The word Yoga is derived from Sanskrit and means to yoke or to unite. In practice this can mean a variety of things to people for example, some may consider yoga to be a union of the mind, body and soul, others a form of exercise, meditation or a union of our consciousness/true self with universal consciousness.
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali provide “chitta vritti nirodha”, meaning yoga is ‘the restraint of the modifications of the mind stuff’. In effect, yoga is science of the mind.
To my mind, what is important is your experience of yoga. Over time and with practice, my experience changed. Initially I viewed yoga asana as an exercise, it was entirely subjective and I fought with the body and mind to achieve a desired result – the pose sought. After much huffing, puffing and judgment, the journey inwards began, always with breath as the focus. The practice became kinder as I let go of the battle. As I learned and accepted to move with the breath and observed, yoga became a moving meditation. It is beauty and peace from within, a way of life and yoga always makes me smile.
I came to understand that yoga is not about achieving an end result. Instead the beauty, joy and learning lies in the practice itself.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali
We have the greatest power of love and peace residing within. This can be experienced as sublime joy when the mind is quietened. Yoga is a journey of transformation. This journey does not end.
Peace and love.