From the Back of the Book:
This book mainly deals with Ashtang Yoga founded by Maharishi Patanjali, the author of Yoga Darsan or Yoga Sutra. In the present day world, Yoga is being propagated and breathing exercises (Asana and Pranayam). But Asthang Yoga is much more than that. It is a comprehensive yogic discipline which includes physical, mental and spiritual aspects.
Besides, treating the subject of Yoga in general manner, the book briefly explain the eight parts of the ancient yogic discipline, which consists of Yamas and Niyamas (moral and social conduct), Asana (physical postires), Pranayam (regulation of breath), Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses) and Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi (inner yogic discipline). 'Ashtang' means eight limbs or parts, hence the name, Ashtang Yoga. The emphasis of this Yoga is on the inner and intangible discipline which leads to the perfection or liberation of the soul.
About the Author:
The author, J.M. Mehta is a student of Yoga and its practitioner for several years. He had tried his best to compile information on the various aspects of the discipline of yoga in the small book on Ashtang Yoga. He feels that as one grows into life, one tries to search for something and the author has felt that his search has ended in yoga. In fact, the author has tried to incorporate the results of his search, i.e., Yoga and the various parts of Yoga in the book, Essence of Maharishi Patanjali's Astang Yoga. The wisdom of the Gita is also one of his popular books published by Pustak Mahal.
In this small book, I have made an attempt to propagate the
meaning and contents of Yoga, as comprehended by me through a
long study of this subject. As a student of Yoga and its practitioner
in a small way, I have tried to compile information on the various
aspects of the discipline of Yoga. The main purpose of writing this
book is to briefly explain and publicise the realities of Yoga in a
simplified way, so that even a layman can understand its broad
essence and thereafter, try to practise it in real life in order to
achieve its aim.
Positive criticism and helpful suggestions to improve the
quality and contents of this small book are welcome.
The word, Yoga has become one of the most exploited words of
the present day society. It is generally taken as an amalgam of
physical postures known as Asanas with some mystical experience.
There is also a proliferation of Yoga teachers, gurus and instructors
to teach and promote Yoga in this form. The latest trend is to
teach Yoga in an air-conditioned living room or studio in some
posh colony. It has also gone overseas where it is becoming a fast,
growing body-work sport. In cosmopolitan cities of Delhi, Mumbai
and even London and New York, it seems to be a new magic work-
out for body fitness, beauty grooming and fashion industry. In the
United States (USA), several million people are practising Yoga as
a fitness option.
A practitioner of Yoga is no longer a long-haired ascetic bur
instead, a trendy new generation active person. A few former
models, singers and actors have become modern day Yoga teacher.
Even housewives and working women are turning to Yoga, not
only for weight loss and slim waistline, but also for relaxation and
stress- free life. It has also become a means for spritual socialising
where different people gather and share experiences. In fact, Yoga
is now being commercialised and quick money is being made from
lectures, workshops, seminars, classes, books, videos, ect. Several
goods linked with Yoga has come into the market. Some of which
include Yoga mats, incense sticks, pendants, images, ornaments
and even apparels, etc. Numerous books on various types of Yoga
of different brand names are available in the market.
In spite of all this publicity of Yoga, its real meaning and
contents have not perculated even among the educated community.
Merely the physical part consisting of Asanas - which are widely
showcased in the media, is not the complete Yoga. The Asanas, no
doubt, constitute an important step in the Yoga system but it is
only one step. The Yoga is an elaborate system involving several
steps. It is an all round discipline involving physical, mental and
spiritual aspects. In this scenario, it becomes essential to examine
and understand as to what Yoga is all about.
This is exactly what I intend to do in this small book.
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