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The Post Classical Yoga

This is again a very comprehensive category, which refers to all those many types and schools of Yoga that have sprung up in the period after Patanjali's Yoga-Sūtra and that are independent of this seminal work. In contrast to classical Yoga, postclassical Yoga affirms the ultimate unity of everything. This is the core teaching of Vedānta, the philosophical system based on the teachings of the Upanishads. In a way, the dualism of classical Yoga can be seen as a brief but powerful interlude in a stream of nondualist teachings going back to ancient Vedic times. According to these teachings, you,...

Classical Yoga

This label applies to the eightfold Yoga-also known as Rāja-Yoga-taught by Patanjali in his Yoga-Sūtra. This Sanskrit texts is composed of just under 200 aphoristic statements, which have been commented on over and over again through the centuries. Sooner or later all serious Yoga students discover this work and have to grapple with its terse statements. The word sūtra (which is related to Latin suture) means literally "thread." Here it conveys a thread of memory, an aid to memorization for students eager to retain Patanjali's knowledge and wisdom. The Yoga-Sūtra was probably written some time in the second century C.E....

Preclassical Yoga

This category covers an extensive period of approximately 2,000 years until the second century C.E. Preclassical Yoga comes in various forms and guises. The earliest manifestations were still closely associated with the Vedic sacrificial culture, as developed in the Brāhmanas and Āranyakas. The Brāhmanas are Sanskrit texts explaining the Vedic hymns and the rituals behind them. The Āranyakas are ritual texts specific to those who chose to live in seclusion in a forest hermitage. Yoga came into its own with the Upanishads, which are gnostic texts expounding the hidden teaching about the ultimate unity of all things. There are over...

Vedic Yoga

The yogic teachings found in the above-mentioned Rig-Veda and the other three ancient hymnodies are known as Vedic Yoga. The Sanskrit word veda means "knowledge," while the Sanskrit term rig (from ric) means "praise." Thus the sacred Rig-Veda is the collection of hymns that are in praise of a higher power. This collection is in fact the fountainhead of Hinduism, which has around one billion adherents today. You could say that the Rig-Veda is to Hinduism what the Book of Genesis is to Christianity. The other three Vedic hymnodies are the Yajur-Veda ("Knowledge of Sacrifice"), Sama-Veda ("Knowledge of Chants"), and...