What is Yoga?
Meaning of yoga:
Yoga primarily means ‘to unite’, ‘to be united’ or ‘union’ etc. The word ‘Yoga’ originates from the original Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means ‘union with self’
Union of ‘Body with Mind’, ‘Mind with Soul’ and ‘Soul with Universal Soul’ is called Yoga.
Definition of yoga:
Yoga can be used as a ‘tool to unite oneself with the universal self’
Yogashchittavritti Nirodhah: According to Maharshi Patanjali, Yoga is the science of liberating the mind from fluctuating thoughts.
Raaga Vritti, Dwesha Vritti, Some Vrittis (Instincts) crop up in our mind, which are the outcome of our past actions and response of the sense-object-contact (Indriyaanubhuti) in the present.
Some Vrittis (Instincts) crop up in our mind, which are the outcome of our past actions and response of the sense-object-contact (Indriyaanubhuti) in the present.
External Vrittis of mind: The mind presents only those outcomes of our sense-object-contact (Indriya-anubhuti) before the soul, which are approved by the instincts (Vritti). Raaga and Dwesha Vrittis will continue to dominate our lives as long as we follow our Instincts (Vrittis); considering ourself to be just/conscious due to ignorance. These are called external Vrittis of mind.
Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha: The fluctuation of mind will cease over a period of time, if one diverts attention from external objects and internalizes it by practice of Yoga. The process of concentration and completely pacifying the instincts (Vrittis) is called Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha.
Yogah Karmasukaushalam. / Srimad Bhagwad Gita -2/50//: It means ‘perfection in action’ is Yoga. While defining Yoga in Shrimad Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna said that one should perform actions with perfection and without attachment or any expectation of result. In other words, action should always be intended for a noble and right cause. Prohibited deeds like stealing, jealousy and dishonesty etc. are not considered as action in this context.
Samatwam Yoga Uchhyate (Srimad Bhagwad Gita- 2:48: It means Samatwabhav is Yoga. Samatwa means ‘to remain in a state of ease in all situations such as happiness-sorrow, gain-loss’. It is seen that in happy hours we behave differently than normal situations and develop ego. Similarly, in adverse conditions most people feel disappointed, frustrated and depressed and pity themselves. In both conditions, they do not maintain self-control and become emotional. Maintaining peace and stability of mind in both favorable and adverse situations and continuing to move towards the goal is Samabhava or Samatwa in Yoga.
Yoga Shikhopanishad: Yoapanpranyoraikyam swarjo retaso tatha / Suryachandramsoyorgo Jivatm Parmatmanoh // Evam Tu Dwandwajalsaru Sanyogo Yoga Uchchate /: It means union between ‘Apana and Prana’, ‘Ida Nadi with Pingal Nadi’, ‘Sun energy with moon energy’ and ‘individual soul with universal soul’ is called Yoga.
Every living being has a soul that works as a vital force for the entire body and mind. Body and mind do not work on their own because they are unconscious. But soul is conscious and body and mind appear to be conscious because of the presence of the conscious, soul. Body is made of five elements viz. space, air, fire, water and earth.
The union of the individual soul with these five elements is called birth and disconnection is called death. Soul is a source of energy that has no birth or death, rather the body takes birth or dies. Good karmas transform the individual self to Punyatma and bad karmas to Paapatma. By continuous practice of Yoga, the body gradually attains a state of stability and good health and the mind becomes pure and calm.
Ultimately, the practitioners start realizing the existence of self in real sense. Only after realization of the true form of the individual self, one will be able to have a glimpse of the God within. Once the individual soul becomes pure and stable, it will be able to experience oneness with the universal soul. The more we get closer to the universal soul, the more we start experiencing the ultimate bliss. The state of union between the soul and the universal soul is called Yoga