The practice of yoga, as you may realize, has been around for thousands of years. Several researches have claimed it to be around for more than 5,000 years, actually. It was first developed in India as a philosophical practice that is centered significantly on obtaining union with the mind and body; hence it is named “yoga” from the Sanskrit word “yuj’ meaning “to unite”.
Yoga is an interesting practice that maintains an interesting principle. According to its followers, what are taught in yoga are self discipline and the realization that not all things in this changing world can give you satisfaction. The money and relationships you are keeping right now will not produce a sense of purpose and even happiness, allowing you to search for something more deep in life. This deeper search is basically what the yoga philosophy is giving importance, believing that people regardless of race, age and sex can reach that stage.
The yoga philosophy is generally a broad concept. In fact, it is divided into several branches, and each branch maintains a philosophy that is to some degree different from the others. For instance, in Ashtanga Yoga, which is but one of the earliest types, the development of all the human faculties such as the physical body, feelings or emotions, mind and life force are considered as the most important aspects that followers should work to attain. This development is not just something that is partial, but full.
There is also the yoga philosophy founded on the so-called “purna”. The yoga philosophy maintained in this yogic type is centered basically on the development of the whole being. It is given importance believing that the development of the entire being will lead to total transformation. It is for this reason that purna yoga is known as an integral yoga.
You may also have heard about the bhakti yoga philosophy which tackles simply the aim of getting in touch with the so-called “Divine Being”. Well, this aim is basically what makes Bhakti a devotional type of yoga. The virtue of love and devotion are basically the center of this practice.
The yoga philosophy further differs according to several other forms of the practice. Aside from those mentioned above, there are also the kundalini, mantra, karma, hatha, tantra, and raja yoga. Each of these types has its own principles or philosophy maintained for the practitioners to heed. So the perfect way of knowing all about the yoga philosophy is to know each of these forms as closely as possible.