Conceived by the great sages in their quest for self-realisation, it has come to be recognised during its; long travails from the hermitages to the cities, as the science of man, a philosophy old life, a code of conduct, an attitude and an approach, as well as an art of living which is capable not only of ensuring physical well-being,mental peace harmony, moral elevation and spiritual uplift of man but also of transforming man from his gross animal exis-tence to the sublime heights of divinity.
It must, however be kept in mind that it is a long and arduous journey calling for severance, persistence, dedication and total surrender.
The eight steps are:
YAMA :- Conditional yoga behaviour, personal and social
NIYAMA :- Attitude sublimate to yoga norms
ASANA :- Discipline of the physical body
PRANAYAMA :- Control over bio energy through respiratory action
PRATYAHARA :- Withdrawal of the senses inwards through bstraction
DHARNA :- Concentration
DHYANA :- Meditation
SAMADHI :- Transconsciousness
Of these, the first five, which border on the Psychosomatic Approach, are referred to as External (Bahiranga) yoga, popularly known as Hatha Yoga, while the latter three, which directly affect the psyche are known as internal (Antaranga) yoga, popularly known as Raja Yoga. It is almost impossible to try internal yoga (Raja Yoga) for the average man before accomplishing the external one (Hatha Yoga). The respective sequence of the eight steps as the standard methodology of yoga.
Yoga is based on a deep understanding of man and his position in this world and was the first system evolved in the world to recognise the connection and the interaction between body and mind.It studies in depth the very structure of the human personality, through analysis the psychological complexities and the cause of human pain, sorrow and suffering. It has laid down psychosomatic means through its various psychophysiologic-al processes for dealing with the body mind complex and tries to harmonize and integrate the human person-ality at all levels and stages of life. Yoga is basically a way of LIFE which has been evolved as a system to go beyond the personality - complex and achieve absolute freedom-liberation of the spirit from the matter.