What is Yoga or Why Yoga? That is the Question
I keep on being asked what is Yoga... And truth is there can be no definite or simple and short answer, definition or explanation! Yoga etymologically means to connect. It is said that yoga have originated in India during the Golden Age, nearly 26,000 years ago. The actual Sanskrit word, 'yuj' means "to control", "to yoke" or "to unite". The word has also been translated to mean "joining", "uniting" and "union".
Amongst the many teachers, gurus and sages all of them devoted yogis who have experienced this 'connection' we can find hundreds of definitions, explanations of what Yoga is.
This is exactly the distinctive part of giving a simple answer of what yoga is! It is always 'connected' to the experience of the individual, hers/his perception and awareness.
I find that a better, shorter and more accurate answer can be found if we shift our approach on understanding Yoga if we ask 'Why we do Yoga'.
This is simply because there is an underlying intention both behind the question and the answer.
What does motivate, inspire and keep all the yogis across the globe for hundreds of thousands of years to show up on and off their mat into their daily yogic practises, to show up to and for themselves?
EXACTLY this! To show up. To devote and engage that I will show up, for my body, my mind my self and then the hundreds of benefits of yoga will then show up for me too!
Depending on what I need, what my physical and emotional pains are, where I shift my attention and awareness to, will eventually have the answer to come to me. Eventually the detachment from the expectation of 'a' Yoga that is going to heal me, make me calm, make me thin etc.
We do yoga to show up and face our true self.
Amongst the many practises of yoga i.e healthy eating, heathy thoughts and actions, we do the physical practise, the asanas or poses, to sustain our physical body in a good and healthy shape.
Our body is the temple of our self the place where our soul resides. Our first and last home. We do yoga to sustain this structure, be breathe in purpose to allow the fresh air to enter our house and refresh the darkest corners, we clean it from the inside out, we fix every crack and we paint with fresh colours the spots that have been neglected. We maintain its structure and its foundations. We acknowledge that we are life and we take responsibility for this!
In other words we do Yoga because of its physical and mental benefits and even more...
Some of the benefits are listed below
Physical Benefits of Yoga
Improved Body Alignment (reduces joint pain)
Mental Benefits of Yoga