“Lets Explore Yoga” Series


Yoga  is a breath-taking discipline. Ofcourse not just related to “breath” 🙂

Due to the popular usage in  recent medical practices for “stress reduction”, yoga has become a common word. A picture of a saint in warrior pose or a chic posing in cobra pose is what many see. Especially in Groupon deals.

A casual talk with friends or colleagues on health issues will bring Yoga in the picture. When I request them to give a try to Art of Living Course, the first thing that comes from them – “Is it Yoga ?” , “I do Yoga”, “I did Yoga sometime back and I know its good”, “I did Yoga in my childhood but no time now”, “Is this breathing technique” ?

Then I have to slowly take a step back and say “Yeah !! Its definitely Yoga  but little more than asanas.” and stop myself explaining in detail. Then they reply back – “Then I know a little about it. Sorry ! I don’t have time for this course now.”

There is a responsibility on part of Yoga teachers to impart the right approach to Yoga.

  • Yoga is just not asanas.
  • There is no single form of Yoga.
  • Yoga is not region centric like from India or China or East.
  • Yoga is universal and not time bound.
  • Yoga is multi disciplinary science.

As we spread the awareness about Yoga to the public, it is imperative that our approach needs to be global and not just making them do some poses and feel good for that session. It is responsibility of every practitioner to be able to comfortable explain Yoga from a higher standpoint.

Yoga comes from the sanskrit root word “Yug” which means Union.

Union of what ?? It is the harmony in anything that brings fulfilment and freedom in life. So the entire essence of Yoga is to establish harmony within and outside.

We find various definitions of Yoga in scriptures. Some of the classic definitions which my teachers pointed out are

  1. Sutra #2 in Yoga Sutras of Patanjali : Yogash chitta vritti nirodhah. Tada drashtuh svarupe avasthanam
    Yoga is the mastery of the activities of the mind-field. Then the seer rests in its true nature.
  2. Chapter 2 Sloka  38 in Bhagavad Gita : sukha dukhe same’ kritva labha labhou jaya jayou
    Yoga is Equanimity of mind in profit-loss, happiness-sorrow
  3. Chapter 2 Sloka 50 in Bhagavad Gita :Yogah Karmasu Kausalam
    Dexterity in action brings Yoga (or) Yoga brings skill in action.
  4. “Be Still” from the Bible. I feel this same as the definition of Yoga by Patanjali.

PS : Excuse me if my translation of these slokas aren’t apt and in depth.

So whatever we do, be in acquire wealth, position, fame is to bring satisfaction and fulfillment. But down the line, we loose sight of the goal to be in harmony and end up in conflicts both internal and external.

An exhaustive study into Yoga is no doubt can remove the unawareness that has clouded our intelligence and very being. Yoga is so comprehensive that it starts with a premise and its completely logical and observatory.

It invites you to probe and explore and complements both experience and understanding.

So next time someone tells you about Yoga just take a conscious effort and time to ask and explain a bit.

The Art of Living course is one such treasure which I received and thus began my deep interest in Yoga.

I’m sure any long time practitioner or teacher of Yoga will be able to relate Yoga with your life.

Hope this post has kindle some curiosity in taking Yoga in wider context.