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What is Yoga?


Yoga is an ancient spiritual discipline of achieving a state of harmony between the mind, body and soul through physical movement, meditation, breathing and relaxation. The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit term Yug, meaning “to yoke, join, bind, or direct one’s attention”. The concept of yoga is centered around fusion or unity between the body and mind through conscious living.

Is Yoga a Religion?

Yoga is not a religion. However, yoga is a spiritual practice that was derived from Hinduism, which is a religion. It is not necessary to be a follower of a particular religion or renounce one’s faith to practice yoga, as it is a means to attain enlightenment and inner peace. Yoga can be religious in nature if one wants it to be, and can co-exist with an existing religious belief as well. The focus should be the union of the body and mind – whether religion is involved does not change the purpose of yoga.

Is Yoga a Science?

To answer the question whether Yoga is a science; the answer is Yes – Yoga is considered a science in many geographies (such as India. This is not merely playing with words to emphasize the widespread acceptance of the spiritual discipline; it is truly referred to as a science and is understood in terms of the scientific method. The science of yoga seeks to verify cause and effect, and build principles based upon objective observations. To be a yoga master of any credibility, one must be highly educated in science, including physics and biological sciences. 

What Does it Mean to Do Yoga?

“To do yoga” is to apply the principles of yogic philosophy and practice to daily life. In general layman’s terms, however, “doing yoga” is often referred to the practice of physical exercise and yoga poses for healthier living.

What is the Purpose of Yoga?

The purpose of yoga is to find unity between the body and mind. Some people are not in tune with the environment and natural world, and are separated from their emotions on a level that disrupts their mind and causes them to be hurt or collapse under pressure. Yoga seeks to unite the body and mind with the environment and the natural world.

Yoga also seeks to unite the rational mind with one’s emotions. Often, when people bottle up their emotions, it results in unhealthy anger and emotional pain. By gaining understanding of one’s emotions, it paves the way for balance, acceptance, empathy and more effective communication.

How Do I Become a Yogi or Yogini?

A person who seeks to balance the body and mind through the practice of yoga and its philosophy is known as a yogi or yogini. A yogi is a male yoga practitioner, whereas a yogini is a female yoga practitioner. 

Merely practicing yoga poses does not make one a yogi or yogini. One who practices yoga as a means for self-transformation, realization and soulful integration is a true yoga practitioner. A yogi or yogini who has mastered the art of yoga is known as an adept. If an adept teaches yoga is called a guru, or one who brings light to darkness.

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