Updated: Mar 26
This word has so many meanings, connotations, and perspectives. I will give you mine.
The literal translation from Sanskrit to English is yuj or "to yoke" to unify. Take into to consideration that Sanskrit is one of the first known languages and has been around for thousands of years and to most now it is considered dead.
The first known text we have of yoga is the yoga sutras that date back 5000 years and we can assume even before then the tradition was taught and carried on orally.
With all that being said what does yoga mean to us today? To most it is a means of exercise, a set of postures set to breathe to tone and lengthen the muscles. Some even dive a little deeper to say that it includes meditation, breathe exercises and chanting. In my translation and in my daily practice I connect more with the literal transition. To Unify.
I think it means all these things: physical postures, mediation, pranayama, chanting, and the list goes on. But why do we do these things? To Unify. The purpose of yoga is to Unify our self, our existence as we know it with our true Self, our consciousness. Even to go a step further I believe that the purpose is to connect to the greater consciousness of all beings, the living energy that flows through all life. To unify as One.
The yoga we practice today is simply a tool for us to shed our ego and allow us to become unified and connected to what is true. We will dive deeper into all these things. Take the time to reflect and journal. What does yoga mean to you?