What is Yoga? Everything you need to know about yoga

By Yogacourse, yoga, yoga course, yoga teacher training

The term yoga stands for unity or joining of two aspects which are self and God or in other words construed to mean of mind and body. It is a misnomer to label yoga as a merely a science of physical exercises. Lord Shiva (meaning Kalyana or welfare) is said to be the deity who unravelled mystics and intricacies of yoga for the welfare of human beings.

Lord Krishna is called a yogiraj due to the fact that his own self was a cohesion of body, mind and intellect. He enunciated through the legendary epic. The Gita, the theories of Gyan (True knowledge), Karma (Action) and Bhakti (devotion) – If a person wishes to attain Nirvana (Salvation or liberation) he has the options of Gyan, Bhakti and karma to choose from.

The ultimate goal of a disciple is to attain such a height of sublimity that he can become one with his lord. In order to attain salvation or unification with the lord, concentration of the highest and sublime order is a pre-requisite and yoga is the method which first of all helps a disciple to train his body in such a way that he does not have any fancy for the worldly riches and, allurements.

Once the body is trained to control its senses, mind won’t distract itself, as mind is the driver of the body, and to run a train efficiently the driver and the vehicle must be in order or else the vehicle cannot be plied. Yoga not only trains and controls of the body, it also trains the mind ‘healthy mind resides in a healthy body’ is and old adage.

Patanjali, the great sage, was the first person to systemise the yogic precepts in a lucid, scientific and understandable language in his monumental work ‘Yoga Sutra’ also known as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.


Basic Yoga Poses Infographic


Yoga Poses for Beginner Education Infographic


He termed and defined yoga as : Chitta-Viritti Nirodh) which means, though simply, yoga means control over / of mental tendencies / faculties.

Broadly speaking it implies that yoga not only controls and suppresses fluctuating tendencies, restlessness activities of the mind, it also helps to eradicate various distractions of the mind through relentless and regular practice (of yoga). In a way yoga awakens all the latent potentialities in a women or man or whoever practices with patience, faith, determination and regularity.

Any casual, lopsided or wayward approach is not going to yield and cogent outcome. It modifies, rectifies, purifies elevates and rejuvenates our mental and physical activities. One who attains expertise in the art of yoga reaches and attains the ultimate aim viz unification with the Lord.


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Yoga purifies impurities of body and mind, casts away evil thinking, ill-will, malice, avarice, allurements and temptations, In a way it helps the disciple to attain peace, self-realisation, universal brotherhood, spiritual unity and equanimity. It also dispels sense of fear, discrimination dualty-pseudo superiority. For a true yogi entire world is his abode, there is no enemy.

It also enables a person to imbibe the true virtues of non-attachment subtle discrimination and peace of mind. Howsoever rich you may be, if you do not enjoy sound health, you loose all charms of your life, if your mind is disturbed your body cannot remain unaffected. Money, body, comforts, health, riches, etc. are not meant to engross you in worldly temptations. They are only means to achieve the ultimate goal, but when the ultimate aim is relegated to the background, we consider the world and its sources of enjoyment as ends and means of life.

In such a situation mental agony and tension surface which not only torment our body they annihilate our mental peace too. So, in order to keep happy which is always in short supply, try to strike a perfect balance between mind and body, and yoga helps all the adherents in this respect.

There is hardly and physical or mental disorder for which yoga has no solution. Yoga does not treat the disorder, it treats the body through mind. Pain is only an offshoot of mental aberration. Pain is felt only when we attach our mind to it, as it is the mind that guides the body, prompts it to take action, forewarn it about the impending danger or any disorder which has already surfaced or may surface. Let it be understood all our physical activities are subservient to mind’s fiat remote control of all sense organs lies in the brain which is visible form of mind.