What does Yoga mean in the Bhagavad Gītā? A semantic analysis

By Alba Rodriguez Juan, M.A.  The word “yoga” is extensively used in the BG in a variety of ways. This Indian narrative consists of 18 chapters, with each chapter named as a different yoga. Some scholars divide the BG into three sections, with the first six chapters dealing with karma yoga (the yoga of action), the next six chapters with bhakti yoga (the

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Citta (mind)

By Andre Haralyi M.A., C-IAYT The word citta is derived from the verbal root √cit, meaning “to perceive, to observe, or to know.” This word, commonly translated as “mind,”  is used as an umbrella term to refer to a variety of mental processes, mainly the faculties of consciousness, attention, intelligence or reasoning.   According to the Yoga-Bhāṣya (I.1), there are

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Human crisis and Covid-19. How can Yoga Philosophy help.

By Alba Rodriguez Juan, M.A. Current times are challenging for most of us. The widespread of Covid-19 around the globe has put humanity on trial. It has taken us to the present moment, here and now. This can be scary, especially for those who find hard to deal with uncertainty and are used to planning and doing. What to do

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Kleśas (afflictions)

By Andre Haralyi M.A., C-IAYT Kleśas are commonly translated as “afflictions,” but it is better understood as “the cause-of-afflictions.” These are the basic forces which prompt a person to act, think, and feel; they provide the cognitive and motivational framework that dictates how the ordinary person operates in this world. Kleśas are fivefold (Yoga-Sūtra II. 3 – 9): I. Avidyā:

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Samskāras & Vāsanas

By Andre Haralyi M.A., C-IAYT Samskāras Samskāras are commonly translated as residual impressions, subliminal activators, mental dispositions or mental formations. They represent the indelible imprints left in the subconscious mind by our daily experiences (perceptions, cognitions, actions and intentions), whether conscious or unconscious, internal or external, desirable or undesirable.  These subliminal activators are highly dynamic forces in our psyche, constantly

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Svadharma

By Andre Haralyi M.A., C-IAYT The word svadharma is commonly translated as own norm or own moral duty, but is better understood as the normative behavior arising from one’s own-being (svabhāva). This concept plays a very important role in the teachings of the Bhagavad Gītā. “Better is one’s own dharma, even when not done perfectly than another’s dharma well performed.

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Karma

By Andre Haralyi M.A, C-IAYT Karma literally means “action or deed.” The concept of karma highlights the law of cause and effect, comparable to what modern physics calls the “natural law,”  that seems to permeate all aspects of existence. Every action leads to a reasonable result. Everything that happens originates from something done in the past. “According as one acts,

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The Yogavāsiṣṭha and Heart Health

By Christopher Key Chapple One text often not included in discussions of the healing powers of Yoga is the Yogavāsiṣṭha, a text that, building on its earlier forms including the Mokṣopāya, reached its current form probably in the 12th century in Kashmir. It blends Advaita Vedānta with Vijñānavāda Buddhism and includes a type of therapeutic Yoga that emphasizes the importance

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Gunas

By Andre Haralyi M.A, C-IAYT The gunas are commonly translated as “qualities” or “constituents” referring to the triad of primary qualities (sattva, rajas and tamas) thought to be the principal building blocks of the cosmos or material world (prakrti) according to Yoga and Sāṃkhya traditions. The three gunas have been widely adopted by many Eastern philosophies for categorizing psychological behaviors

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Pañca-Maya-Kośa

 By Andre Haralyi M.A, C-IAYT “There are 5 sheaths (kośas) in which the Self is manifested as the ego (jīvātman)”  Taittirīya Upaniṣad II. 1.1 The Pañca-Maya-Kośa model was first introduced in chapter 2 of the Taittirīya Upaniṣad. Yoga Therapy adopts this model and in its comprehensive approach, which takes into account all levels of the human existence. This model states

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Duḥkha / Sukha

By Andre Haralyi M.A., C-IAYT Duḥkha The word duḥkha literally means “bad space,” and is commonly associated with the feeling of suffering, uneasiness, uncomfortableness, unpleasantness, difficulty, pain, sorrow, and trouble. The concept of duḥkha refers to the idea of having a “bad axle hole.” When the axle hole of a wheel is not perfectly round the axle does not fit

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Haṭha-Yoga

By Andre Haralyi M.A., C-IAYT The creation of Haṭha-Yoga is associated with Goraksha Nātha and his teacher Matsyendra Nātha who likely lived before the middle of the 10th century C.E. In contrast with the Classical Yoga doctrine which emphasizes a progressive withdrawal from the forms of nature, Haṭha-Yoga derived from the Tantra tradition, and understands the body as a vehicle

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Rāja-Yoga

By Andre Haralyi, M.A., C-IAYT The Yoga-Sūtras, believed to be written by the sage Patañjali between 200 B.C.E. and  200 C.E., consists of 196 sūtras​*​ divided into 4 chapters. The Yoga-Sūtras of Patañjali is considered the owner’s manual for the human mind. This work describes the nature of human consciousness, the means to overcome its conditioned limitations and the eight-fold

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Upaniṣads

By Andre Haralyi M.A., C-IAYT The Sanskrit term “Upaniṣad” is derived from upa (near), ni (down) and sad (to sit), i.e. sitting down near. It makes reference to the student sitting down near the teacher while learning secret doctrines. In the Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary the word Upaniṣad received an additional meaning: “setting to rest ignorance by revealing the knowledge of

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Self-realization

By Andre Haralyi, M.A., C-IAYT In the Western world “Self-realization” is understood as the fulfillment of one’s own potential. As Erich Fromm said “Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is.” This concept has gained great popularity over the years specially among those interested in psycho-analysis, humanistic psychology and Western esotericism which

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Praṇava Oṁ ॐ

By Andre Haralyi, M.A., C-IAYT The sacred syllable Oṁ represents the primordial sound, the infinite cosmic vibration,  the pulse of the universe, the Absolute/Supreme (Brahman)​*​ and therefore the means of Its meditation. It is considered the oldest and most venerated of all mantras according to Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism and all Yoga traditions. Oṁ is also used as a “root,” often

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What is Yoga Therapy

By Andre Haralyi, M.A., C-IAYT Yoga therapy is a holistic discipline that aims to help in the prevention, treatment, and palliative care of those suffering from a variety of physical, physiological, and psychological health conditions or simply to improve overall health, promote longevity and well-being. Yoga Therapy treats the individual as a whole and adopts a vast range of Yogic

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