Yoga is a continuing traditional process of mental and physical discipline. The word yoga is related with many practices in various religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, etc. For every religion the term yoga refers to different meanings, for example in Jainism the term yoga refers to total activities, such as mental, physical and verbal. Many Hindu texts discuss different aspects of yoga. The Hindu texts include Bhagavad gita, Upanishads and various tantras. The term yoga is totally different from the term gymnastics. The term gymnastics is more concern about competitions and focus on variety of exterior goals. But Yoga focuses on the objective of increasing repeatedly degree of consciousness and incorporation of all aspects of one’s physical, emotional and scholarly being.
Yoga also nourishes the internal spirit with which the person meets each instant of his or her life. The word yoga is having its root in Sanskrit. The Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ actually refers to the term’ to control’ or ‘to join’. Except India in all other nations the term yoga is referring to a form of exercise.
Patanjali is regarded as the founder of the formal yoga philosophy. Patanjali yoga gives the idea about raja yoga, which is nothing but art of controlling mind. Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as “yoga is restraining the mind stuff from taking various types of forms.
The Bhagavad-Gita in Hindu philosophy uses the term yoga in a variety of ways. It includes three prominent types of yoga and they are as follows:
1. Karma yoga
2. Bhakti yoga
3. Jnana yoga.
The most ancient sustained expression of yogic ideas is found in the early sermons, the Buddha. The dissimilarity among early Brahminic text and the teachings of Buddha was striking. The Buddha also deceased from previous yogic thinking by removing the early Brahminic notion of freedom at death.
Regarding the knowledge of the yoga, there are many misconceptions relating to the various types of religion. Like in 2008 the Malaysian Islamic body stated a fatwa, which is against Muslims practicing yoga, stating that it had fundamentals of Hindu teachings. Physical exercise is only allowed according to the fatwa, but it prohibits the chanting of different types of religious mantras. These fatwas in turn was later criticized by Islamic practioners in India. Like wise in Christianity also there were some misconception regarding yoga. According to them the Indian meditation practices can be harmful for the body.
Finally the main aim of yoga can cover many aspects of life, such as improving health to achieving moksha. According to Mahabharata the goal of yoga is different from others, it describes yoga to enter the the world as Brahman and pervade all things. Jainism states that the main aim of yoga is moksha, which is nothing but freedom from all the worldly sufferings and the continuing process of death and again re-birth, and at that position there is a realization of identity of the absolute Brahman. Yoga also helps our body to preserve a steady connection with itself. Yoga itself has many goals with it.