What is yog or yoga?


Yoga definition: The word “yog” or “yoga” has been derived from ancient Indian language Sanskrit’s word “Yuj”, which stands for “To Join”. In the language Hindi, the word “Yog” stands for “Total”. The Sanskrit word “Yuj” means “to join”, which suggests that the final aim of Yog or yoga is to join the personal soul to the universal. Different schools suggest different paths to achieve that aim; but whatever school we choose, the destination remains the same just as different rivers flowing through different paths have the same aim -- finally blending into the same destination -- the ocean. 
Letmesay.in image showing a person doing yoga

We can classify the different schools/types of yoga as mentioned below:

Karma Yoga:

Based on the teachings of the Hindus’ Holy book “Bhagavad Gita”, Karma Yoga is the selfless devotion of all inner as well as the outer activities to the Almighty or God. This form of yoga encourages an individual to perform all of his/her worldly duties while staying aloof being detached with the fruits. By detaching from the fruits of his/her actions and offering them up to the Almighty, an individual can learn to sublimate the ego. Repeating a mantra while remaining engaged in various day to day activities helps the individual remain focused on the ultimate goal – merging self into universe/divine.

Gyaan Yog:

Gyaan Yoga leads the yoga seeker or individual to salvation through intellectual power to realize the inner being or self and liberate from the various bondages of ignorance to reach the destination where ultimate truth alone survives.


Bhakti Yog:

Bhakti (devotion) Yog appears to be a different school of thought, but it also serves as a means to achieve the same – to meet and merge into the universe/divine. While Gyan Yog leads an individual to merge into the divine through intellectual methods; Bhakti Yog is open even for those who are not intellectuals. Indian devotees like Meera, Guru Nanak and illiterate Kabir attained this consciousness and merged into divine through Bhakti Yog.


Hatha Yoga:


Hatha Yoga, one of the most widely practiced types of yoga in the world, emphasizes on proper alignment of the body and mind to bring perfect balance, strength as well as a sense of well-being to the practitioner. It includes use of asana (Postures), Pranayama, mudras and bandhas (psycho-physiological energy release techniques). There is a mistaken belief that Hath Yog is all about doing tough postures with excessive outlook. In the western world, some people even mistaken Hath Yog as Hot Yoga. They perform tough postures/exercises in closed rooms under high temperature. That is why this is called hot yoga. But, let me say this is just a misconception because Hath Yog is traditionally based on science of swaras -- the energy flow in left and right nostrils [ida and pingala or surya (Sun) and Chandra (Moon)]. In short, we can say fine tuning of the human body and the mind at increasingly subtle levels paves way for higher states of awareness and meditation, eventually leading to merging of the individual into divine.  


Raj Yoga:
Prescribed by the great Maharishi Patanjali, Raj Yoga is an eight-fold yoga that introduces and educates the yoga seeker with behavioral, intellectual, mental, physical, social, philosophical as well as spiritual aspects of yoga. These eight folds are: YAAM (self restrains), NIYAAM (self observances), AASAN (yoga poses for control over body, such as Warrior Pose, Hastapadasana or Standing Forward Bend Pose, Butterfly Pose or Badhakonasana, Fish Pose or Matsyasana, Wind-Relieving Pose or Pawanmuktasana, Shavasan or Corpse pose), PRANAYAAM (control over breath), PRATYAHAAR (control over senses), DHARANA (concentration), DHYAAN (meditation), and SAMADHI (identification with pure consciousness). SAMADHI is the final destination where the seeker/individual attains super bliss by merging with the individual merges into the universe or divine.

As Raj Yoga is an eight-fold yoga or it has eight parts, it is also called “ASHTAANG YOGA”. The word “astaang” has evolved from the Sanskrit word “Asht” which means “eight”.
Modernity has  given birth to many more, new types of yoga, such as Bikram yoga, naked yoga, nude yoga, ddp yoga, power yoga, pure yoga and even lesbian yoga. But, all these yoga have created to meet particular/special needs. Yoga types mentioned above by me are the real yogas that have been practices in India and many other parts of the world for times immemorial.
Many people and even yoga experts believe that a yog or yoga seeker should practice any one of the aforementioned types of yoga. Let me say this is a wrong notion. Actually, different yogas like Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Gyan Yoga, Hath Yoga and Raj Yoga are integral parts of individual personality and these have to go together on an individual’s path to attain unification with the universe. 

Point to be noted - I take Yog and Yoga as the same thing.
5/03/2016
What is yog or yoga?

Yoga definition: The word “yog” or “yoga” has been derived from ancient Indian language Sanskrit’s word “Yuj”, which stands for “To Join”. In the language Hindi, the word “Yog” stands for “Total”. The Sanskrit word “Yuj” means “to join”, which suggests that the final aim of Yog or yoga is to join the personal soul to the universal. Different schools suggest different paths to achieve that aim; but whatever school we choose, the destination remains the same just as different rivers flowing through different paths have the same aim -- finally blending into the same destination -- the ocean. 
Letmesay.in image showing a person doing yoga

We can classify the different schools/types of yoga as mentioned below:

Karma Yoga:

Based on the teachings of the Hindus’ Holy book “Bhagavad Gita”, Karma Yoga is the selfless devotion of all inner as well as the outer activities to the Almighty or God. This form of yoga encourages an individual to perform all of his/her worldly duties while staying aloof being detached with the fruits. By detaching from the fruits of his/her actions and offering them up to the Almighty, an individual can learn to sublimate the ego. Repeating a mantra while remaining engaged in various day to day activities helps the individual remain focused on the ultimate goal – merging self into universe/divine.

Gyaan Yog:

Gyaan Yoga leads the yoga seeker or individual to salvation through intellectual power to realize the inner being or self and liberate from the various bondages of ignorance to reach the destination where ultimate truth alone survives.


Bhakti Yog:

Bhakti (devotion) Yog appears to be a different school of thought, but it also serves as a means to achieve the same – to meet and merge into the universe/divine. While Gyan Yog leads an individual to merge into the divine through intellectual methods; Bhakti Yog is open even for those who are not intellectuals. Indian devotees like Meera, Guru Nanak and illiterate Kabir attained this consciousness and merged into divine through Bhakti Yog.


Hatha Yoga:


Hatha Yoga, one of the most widely practiced types of yoga in the world, emphasizes on proper alignment of the body and mind to bring perfect balance, strength as well as a sense of well-being to the practitioner. It includes use of asana (Postures), Pranayama, mudras and bandhas (psycho-physiological energy release techniques). There is a mistaken belief that Hath Yog is all about doing tough postures with excessive outlook. In the western world, some people even mistaken Hath Yog as Hot Yoga. They perform tough postures/exercises in closed rooms under high temperature. That is why this is called hot yoga. But, let me say this is just a misconception because Hath Yog is traditionally based on science of swaras -- the energy flow in left and right nostrils [ida and pingala or surya (Sun) and Chandra (Moon)]. In short, we can say fine tuning of the human body and the mind at increasingly subtle levels paves way for higher states of awareness and meditation, eventually leading to merging of the individual into divine.  


Raj Yoga:
Prescribed by the great Maharishi Patanjali, Raj Yoga is an eight-fold yoga that introduces and educates the yoga seeker with behavioral, intellectual, mental, physical, social, philosophical as well as spiritual aspects of yoga. These eight folds are: YAAM (self restrains), NIYAAM (self observances), AASAN (yoga poses for control over body, such as Warrior Pose, Hastapadasana or Standing Forward Bend Pose, Butterfly Pose or Badhakonasana, Fish Pose or Matsyasana, Wind-Relieving Pose or Pawanmuktasana, Shavasan or Corpse pose), PRANAYAAM (control over breath), PRATYAHAAR (control over senses), DHARANA (concentration), DHYAAN (meditation), and SAMADHI (identification with pure consciousness). SAMADHI is the final destination where the seeker/individual attains super bliss by merging with the individual merges into the universe or divine.

As Raj Yoga is an eight-fold yoga or it has eight parts, it is also called “ASHTAANG YOGA”. The word “astaang” has evolved from the Sanskrit word “Asht” which means “eight”.
Modernity has  given birth to many more, new types of yoga, such as Bikram yoga, naked yoga, nude yoga, ddp yoga, power yoga, pure yoga and even lesbian yoga. But, all these yoga have created to meet particular/special needs. Yoga types mentioned above by me are the real yogas that have been practices in India and many other parts of the world for times immemorial.
Many people and even yoga experts believe that a yog or yoga seeker should practice any one of the aforementioned types of yoga. Let me say this is a wrong notion. Actually, different yogas like Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Gyan Yoga, Hath Yoga and Raj Yoga are integral parts of individual personality and these have to go together on an individual’s path to attain unification with the universe. 

Point to be noted - I take Yog and Yoga as the same thing.