Tamil

Definition - What does Tamil mean?

Tamil is the Dravidian language spoken by people who primarily live in parts of southern India and Sri Lanka, and it is also the name given to the people who speak this language. Roughly 70 million people speak Tamil, which dates back more than 2,000 years.

Although yoga is a Sanskrit word and the discipline is thought to have originated in northern India, it is present in Tamil traditions. Today, the state of Tamil Nadu has numerous yoga ashrams, retreats and schools.

Yogapedia explains Tamil

In India, most Tamils live in the state that bears their name, Tamil Nadu. Sri Lanka, though, has two groups of Tamil speakers: the Ceylon Tamils and those of Indian descent, also known as the Hill Country Tamils or Indian Tamils. There are also pockets of Tamils living in other parts of Asia, as well as throughout the world.

More than 80 percent of Tamils are Hindus, but a significant number of Tamils are Muslims and Christians. The form of Hinduism practiced by Tamils tends to be a folk religion with numerous village gods and goddesses.

A branch of tantric yoga, the Tamil Siddha school of philosophy emphasizes mysticism and engages in radical social ideas. Unlike some other popular forms of yoga, the tantric system holds that the yogi can achieve liberation while still in the human body. As a result, yoga, as a way to keep the body healthy, is vital for the tantric yogi.

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