Yoga citta vrtti nirodahah: Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distraction.
In his book, The Heart of Yoga, Sri Desikachar, inspired by his father, his guru, T.Krishnamacharya, explains why Yoga is not only necessary to be a complete human being but also can be tailored to suit the particular needs of those who practice it.
The Yoga, is one of the six fundamental systems of Indian thought collectively called as darsana(to see), the other five being nyaya, vaisesika, samkhya, mimamsa, and vedanta.
Our Mind is often clouded by avidya (incomplete knowledge) with it being root giving rise to various branches as ego(asmita), raga(attachment) , devesha(rejection /hatred) and abhinivesa(Fear of unknown) but by consistent practice of Yoga one can transform oneself from avidya to vidya(complete knowledge) free from consequences of the obstacles and distractions from our action.
The book explains beautifully about the asanas(postures),pratikriyaasana(counter-poses) how to practice it , and Pranayama(The breath) , the ratio- (inhalation, retention, exhalalation , retention), we need to maintain during the practice of Yoga.
It is not easy to reach the state of samadhi, at first we should attain dharana, a state when we imagine the object of our contemplation and then when the connection between the object and perceiver is established, we reach a state of dhyana and only after being prolonged in this state we can attain samadhi, a state in which the object and the perceiver is one and the same, a state of bliss.
Really, it is one of the best book of Yoga i have read, to explain as simply the concept of astanga Yoga is really astonishing.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR : T.K.V DESIKACHAR.
PUBHISHER: INNER TRADITIONS INTERNATIONAL