What is Yoga?

"Learn to feel yourself in other bodies to know that we are all one."

Vivekananda.

Introduction

Yoga is a practical philosophy usually associated with Indian tradition.

It involves a set of practices that integrates the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of our being into a cohesive and harmonious unit.

It is usually understood as a system of exercises designed to promote flexibility and strength, vitality and vigour, rejuvenation and relaxation.

It can also be understood as a path to meditation, leading to a state of inner peace and harmony.

In truth, it is a combination of both. Body and mind are not seen as separate from each other but as one inner communications network that operates continuously throughout the span of our lives.

Neither is the individual seen as separate from the environment within which he lives out his life, but as an integral component within the whole of nature. We are continuously transmitting and receiving signals to and from each other, from the earth and all its wondrous and diverse inhabitants, and extending out throughout the cosmos in a vast network of energy emanations. A blade of grass does not die that the distant stars do not notice, and as individuals, we never walk alone.

Though everything seems separate and distinct from our limited point of view, the practice of yoga is an invitation to see and realise, within our life experience, our oneness with all created beings and things and ultimately the Creative Source from which everything arises.

We are invited to see the bigger picture and our individual purpose within this vast scheme. The intelligence that regulates the movements of the stars, the growth of a flower or the lifespan of a humble insect is the same power that governs the life of each human being.

As participants in that intelligence, we can experience the rewards of a practice that has engaged the human race for thousands of years, that is, a body that is strong and flexible, a heart that is open and receptive, and a mind that is free and inspired.