The question of -what is yoga- no longer holds as much mystery in the western world as it use to. With the current explosion of yoga interest in the world most people have at least some idea, and an opinion on the subject.
Heath, flexibility, breath-control, peace of mind, relaxation, spiritual growth and longevity, are just a few words that different people think yoga is; or what yoga can bring to them.
In fact they are all right, as yoga is a complete science of life, and therefore covers all aspects of life whether you are stretching on the mat, sitting for meditation or just getting on with mundane every day activities.
Yoga originated in India many thousands of years ago, it is the oldest system of personal development in the world, encompassing body, mind and spirit. Anyone can practice yoga. You don’t need special equipment or clothes, just a small amount of space and a strong desire for a happier, more fulfilled life.
Many people are drawn to yoga as a way to keep their bodies fit and supple, good to look at, and to live in. Others are seeking help or relief for a specific complaint, like tension or backache. Some are merely impelled by a sense that they are not getting as much out of life as they could be. Whatever your reason, with regular practice, yoga can be a tool, clearing the obstacles and giving you both what you came for, and more.
To understand what yoga is all about you need to experience it for yourself, don’t blindly believe what you read or hear, understand from your own experience. At first glance it seems to be little more than a series if physical postures, which keep the body lean and flexible. But in time, anyone who continues with regular practice becomes aware of subtle changes in their approach to life – for through persistently toning and relaxing the body and stilling the mind, you being to glimpse a state of inner peace which is your true nature.
It is this that constitutes the essence of yoga – this self-realization that we are seeking, consciously or unconsciously, and towards which we are all gradually evolving.