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Let Those Tensions Ease Away

In episode 5 of Yoga With Jenny, it’s back to basics. Yoga  refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in both Buddhism and Hinduism. In Hinduism, it also refers to one of the six orthodox (āstika) schools of Hindu philosophy, and to the goal toward which that school directs its practices.

Major branches of yoga include Raja Yoga, Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Hatha Yoga. Raja Yoga, compiled in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and known simply as ‘yoga’ in the context of Hindu philosophy, is part of the Samkhya tradition. Many other Hindu texts discuss aspects of yoga including Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Shiva Samhita and various Tantras.

The Sanskrit word ‘yoga’ has many meanings and is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’, meaning "to control", "to yoke" or "to unite". Translations include "joining", "uniting", "union", "conjunction", and "means". Outside India the term ‘yoga’ is typically associated with Hatha Yoga and its asanas (postures) or as a form of exercise. An accomplished practitioner of yoga is called a ‘yogi’ (gender neutral) or ‘yogini’ (feminine form).

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