What is the Meaning Of Yoga

namaste so what is yoga this is such an interesting question and it's a very broad question and sometimes we might not realize how broad of a question that is so I'm going to outline a little bit where yoga comes from the definition of yoga and the different interpretations or articulations of that over the years so yoga is part of the sanatana-dharma and that means it's part of the ancient wisdom tradition that comes from India and sanatana-dharma means the eternal way so this is part of a knowledge that was considered to exist within the universe so yoga specifically the word means huge in Sanskrit or to yoke or mastery so think about a yoke for cattle so in older times people used to use a yoke to keep two cattle operating together to keep them working in harmony for a kind of an integration so in this interpretation of yoke Yoga means to bring ourselves into a state of harmony or into a state of integration the body the mind and the spirit or the body the breath and the mind yes so if we're not working in harmony if the breath and the body and mind are all sort of off kilter then we're not in a clear state or we're not operating as would be for the highest and the best in our lives or in society so Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh used to say Yoga is the integration of head heart and hands so that what we think and what we feel and say and do are all in harmony are all the same so for thinking one thing and saying a different thing then you can see obviously that this that this doesn't work well or it leads to disharmony in our lives or amongst us and other people so peace or ease or this state that is yoga comes from the integration of head heart and hands I just love this interpretation because it's very practical it's very easy to understand but in a more mystical sentence we could think of yoga as the integration of the unit soul and the supreme soul so it's the integration of our energy system with that harmonious rhythm of nature often we call that own so that just eternal vibration of the universe so when we come into harmony with that eternal vibration then naturally we just drop back into a state of ease so they say that the word yoga in terms of a path was first articulated in the Bhagavad Gita and that was in about 1500 BC so when Krishna this embodiment of wisdom this embodiment of the divine he was talking to Arjuna his cousin and they were on the edge of a battlefield and he begins to give this discourse on yoga and he goes through it and he says you know Yoga is a on yoke or he entitles this beyond yoga so that is the yoga of contemplation of the mind bringing the mind into harmony through contemplation and then the second path is bhakti yoga the yoga of devotion and the third is karma yoga this yoga of action of homo Gnaeus action and I'm going to talk about these three in another video but suffice it to say that in the bhagavad-gita it's the first time we see the word yoga used in this way so krishna says this is yoga these paths are routes to yoga so that brings me to an interesting point that yoga is actually a state of being Yoga is that state it's not a doing and nowadays in modern times we often call yoga we say we're gonna do yoga we mean yoga postures and the postures are part of a vast technology that's used to bring us into the state of yoga so they are actually ways to come into this harmonious state this integration so I just think that's an interesting point because Yoga is the path but yoga is also the state that is beyond doing that it's just a deep presence a deep beingness so that is really yoga this integration and this I guess brings us to Patanjali in the 3rd century AD we think potentially articulated the Yoga Sutras and his 2nd Sutra is a definition of yoga he says yogas chitta vritti nirodha and that means roughly Yoga is the stilling of fluctuations in consciousness or yoga is the stilling of the thought waves in the mind so again we come to this idea that Yoga is a stilling or a settling or an integration and once we come into that state then there's there's a peaceful beingness there's an expansiveness there's an ease of anything that's gonna come from that state and the action that's gonna come from that state and I would like to just say that when we think about what we know about thought waves through a eg machines and things like this we have beta which is the very rapid cycling of thought waves and this is where we're actively thinking or actively sort of busy engaged in multiple different activities we have a very rapid cycling of of thought waves but alpha is a Stiller one when we're doing shavasana for example or when we're holding a posture taking a deep breath and allowing the mind to drop into alpha which is a more gently undulating thought wave pattern slower than that is theta so we go into a deep shavasana or were in the state between waking and sleeping in the yoga technology we often talk about these states between waking and sleeping we're in a very still state of mind that's very intuitive intuitions or visions think of when you wake up in the morning and sometimes proof an idea or concept or something you've been working on is just right there so the theta state is very intuitive state slower than that is a delta so very quiet fluctuations of mind and this is what potentially is likely talking about in Sutra - that Yoga is this settling of the thought waves in the mind and these are natural States we sometimes think of yoga as hard something that's difficult to do but Yoga is actually a technology to allow us to utilize the natural capacities of body and mind for integration for deep stillness in which there is a clarity a harmony and a deep understanding or a deep wisdom so in yoga you call that fact or truth and we come to this deep understanding of the truth of the universe so that's a little bit about yoga potentially goes on and to talk about the technology from saying yogas chitta vritti nirodh Yoga is the settling this is a definition of yoga this stillness and he goes on with a wealth of a repertoire of what allows us to experience that and he's most famous for his Eightfold Path Ashtanga Yoga and I'll do another video to explain that but suffice it to say that the Yoga Sutras is probably one of the most well known articulations of what is yoga and how to come to this state so I hope that gives you a little bit of an understanding of how far back we see the term of yoga in terms of a path and also the broader wisdom to tradition in which it exists thus not in a Dharma or the Indian wisdom traditions ah thank you very much for listing and see you again how do you you