Yoga includes more than just the physical aspect that Westerners think of or identify with when they hear the word yoga. It’s an ancient system and spiritual discipline that originated in India around 4,000 BC.
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “union” which practitioners can experience in many aspects.
In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, yoga is referred to as the union of energy (Shakti) and consciousness (Shiva). This union can be considered or should be considered, as the union of the Individual Self and the Universal Self. By recognizing this union, we recognize we are all one and part of the same Wholeness.
Yoga helps us to connect our body and mind with our true essence, consciousness, and soul, so we can be in synchronization with our life’s purpose.
Sage Patanjali, who compiled yoga teachings that had been orally circulating for many years, wrote in the Yoga Sutras around 200 C.E.: “Yoga is the cessation of the movements in the consciousness” Sutra 1.2. Therefore, people say this practice gives us the tools for mental discipline. When we calm the mind, we can truly discover our true self and experience this Union
Personally, yoga helps me connect with my spirituality. It helps me reunite with the source of everything, true love. It is a practice that gives me the tools to be more present, worry less, and accept more. It helps me recognize my ego and work at letting it go so that I can be the best version of myself.
I recognize that it is a daily and never-ending practice. This is because in the human experience we are constantly connecting with our ego, dualities, separation, and forgetting our connection with true Love.
Therefore, this practice helps us live a happier life because true happiness can only come from one source: Love.
Finally, I would like to share this beautiful quote from the book Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which I found very beautiful:
“Yoga is an art, a science, and a philosophy. It touches the life of man at every level, physical, mental, and spiritual. It is a practical method for making one’s life purposeful, useful and noble” B. K. S Iyengar.