Word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit योग and means “union.”
But what does it mean exactly? A typical explanation follows along these lines. Yoga is not a religion or faith, it is a practice. Yoga is a practice that leads you to the experience of everything being a “union” – part of the whole. The emphasis here is on experience, there is no belief nor imagination required.
Yoga is a practice that leads you to the experience of everything being a “union”
For a long time, yoga for me was only the physical exercise – asana. Why? Because of all the spiritual terms and obfuscation used to describe what does it actually means. 8 limbs of ashtanga also did not resonate with me in a clear and simple way. It was just too far, remote and complicated to even start to comprehend…
This page will be updated as my research continues and understanding improves!
Update May 4, 2020:
A couple of days ago I sat down and tried to make it as simple as possible. No fluff, no mysterious terms which confuse the reader. None of that!
My intention was coming up with down to earth explanation: what is yoga? Well, what is yoga to me, to be exact? This is not intended to be a full road-map that overwhelms, like 8 limbs of ashtanga yoga. ?
My intention was coming up with down to earth explanation: what is yoga?
Don’t get me wrong, is nothing wrong with having a full picture, I love that! However, when you are just starting your journey you do not need to know all the details, all the struggles, and so on. What you need is encouragement and a simple understanding of which direction to go. What road signs to follow. You need to know how to get there, how to find the way.
Here are my findings. Most of us are split apart. Living in the moment, worrying about the future, and regretting the past. We think we want to be healthy, but we let our inner critique take the best of us and our actions fail to reflect our desires, right? Yoga is bringing yourself in the union. As you think, so you feel, so you act. How to do it? Here is my suggestion, summarized in the following graph.
Yoga is bringing yourself in the union. As you think, so you feel, so you act.
First of all – be present (pun intended). Present to yourself. Present of the moment – now. Second focus on each part of the triangle.
- Know-thyself – focus your thoughts on knowing, discovering, and understanding yourself. From physiological to psychological and beyond.
- Love – feel love to yourself and others around, to nature. Be grateful!
- Be – be yourself, be present, be in the flow, act following your thoughts and emotions. Be united! Be alive! Follow your passions!
May the fourth be with you!
Update: June 19, 2020:
“Yoga is 99% Practice & 1% theory.” Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
Yoga is a practice. ?
Update: July 10, 2020
Yoga is fitness in its broadest sense – being ready. Preparation or priming. It is like a dessert – there is no reason not to restrict yourself that pleasure.
For me, yoga prepares me and my body for the rest of the day so I can play safe and with more range of motion. It’s like a warmup for the real practice, the one which starts as soon as you step off the mat!