As you start to take your first steps on your Yoga journey, you’re bound to run into the image of a tree sooner or later. You may see people wearing jewellery or boasting tattoos similar trees too.
There are many reasons for this – but two of them stand out in front of the others.
The first is a snapshot into history and the ties of Yoga to Buddhism. When the Buddha first achieved enlightenment (Samadhi), he was sat in front of the Bodhi Tree. After countless days spent sat under the tree – days that included both starvation and a direct encounter with a demon – Buddha became enlightened. Another word for enlightenment is “Bodhi”. Hence the name – Bodhi tree. You can find Bodhi trees in most sacred spaces in India. You can even find the “Mahabodhi Tree” in Bhod Gaya, supposed to be a direct descendant of the tree Buddha became enlightened under (It’s only about 250 years younger).
However, the second reason is the one...
Within Hinduism there are six major schools of thought: Samkhya, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa, Vendanta, and Yoga. Each one is inspired by the holy Vedas and other Hindu concepts.
Yoga, from the Sanskrit word 'yuj' means to unite. It is usually described in Hindu texts as a way to control the senses and the mind. The most famous Hindu text describing yoga is the Bhavad Ghita, which dates all the way back to the 6th - 3rd centuries BCE. In it, Krishna describes 4 types of yoga:
The ultimate goal of each is to achieve Moksha, or unity with God and escape from the cycle of birth and death. No single person is born saved, though the Divine resides within all people. All people, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, have the ability to achieve Moksha. Moksha can be attainted through a person's actions, words, and thoughts, as they...