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The Significance of Yoga as a way of life in Kerala

Yoga's core ideology is straightforward: it believes that our psyche, physical body, and soul are all intertwined and cannot be easily distinguished. However, there are a plethora of philosophical views that can be useful in exploring the depths of the philosophical properties of the body, mind, and spirit. Learning and comprehending these concepts is critical to shifting our perspective of ourselves as separate entities and realizing our connection with the universe (Brahman).

Its impact can be found in several other systems of Indian thought. Its foundational text is Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. Yoga's practical elements are more essential than its literary value, which is based primarily on Samkhya philosophy, except the fact that Yoga does not assume the concept of God, who serves as an example for the aspirant seeking spiritual release. Yoga, like Samkhya, believes that transcendental emancipation (moksha) takes place when the spirit (purusha) is liberated from the subservience of matter (prakriti) born of ignorance and pretense. The Samkhya perspective of the world's development through discernible phases leads Yoga to try to overturn this order, so that a person can gradually dehumanize the self until it reverts to its authentic state of peace and consciousness. 

Yoga speaks of a path that consists of eight limbs (disciplines) that contribute to holistic development. These eight limbs are Yamas (a moral code that portrays the ways in which others are to be treated), Niyamas (a self-knowledge exercise), Asanas (these are physical poses that contribute to mental and physical well-being), Pranayama (breathing exercises), Pratyahara (self-observation), Dharana (concentration exercises), Dhyana (deals with mindfulness), and Samadhi (deals with enlightenment) 

As a core part of Hindu philosophy, Yogic traditions are prevalent in the state of Kerala as well. The most prominent practices of Yoga in Kerala are: 

  • Hatha Yoga: Popularly known as the Yoga that started it all, Hatha Yoga has a reputation that precedes itself. First spoken of in Patanjali’s Yoga sutras, Hatha Yoga can be considered more of a spiritual lifestyle. Practitioners and followers of this discipline can gain spiritual wisdom from its philosophies that greatly impact everyday life.


  • Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga is a vigorous style of Hatha Yoga. Ashtanga is made up of 2 Sanskrit words, "Ashta" and "Anga." "Ashta" is the numeral eight, and "Anga" is a limb or part of the body. As a result, Ashtanga is the unification of the eight aspects of yoga into a single comprehensive, integrated approach. These eight limbs of yoga reflect various sections of philosophy discovered in the yoga sutras, which form the basis of the Ashtanga Yoga School.


Q1. What is the main ideology followed by Yogic traditions?

The ultimate aim of this philosophical school is to achieve a state of consistent spiritual awareness or enlightenment known as Moksha or Samadhi. Yoga is the practice of transcending one's consciousness in order to realize one's "real self" or "greatest self." 

Q2. Does the Yogic philosophy promote the presence of a higher power? 

In contrast to the strongly linked Samkhya school of Hinduism, which is atheistic/non-theistic, Yoga philosophy accepts the notion of a higher power.