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‘Yoga’, a Sanskrit word, means union. ‘Union’ here refers to mind, body and the spirit. Yoga attempts to unite the three spheres through various poses, referred to as ‘asanas’ and deals more with well being of the mind, less with physical activity.
Yoga is merely one of hundreds of the children of Chinese Traditional Medicine. Like Japan’s tai chi and Korea’s hwal bup do, the practice of yoga feels good to the body. However, neither will have any magical mystical imaginative effect on the human body other than the merely physical.
Yoga has different meanings depending on who you ask, what you read, where you were trained, or what perspective you have in any given moment. Yoga is a "stable and comfortable posture" (Yoga Sutras, translated); Yoga is an 8 limb path TO enlightment. Yoga is an 8 limb path OF enlightenment. In the west, the definition of yoga (and the practice of yoga) tends to focus on the physical aspects of postures, breathing techniques, and meditation. Yoga is those things, but is also service, devotion to a higher being or Self or God. It is the practice of ethics and morals, (known as yamas and niyamas) such as truth, non-harming, non-grasping, energy managment, and self-study. Yoga is living in the moment and accepting life on life’s terms. Yoga is knowing one’s self and therefore knowing everyone else because we are all the same. Yoga is every aspect of being in the universe, all integrated. In short, yoga is….everything…..at every moment, in the moment.
Yoga is a practical aid, not a religion. Yoga is an ancient hindu art based on a harmonizing system of development for the body, mind, and spirit. The continued practice of yoga will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being, and also a feeling of being at one with their environment.