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Home   »  Yoga And Meditation

yoga and meditation india

Ritco ToursYoga is a complete science of life that originated in India thousands of years ago. The Sanskrit meaning of Yoga is union which can be extended to imply union with God or Atman. Or in other words, it is the union between a person's own consciousness and the universal consciousness. Yoga encompasses the entire body, mind and spirit. The classical techniques of Yoga date back more than 5,000 years.

The ancient Indian scriptures perceived the physical body as a vehicle with the mind as driver and the soul as man's true identity. The physical body perishes in due course of time, the materialistic pleasures of the world are momentary but the human soul is permanent, it never dies. Yoga aims at integration with the soul which is the ultimate reality.

Four Different Ways of Yoga
The scriptures say that the goal envisaged by Yoga can be reached through four different ways - Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga. All the different forms have their own advantages and characteristics. Bhakti Yoga is the path of devotion and prayers. Yogis who practice Bhakti Yoga see the Divine in everyone and everything they encounter. Raja Yoga is the path focussing on meditation and contemplation. It is based on the eight limbs of Yoga which was discussed in the Yoga Sutra. Jnana Yoga is the path dealing with wisdom and knowledge. It emphasizes on reaching the goal through spiritual knowledge. Karma Yoga believes that 'work is worship' and that past actions influence future course of action. Therefore, good deeds only can bestow happiness on human beings.

The Most Popular Form of Yoga & Meditation
Ritco ToursThe aspect of Yoga that is most popular in present times and understood by the layman is "Hatha Yoga" or the Yoga of Postures. It is through Hatha Yoga that practitioners try to keep their mind and body fit and keep diseases at bay. And meditation forms an integral part of these practices. There are many different Yogic postures - some that can be easily done while some are difficult. All the Hatha yoga postures target different parts of the body. Hatha Yoga lays special emphasis on breathing techniques as breath is believed to maintain a good balance between mind and body. The breathing techniques are based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the body. Yoga students gently increase their breath control to improve the health and the function of both body and mind.

It is here that Meditation also needs mention. Meditation usually refers to a state of extreme relaxation and concentration, in which the body is generally at rest and the mind quieted of surface thoughts. Just as Hatha Yogas aim at physical health, meditation in common parlance aims at mental health. Meditation is said to help in concentration of the mind and channelising the thought process towards positive things. Meditation also negates negative thoughts and bitter memories that gets accumulated in the sub conscious mind over the years due to past experiences. Continuous meditation takes the mind deeper into the self and helps in self realization. Conclusively, it can be said the ultimate aim of Yoga and meditation is realization of the atman or self realization.

yoga teaching centres

Ritco ToursThere is a common saying that every Indian household is a school for imparting cultural knowledge. The older generations disseminate information on ancient Indian culture and tradition to the upcoming generations. Although under the impact of modern trends, the link was affected, there is again a spiritual revival in the country with a number of institutes all over the country teaching the ancient arts of yoga and meditation. Though it is not possible to list all of them as they shall number in thousands, the prominent institutes of Yoga and Meditation are mentioned below.

Vivekananda Kendra
Initiated in the year 1972 to spread the ideals of Swami Vivekananda, the Vivekananda Kendra has presently 170 branch centres spread over 18 states of India and dedicated to teaching yoga, meditation and a host of other activities.Art Of Living Foundation: The AOL Foundation with activities in 142 countries and headquartered in Bangalore conducts sessions on yoga and meditation under the guidance of his holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. B.K Iyengar Yoga Institute: The Iyengar Yoga Institute headed by octogenarian B.K Iyengar is renowned the world over due to unique yogic practices taught by B.K Iyengar. The institute is based in Pune and attracts students from different parts of the world.

Bihar School Of Yoga
Founded by Paramhamsa Sivananda, The Bihar School Of Yoga is located in Munger of Bihar and offers both long term and short term specialised courses on yogic sadhana, yogic health management and yogic stress management.

Divya Yoga Trust
Ritco ToursOf the many institutes dedicated to Yogasanas in Haridwar, the Divya Yoga Trust headed by Acharya Ramdev Ji Maharaj is gaining popularity all over India . The Trust conducts Yoga camps in different parts of India which are personally supervised by Ramdev Ji Maharaj.

The Ramakrishna Mission
Founded in 1897 by Swami Vivekananda to propagate the teachings of Ramakrishna Paramhansa, the mission with branches in different parts of the country also conducts yoga and meditation classes.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
The person who gifted transcendental meditation technique to the world, the Foundation run by Maharishi teaches the unique form of meditation through branches spread all over India. It is worth mentionable that apart from the institutions mentioned above, there are also many institutions at local levels dedicated to teaching yoga and meditation.

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