Yoga – What is Yoga?
Yoga is a Sanskrit word derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj” which means to connect, join or balance.
The most important thing, however, is that Yoga – with its entire applications and implications – is a powerful means to an end.
The ultimate end of all human pursuits is “Moksha.” Moksha is freedom from all bondage; freedom from insecurities; freedom from the clutches of desires; freedom from the sense of limitations and inadequacy; freedom from all that thwarts us on our divine journey in life. In other words, the end of all human pursuits is everlasting peace, happiness and a sense of fulfillment. This is possible with steady and prolonged sincere practice of Yoga. It activates a process of cleansing and purification of mind, which in turn, prepares us for the dawning of Self-knowledge.
Yoga means this connection; this knowledge that removes the impurities and the veil of ignorance that keeps us strangers to ourselves.
The Structure of Yoga:
When most people talk about yoga, they are referring to Hatha yoga. Hatha is the most popular type of yoga; one which many other styles of yoga are based upon, including Ashtanga, Bikram and Kundalini yoga.
The various branches of Yoga could be, for practical purposes, classified into five basic groups:
- Jnana Yoga: the Yoga of knowledge of the absolute.
- Karma Yoga: the Yoga committed to selfless service and Dharma.
- Bhakti Yoga: the Yoga devoted to love and devotion to God.
- Raja Yoga: the Yoga committed to introspection and contemplation.
- Hatha Yoga: the Yoga devoted to the discipline of the body and the balance of the mental, physical and subtle forces of the body through the practice of asana and pranayama.