Few Words About Yoga Philosophy

We are all living in a time where speed is the main characteristic of all of our actions, thoughts, reactions, and of the society we live in general. We all tend to be so focused on the outside that most of us almost never find the time and courage to return to the inner self and question our individual reason for being. Within a society in continuous change, with people always running for the mirage of the outside world, yoga is trying to bring the human to himself and to draw the attention from the outside world to the more complex but also more rewarding inside world. The individuals who perform regular yoga practice and know the means and techniques of taking the journey within themselves are the ones who master in the century we live in an Art of living that might be more precious than all the attractions that the outside world can offer.

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From a strictly Hindu oriented perspective, Yoga is one of the six major schools of Hinduism, while the Yoga Sutras of Pantajali represent the main text to study and refer to for any student within the Yoga school. While in some aspects similar to other Hindu philosophical schools, the philosophy of yoga is different in the emphasis it puts on the importance of discipline of practice and of techniques used in the process of achieving moksha - breaking the rebirth circle imposed by karma and being freed as a spirit from the human incarnation and reincarnation.

While the philosophy and the roots of yoga are to be found in the Hindu religion and tradition, nowadays many currents and nearby schools of thought inspired by yoga, are creating and spreading a more inclusive and universally valid sense of this philosophy. This new perspective is the one staying on the basis of the Art of living of the modern man, and despite the fact that it keeps almost untouched the discipline of asana practice and meditation, the ultimate goal tends to become a more complex one and it is less rooted in Hinduism and more related to the more widely spread religion-free spirituality of the 21st century.

The philosophy of yoga, as most of other types of Oriental philosophies, has been discovered on a large scale by the West in the late 60’s and in the 70’s when some of the most important gurus like Kundalini and afterward Osho are moving in the Occident to teach and spread yoga.

While the ultimate goal of Yoga philosophy in a strictly Hindu sense is the reaching of moksha, the interpretation and spreading of yoga in the Occident have generated a series of mutation in both the reasons and goals of practicing the pranayama, asana and meditation. The modern man lost in such a high degree the connection with himself, the surrounding nature and the universe, that until reaching again to the aspiration of moksha, needs to use the philosophy and practice of yoga as an Art of living meant to teach him to calm his mind, distinguish the real from the unreal, and give him a tool to make a first step towards returning home, wherever that is.

Written on September 23, 2017