The word yoga is a Sanskrit word which means to unite. It can mean a lot of things but usually it is referred to the union of body with the mind and ultimately to the soul. It is a process in which you try to dissolve your ego by various spiritual practices such as meditation, as well as abiding by some code of ethics for personal and social conduct. It has existed from time immemorial but from time to time, wise men have propagated it by writing treatises. The most popular Yoga aphorisms are those of sage Patanjali who lived around 2 thousand years ago.
Various sects practicing and propagating Yoga existed in India even before Patanjali but no records exist of their inventor. It was a practice of the Yogis who passed it onto their disciples. The first attempt at maintaining a record of Yoga aphorisms is credited to sage Patanjali. He laid down the principles, philosophy and practices of Yoga that are still quite popular with the practitioners.
Several schools of Yoga have developed over the years but the fundamental principles propagated by Patanjali are still their basis. Apart from Buddhism, Jainism and Saivism are the other major traditions that follow Yoga. Although the spiritual practices involved were much similar to Patanjali, Jainism advocated extreme penance while Buddhism was all about following a middle path between materialism and penance with different code of ethics.
Apart from spiritual benefits, one can expect Yogic practices to provide the cure for the following ailments:
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