The origins of Yoga date far back. From the East, the word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root word ‘yuj’ which means to ‘yoke’, or ‘union’. Currently, the word yoga is being used to describe only the practice of certain body postures.
Yoga is yoking/uniting. Today, there are many schools of yoga. Here I will be focusing on the yoga of Patanjali, an ancient sage attributed to systematising and compiling of yoga texts into an eight limbed path, namely Raja yoga. Raja yoga, meaning the royal path of yoga, encompasses a wide field of study and disciplines, Yamas (ethical behaviour), for instance, Ahimsa (non violence), Satya (speaking the truth), Astaya (non stealing), Niamas Saucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (right effort), Svadhyaya (self-study). Asana (stable & comfortable seat), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (inward turning of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dyhana (meditation), and Samadhi (liberation). Yoga is one of the ancient sciences, the science of self-realization that depends upon a well-functioning body and mind. The mental, physical and spiritual benefits are only the side effects of Yoga. To yoke the mind, breath, body and spirit is yoga. The sun and the moon qualities, the outer and the inner world, we unite, and through this union, we awake to our true nature. Sat cit ananda – existence, consciousness bliss.
Ayur means Life and Veda means knowledge/science – Science of Life. Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga, and they were originally taught together, as they intertwine, and support each other. Ayurveda is the science of promoting good health and longevity, with advice on practices in cleansing, healing the body and the mind. Having the same ancient Vedic origin and goals, Yoga and Ayurveda together form a formidable approach in exploring ones physical, intellectual and conscious aspects. They both recognize that keeping the body healthy is vital for fulfilling the four aims of life: Dharma (duty), Artha (wealth), Kama (desire), and Moksha (liberation).
Jyotish is the science of light, known as Vedic astrology, and the sister science of Ayurveda and Yoga. Jyotish is the science of the lights in the sky – the celestial bodies, the light above and the light within – the soul. The energies, cycles and where they were placed at the time of ones birth is charted producing ones natal chart. It is the blue print of ones physical, psychological and energetic tendencies, strengths and challenges. It assists one to understand what it is that they are, the larger cycles, importance of timing events, the current map of the sky and how it relates to one at the moment. Jyotish shows us the path.
Vastu is the science of space, to do with architecture, also a sister of the above three sciences. To do with space of buildings, dwellings, the four directions North, East, South and West, and the importance of certain the environmental cycles. Enhancing well-being, reducing blockage of energies around you, allowing the flow of prana, wellness and wholeness into your space.