Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India.
The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Although most people identify Yoga with the sexy poses, Yoga purists define Yoga as using the breath to still the fluctuating mind. The poses (Asanas) are to help train the physical body how to relax and sit for long periods of time in Meditation.
The Sanskrit word yoga has the literal meaning of “yoke”, from a root yuj meaning to join, to unite, or to attach. As a term for a system of abstract meditation or mental abstraction it was introduced by Patañjali in the 2nd century BC. Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi or yogini.
“The Yogi’s life is not measured by the number of his days but by his number of breaths.”
BKS Iyengar’s “Light on Life” book is considered the modern day “Yogic Training Bible”. Check him out back in the day!