Psycho-philosophical basis of Yoga

Dr. Pragya Sahay, D.G. College
V. Sahai, D.A.V. College

The philosophy of yoga and the psychology behind its practice, are bound up together in such a way that that if we consider the one we have to take into account the other, because the practice of yoga is laid upon the basis of a psycho-philosophical background. Philosophy of yoga and the psychology of yoga are present not only as a background to this science of yoga, but also as the basis for the practice of the yogic processes. Yoga has generally come to be understood as a fitness regimen that is helpful in maintaining a healthy body. Of all the systems of psychology that we know of today, Patanjali's system of yoga stands the highest because of the ease of its practice and its systematic approach to spirituality. Patanjali, the father of yoga, has given a scientific basis to yoga. It may be noted that the science of yoga not only provides us with the knowledge of the various states and levels of consciousness and meditation, but it also gives us the practical methods of verifying them. In branching out from philosophy, in its long journey, psychology has evolved to the extent of becoming an independent science and in the process it distanced itself from philosophy. But obtaining knowledge of consciousness which belongs to the field of yoga, it has to look back towards philosophy. Thus, Indian Psychology, where philosophy and psychology form the basis of the practice of yoga, has an immense treasure of knowledge to be explored. We, therefore, need to be aware of the benefits of the psycho-philosophical basis of yoga.

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This paper was presented at the
National Conference on
Yoga and Indian Approaches to Psychology

Pondicherry, India, September 29 - October 1, 2002