Yoga is a science of right living and it works when integrated in our daily life. It works an all aspects of the person : the physical, mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual. Yoga is a 5000-year-old Indian philosophy that combines exercise, breathing, diet, relaxation and meditation.
Yoga is the art of living. Yoga is good for your posture and structural balance (leading to mental balance), it promotes flexibility and suppleness, strength and stamina, tones the internal organs, improves concentration, teaches you how to breathe more effectively facilitates relaxation and calms the mind.
The word Yoga is existent for more than five thousand years. However, even today, it may be the most popular Indian word in the world. The term Yoga is derived from the root 'Yuj' or Yujir which means union (Yujir Yoge). The Union denotes that individual soul (Jivatman) with the cosmic soul (Paramatma). According to another derivation word Yoga means 'concentration' (Yuj Samadhi).
In Bhagavad Gita, the word Yoga is used to express sense of divine power and glory. The word Yoga is rich collection of meaning of both in ancient and contemporary science and literature.
योगश्चितवृत्तिनिरोधः | (प.यो.सू. 1/2)
Yoga = Process of yoking; union
Chitta = consiousness
Vrutti = patterning,turnings,movements
Nitrodha = stilling,cessation,restriction
मनः प्रशंनोपायः योगइत्यभिदियते | (योगवसिष्ट 3/9/32)
According to Yogavasishta, Yoga is a considered as a technique to pacify thoughts of the mind.
सिदध्यसिधयो: समो भूत्वा समत्वं योगमुच्यते | (भगवद् गीता २/४८)
State of equanimity in gain or loss. When mind is detached from the material world it could maintain a desire free state. Desire free mind will not be influenced with gain or loss, win or defeat and pleasure or misery.
योगः कर्मसु कोशलम | (भगवद् गीता २:४८)
Yoga is skill in action. Those who perform action with mental state will be able to diffuse the effect of hos Sanchita Karma (accumulated fruits of present birth) and Prarabdha Karma (carried over fruit of last birth). This state of mind will pave the way for evolving into the state of super consciousness.Yoga is a technique to perform action without being attached .
दुख संयोगो: वियोगः योग इत्येव संज्ञितं | (भगवद् गीता ६:२३)
According to this definition Yoga is disunion or negation of union of the self with sorrow. Shankaracharya also considers Yoga as disunion or negation of all kinds of miseries and miss happenings with the self.
अत्मेन्द्रियमनोsर्थानं सन्निकर्षात प्रवर्तते |
निवर्त्ततेदुभयंअशित्वंचोपजायते | सश्रिर्स्ययोगज्ञ्यास्तंयोगमृशयोविदुः || (च.शा. 1/ 138-139)
charakacharya explains Yoga as a state where mind gets attached to soul. When soul, sense faculty, mind and sensual objects come in contact, communication between the internal and external envirnment establishes.
Maharshi Patanjali has made great contributions in removing impurities in three domains namely though Ayurveda in body for good health, through commentary in panini's grammar for good speech and through yoga for achieving pure mind.
We are grateful to Maharshi Patanjali for systematically presenting a comprehensive process of yoga through AshtangaYoga.