A gentle introduction to Yoga

The term Yoga, though popular, remains superficially understood by most of us. Despite having grown up in India, I always had thought Yoga is a form of physical exercise. If you think of Yoga the same way, this post is right for you.

The short story is that – Yoga means Union.
– Is it the union of the body, the mind and/or the soul?
– Is it the union of God’s Consciousness with the Human Consciousness?
– Is it the union of the soul and the Holy Spirit?

I leave it to you to decide. Depending on your personal identity – this may vary.
Let’s now look into different ways of attaining such a remarkable union.

1.Yoga as Action/Service (Karma Yoga)
– Action here implies nurturing the righteous (Dharma) way of living.
– You might want to read one of my earlier posts (jump to point 3 in the post).
– For example, Mahatma Gandhi is a Karma Yogi. (NB: The scripture Bhagavad Gita played a crucial role in Gandhi’s life.)

By dedicating all your works to Me, you will be freed from the bondage of good and bad results. With your mind attached to Me through renunciation, you will be liberated and will reach Me.

Bhagavad Gita

2. Yoga as ‘Asana
– This is the Yoga as we all know of. It is a set of body postures that involve gentle twisting, balancing poses accompanied by conscious breathing.
– This also includes Meditation.

3.Yoga as Devotion (Bhakti Yoga)
– This involves Prayers, Singing the Gods’ names with deepest yearning for the divine connection and so on.
– This is also called as the path of Love.

If one offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, I delightfully partake of that article offered with love by My devotee in pure consciousness.

Bhagavad Gita

4.Yoga as ‘Inner’ Wisdom (Gnana Yoga)
– Understanding the deepest mysteries of the human mind consciousness itself is a form of Yoga. You might translate this into Intellectual form of Yoga. As an example, Socrates is a Gnana Yogi.

An unexamined life is not worth living.

One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.

I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.

Socrates

Having laid out these techniques, I’d also like to state that there is no one particular path for all beings. Probably, that is why we have different options, no? It’s been said that for a sincere aspirant, the path shall be laid before him/her. However, it is also evident that none of these paths are completely distinct from the rest.

It doesn’t matter if one is an atheist or a monotheist or a polytheist, these techniques remain valid to live a righteous living.

I hope this post was useful to you. Thank you for reading.

What do you think is your path, as of now? 🙂