By Melissa Winter

What is Yoga

The word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning to bind, join, attach or yoke, to direct and concentrate ones attention on, to use and apply. It means union, the disciplining of the intellect, the emotions, the will, it means a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects evenly.

Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy. In Indian thought, everything is permeated by the Supreme Universal Spirit of which the individual human spirit is a part. The system of yoga is so called because it teaches the means by which the spirit can be united with God to secure liberation. One who follows the path of Yoga is a yogi (male) or yogin (female).

“ When the restlessness of the mind, intellect and self is stilled through the practice of Yoga, the yogi, by the grace of the Spirit within himself finds fulfilment.” – chapter 6 of the Bhagavad Gita.

There are different facets of yoga each reflecting a different meaning and revealing different aspects of the entire range of human endeavour to win inner peace and happiness.

The Kathopanishad describes Yoga thus, “ When the senses are stilled, when the mind is at rest, when the intellect wavers not – then, say the wise, is reached the highest stage. This steady control of the senses and the mind has been defined as Yoga.” Yoga is the method by which the restless mind is calmed and the energy directed into constructive channels

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