Yoga is a commonly known generic term for physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines which originated in ancient India. Specifically, yoga is one of the six Ä�stika ("orthodox") schools of Hindu philosophy. It is based on the Yoga SÅ«tras of Patañjali. Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

In a general sense, yoga is a disciplined method utilized for attaining a goal. In this sense, the purpose of yoga depends on the philosophical or theological system it is conjugated with. Bhakti schools of Vaishnavism, combine yoga with devotion to enjoy an eternal presence of Vishnu. In Shaiva theology, yoga is used to unite kundalini with Shiva. Mahabharata defines the purpose of yoga as the experience of Brahman or �tman pervading all things. In the specific sense of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the purpose of yoga is defined as citta-v�tti-nirodhaḥ (the cessation of the trans- formation of awareness). In contemporary times, the physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress and make the spine supple. Yoga is also used as a complete exercise program and physical therapy routine.


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