddhism. Columbia University Press. 2002, pg.169-235.
15. ^ Lama Yeshe. The Bliss of Inner Fire. Wisdom Publications. 1998, pg.135-141.
16. ^ Norbu, Namkhai. Yantra Yoga. Snow Lion Publications. 2008, pg.1.
17. ^ Smith, Kelly B.; Caroline F. Pukall (May 2009). "An evidence-based review of yoga as a complementary
intervention for patients with cancer". Psycho-Oncology 18 (5): 465–475. doi:10.1002/pon.1411
18. ^

Vancampfort, D.; Vansteeland, K.; Scheewe, T.; Probst, M.; Knapen, J.; De Herdt, A.; De Hert, M. (July
2012). "Yoga in schizophrenia: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials". Acta Psychiatrica
Scandinavica 126 (1): 12–20., 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2012.01865.x
10/9/13 Yoga - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 20/27
Scandinavica 126 (1): 12–20., 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2012.01865.x
19. ^ Sharma, Manoj; Taj Haider (Oct 2012). "Yoga as an Alternative and Complementary Treatment for Asthma:
A Systematic Review". Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 17 (3): 212–217.
doi:10.1177/2156587212453727 (
20. ^ Innes, Kim E.; Cheryl Bourguignon (November–December 2005). "Risk Indices Associated with the Insulin
Resistance Syndrome, Cardiovascular Disease, and Possible Protection with Yoga: A Systematic Review".
Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 18 (6): 491–519. doi:10.3122 (
21. ^

Birdee, Gurjeet S. et al. "Characteristics of Yoga Users: Results of a National Survey." Journal of General
Internal Medicine. Oct 2008, Volume 23 Issue 10. p1653-1658
22. ^ Whicher, p. 6–7.
23. ^


Jacobsen, p. 4.
24. ^ Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1971 edition, Volume
II, pp. 19–20.
25. ^ Dasgupta, Surendranath (1975). A History of Indian Philosophy 1. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 226.
ISBN 81-208-0412-0.
26. ^ Bryant 2009, p. 5.
27. ^ Bryant 2009, p. xxxix.
28. ^ Aranya, Swami Hariharananda (2000). Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati. Calcutta, India:
University of Calcutta. p. 1. ISBN 81-87594-00-4.
29. ^ Dasgupta, Surendranath (1975). A History of Indian Philosophy 1. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 227.
ISBN 81-208-0412-0.
30. ^ American Heritage Dictionary: "Yogi, One who practices yoga." Websters: "Yogi, A follower of the yoga
philosophy; an ascetic."
31. ^ Larson, p. 142.
32. ^

Jacobsen, p. 9.
33. ^ Patanjali, Yoga Sutra III, 55, ed.: Miller, Barbara Stoler (transl., intr.), Yoga - Discipline of Freedom. The
Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali, New York, 1998: Bantam Books, p. 73
34. ^ Dupler, Douglas; Frey, Rebecca. Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine
(, 3rd ed (2006). Retrieved 30 August 2012.
35. ^ Possehl (2003), pp. 144–145
36. ^ Chanda, Ramaprasad (August 1932). "Mohen-jo-Daro: Sindh 5000 Years Ago". Modern Review.
37. ^ ""Around the Indus in 90 Slides" by Jonathan Mark Kenoyer" ( Retrieved 2012-11-28.
38. ^ Werner, p. 103.
39. ^ Zimmer, p. 168.
40. ^ McEvilley, pp. 219-220
41. ^ "Rare objects discovery points to ruins treasure"
( 2007-05-
08. Retrieved 2012-11-28.
42. ^ Flood, pp. 28–29.
43. ^ Samuel, p. 4.
44. ^ P. 79 Calcutta Review By University of Calcutta
45. ^ P. 33 The Concept of Rudra-Śiva Through the Ages By Mahadev Chakravarti
46. ^ P. 104 The Birth of Kumāra By Kālidāsa
47. ^ P. 14 The Megha-Dūta of Kālidāsa By Kālidāsa
48. ^ P. 16 The Book of Hindu Imagery: Gods, Manifestations and Their Meaning By Eva Rudy Jansen
49. ^ P. 89 The Concept of Rudra-Śiva Through the Ages By Mahadev Chakravarti
50. ^ P. 461 The Cave Temples of India By James Burgess
51. ^



Jacobsen, p. 6.
52. ^ Whicher, p. 12.
53. ^


Flood, p. 94–95.
54. ^ Whicher, p. 13.
55. ^ Wynne, p. 50.
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58. ^ P. 51 The Complete Idiot's Guide to Yoga By Joan Budilovsky, Eve Adamson
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91. ^ Larson, p. 36.
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102. ^ Mallinson, James. 2007. The Khecarīvidyā of Adinathā. London: Routledge. pg.17-19.
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112. ^ Karel Werner, The Yogi and the Mystic. Routledge 1994, page 27. "Patanjali's system is unthinkable without
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