The word ‘Yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning to yoke, more accurately “movement towards union” its purpose is to realize we are divinity itself, this truth has been experienced by all enlightened beings. According to Yoga, the ‘self’ (soul) is timeless, unchanging and free of sorrows.
Yoga is one of the six classical Indian philosophies and is referred to throughout the Vedas – the oldest scriptures in the world dated back to 5000 BC.
While hatha yoga is the most common form of yoga in the West, the practice of asanas (postures) constitutes only one branch of this path. In addition to asana, which is the third limb of the yoga path, the other seven limbs include yamas (ethical rules), niyamas (spiritual observances), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (absorbtion).
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Yoga is not a religion. Another misconception is that Yoga is merely a type of exercise, a way for us to keep fit. It is partly true but that is just a side effect of its practice. Yoga develops the body since a weak one is a hindrance to spiritual growth. It does not simply focus on the physical but on the mental and spiritual aspects as well.
In a Hatha Yoga; asana practice, breathing and relaxation is experienced, alleviating the stress that day –to- day life imposes. When incorporated with proper diet and positive thinking, it will lead to good health and peace of mind which may inspire some to pursue its total integration and further experience truth by realizing our true nature.
Yoga can be practiced by anyone. It does not require any special equipment or clothing. What it requires is your will to have a healthier and happy life.