Defining Yoga

The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word, yuj, or yoke. Yoga means “to link,” “connect,” or “join with.”

Yoga practice is not a solitary endeavor. You can practice it alone, but its purpose is to connect you to something—your body, your breathing, your emotions, or the things you are doing in your life—your work, your hobbies, your relationships.

But what does the practice of “yoga” really mean?

Yoga also means relationship. Yoga IS relationship. And a relationship is yoga.

The ancients understood yoga by way of relationships. In yoga, relationships are developed, and through relationships yoga is mastered.

Each time you make an attempt to “link” with something, you are doing yoga.

The fact is, YOU are a relationship. You are a composite and interaction of all the various parts of yourself. When you are doing yoga, you are serving the mind-body relationship, your energy and emotions, and your higher self, all at the same time.

When you are practicing yoga you are connecting the physical postures with the breathing techniques. The union of these two parts are a vital relationship.

In relating to the various parts of yourself, you first have to give them your attention. Then you can move closer to them by participating or interacting with them. You get a dialogue going.

Eventually, you’ll find yourself in an intimate relationship with them.

Being in a healthy relationship with yourself is the true meaning—and goal—of yoga.

Get better at nurturing the relationship with yourself by reading: “Emotional Yoga: How the Body Can Heal the Mind“.

Bija is the new Chair of The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) Yoga Therapy Initiative. 

Find out more here.



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