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People generally speak of the definition of yoga in terms of what the word yoga means.
It is literally translated as 'yoke', meaning to 'join together' or 'to unite'.
But what are we joining together?
We are uniting the three fold Self:
This very rudimentary definition of yoga then opens us to a vast world of deep potential, that we will explore here and throughout the entire website.
For when we understand that yoga is the union of Body, Mind and Spirit, we understand that everything is yoga!
Yes, everything! From eating to walking to sleeping to talking; if we do it with consciousness, we move closer to full union with ourselves and all that surrounds us. This is the basis of my yoga therapy practice.
Life can become a 24-7 Yogic Dance if you let it.
This was an aha moment for me when I realized this years ago, but without getting overwhelmed I want you to first understand that yoga is essentially a very practical set of guidelines on how to live. Should you choose to accept these guidelines, the balancing and healing effects of yoga will create your life's Happiness and Bliss!
Here is a definition of yoga from a great master, Yogi Bhajan:
We will learn more about Yoga Origins in another article, however, it is useful to discuss a great sage by the name of Patanjali here.
Patanjali took the classical teachings of various schools of yogic philosophy and recorded them in what are known as sutras (short, thought-laden aphorisms).
He also devised a system known as the 8 Limbs of Yoga Practice. These 8 Limbs represent a precise definition of yoga that assists us in purifying our body, mind and spirit. This is the technology that assists our conscious growth and union.
Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga:
As you can see from the above explanation, yoga is much more than physical exercises known as asanas.
Yoga is not about perfecting the physical body, it is not about flexibility poses and it is not about tight yoga pants! Although all of these can be part of yoga, it is far from the bigger picture.
The definition of yoga in the west seems to have forgotten most of Patanjali’s sutras that enable us to merge our tri-fold structure: the Body, Mind and Spirit.
If your only experience with yoga at this point is the postures and flexibility exercises, then I encourage you to continue reading the various components on this website that will assist you in creating Your unique holistic yogic lifestyle.
Some suggestions to begin your 8 Limb yoga journey, depending on what you are drawn to learn, would be:
Blessings on your conscious Journey toward Wholeness; toward Oneness in Body-Mind-and-Soul!
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