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Yoga 瑜伽

Yoga (Sanskrit: योग) is a generic term for the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace. Yoga is a discipline to improve or develop one’s inherent power in a balanced manner. It offers the means to attain complete self-realisation. The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word Yoga is ’Yoke’. Yoga can therefore be defined as a means of uniting the individual spirit with the universal spirit of God. The term "yoga" first appeared in the Hindu scripture - Katha Upanishad (400 BC) where it is defined as the steady control of the senses, which along with cessation of mental activity, leads to the supreme state.


One of the most detailed and thorough expositions on the subject is the "Yoga Sūtras" of Patañjali. According to Maharishi Patanjali, Yoga is the suppression of modifications of the mind. In the specific sense of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, yoga is defined as citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ (the cessation of the perturbations of the mind). This is described by Patanjali as the necessary condition for transcending discursive knowledge and to be one with the divinely understood "spirit" ("purusha"): "Absolute freedom occurs when the lucidity of material nature and spirit are in pure equilibrium." In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali indicates that the ultimate goal of yoga is a state of permanent peace or Kaivalya. 


[Source: Ananda Spa & Retreat, Rishikesh] 【来源:瑞斯凯斯阿南达水疗&灵修度假村】

Apart from the spiritual goals the physical postures of yoga are used to alleviate health problems, reduce stress and make the spine supple in contemporary times. Yoga is also used as a complete exercise program and physical therapy routine.

Yoga is universal in character for practice and application irrespective of culture, nationality, race, caste, creed, sex, age and physical condition. Neither by reading the texts nor by wearing the garb of an ascetic, one can become an accomplished Yogi. Without practice, no one can experience the utility of Yogic techniques nor can realise of its inherent potential. Only regular practice (sadhana) creates a pattern in body and mind to uplift them. It requires keen desire on the part of the practitioner to experience the higher states of consciousness through training the mind and refining the gross consciousness.


All paths of Yoga (Japa, Karma, Bhakti etc.) have healing potential to shelter out the effects of pains. However, one especially needs proper guidance from an accomplished exponent, who has already treaded the same track to reach the ultimate goal. The particular path is to be chosen very cautiously in view of his aptitude either with the help of a competent counselor or consulting an accomplished Yogi.


Types of Yoga 

Japa Yoga: To concentrate one’s mind on divine name or holy syllable, mantra like ’OM’, through repeated recitation or remembrance.


Karma Yoga: Teaches us to perform all actions without having any desire for their fruit. In this sadhana, a Yogi considers his duty as divine action, perform it with whole-hearted dedication but shuns away all desires.


Gyana Yoga: Teaches us to discriminate between self and non-self and to acquire the knowledge of one’s spiritual entity through the study of scriptures, company of Saints and practices of meditation.


Bhakti Yoga: is a system of intense devotion with emphasis on complete surrender to divine will. The true follower of Bhakti Yoga is free from egoism remains humble and unaffected by the dualities of the world.


Raja Yoga: is popularly known as “Ashtanga Yoga” is for all-round development of human beings. These are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.


Swara Yoga: is the Science which is about the realisation of cosmic consciousness, through the awareness/ observation then control/ manipulation of the flow of breath in the nostrils. Swara Yoga involves the systematic study of the breath flowing through the nostril (or Swara) in relation to the prevailing phases of the Sun, Moon, time of day and direction. It is the association of the breath in relation to the activities or phases or positions of the Sun, Moon, Planets, Seasons, Time of day, with the physical and mental conditions of the individual and then taking the appropriate action according to these subtle relations.


Kundalini Yoga: is a part of Tantric Tradition. Since the dawn of creation, the Tantrics and yogis have realised that in this physical body, there is a potential force residing in Muladhara Chakra, the first of seven Chakras. The seat of Kundalini is a small gland at the base of the spinal cord. In the masculine body it is in the perineum between the urinary and excretory organs. In the female body its location is at the root of the uterus in the cervix. Those people who have awakened this supernatural force have been called Rishis, Prophets, Yogis, Siddhas and other names according to the time, tradition and culture. To awaken the Kundalini, you must prepare yourself through yogic techniques such as Shatkriya, Asana, Pranayama, Bandha, Mudra and Meditation. Awakening of Kundalini results in an explosion in the brain as the dormant or sleeping areas start blossoming like flowers.


Nadi: As described by Yogic texts, Nadis are flow of energy which we can visualize at the psychic level as having distinct channels, light, colour, sound and other characteristics. The entire network of nadis is so vast that even yogic texts differ in their calculations of the exact number. Reference in the Goraksha Sataka or Goraksh Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika place their number at 72,000; emerged from the navel center- the Manipura Chakra. Of all the thousands of nadis, Susumna is said to be the most important. The Shiva Swarodaya enumerates ten major nadis which connect to the ‘doorways’ leading in and out of the body. Of these ten, Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the most important, they are the high voltage wires which conduct the energy to the substations or Chakras situated along the spinal column.

经脉:在瑜伽经典的描述中,经脉即能量流动,人们在通灵层次可以看到其呈现清晰的通道、光、色、声及其他特征。经脉的整个网络是如此庞大,就连不同瑜伽经典在计算精确数量时都有所不同。文献Goraksha 经(又称Goraksh集)和哈他瑜伽之光认为其总量为72,000,从肚脐中心——脐轮形成。在这成千的经脉中,中脉被认为最为重要。文献Shiva Swarodaya列举了10个主要经脉,与身体的出入口相连。在这10条经脉中,左脉、右脉和中脉最为重要。作为高电压通道,它们将能量传送到变电站即沿脊柱分布的脉轮。

Yoga Centers in India 

[Source: SwaSwara Retreat, Kerala]  [来源:喀拉拉邦SwaSwara度假村

There are many yoga centers in India, providing everything from in depth courses to flexible drop-in classes. As the style of yoga and approach to teaching varies at each center, it is important to give proper thought to one’s needs before applying. Mentioned below are a few yoga centers which are listed in no particular order. 



BKS Iyengar Yoga   艾杨格瑜伽学院

K. Pattabhi Jois Astanga Yoga Institute  K. Pattabhi Jois 阿斯汤伽瑜伽学院

Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram  克里希那马查亚瑜伽学院

Parmarth Niketan  Parmarth Niketan瑜伽学院

Satyananda Yoga 萨特亚南达瑜伽学院

Yoga Institute Mumbai 孟买瑜伽学院

Sivananda Yoga 斯文南达瑜伽学院

Other Sources: 其他资源:

Yoga Retreats in India 印度瑜伽度假村