Yoga is an ancient, Indian science and is one among the shat darshanas (six great Indian philosophies) which has evolved over thousands of years. In the spiritual dimension, Yoga is a path towards attainment of super conscious states beyond sensory perception and knowledge. It deals with the physical, mental, moral and spiritual wellbeing of an individual. The earliest systematic description of this practice and various philosophies was codified into 196 aphorisms in the classic treatise the “Yoga Sutras” of Patanjali, dating back to 900 B.C., which helped to define the modern practice of Yoga.
This pragmatic description enumerates eight stages of Yoga, which if practiced systematically allows one to attain a state of sublimation of all mental modifications in the mind and attaining super consciousness (Samadhi). These systematic Yoga techniques include Yamas (moral doctrines), niyamas (disciplines), asanas (postures), pranayama (regulated nostril breathing / breath control), pratyahara (introspection / in drawing mind away from perceptible external sensory stimuli), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and finally to attain a state of Samadhi (absorption)