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yoga retreat

Posted Dec 09 2009 11:50pm
Developed in India, yoga is a spiritual practice that has been evolving for the last 5,000 years or so. The

original yogis were reacting, in part, to India's ancient Vedic religion, which emphasized rituals. The yogis

wanted a direct spiritual experience -- one on one -- not symbolic ritual. So they developed yoga.
Yoga means "union" in Sanskrit, the classical language of India.

According to the yogis, true happiness, liberation and enlightenment comes from union with the divine

consciousness known as Brahman, or with Atman, the transcendent Self. The various yoga practices are a methodology

for reaching that goal.
In hatha yoga, for example, postures and breathing exercises help purify the mind, body and spirit so the yogi can

attain union.

Pranayama breathing exercises help clear the nadis, or channels, that carry prana the universal life force,

allowing prana to flow freely. When the channels are clear and the last block at the base of the spine has been

opened, Kundalini rises through the spine, through the central channel called the sushumna-nadi, and joins the

crown chakra. According to the tradition, the release of Kundalini leads to enlightenment and union.
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