The word yoga, as commonly understood in the West, refers to the practice of asanas or postures. This asana practice known as Hatha Yoga, is the basis from which other schools of yoga developed. More on Hatha Yoga is described in the section below.
Yoga means different things to different people. Perhaps, you are overweight and practice yoga as a form of exercise to have a beautiful physique, or you have an ailment, and look to yoga practice for healing, or you suffer from stress and anxiety, and yoga is your tool to induce mental calmness and peace of mind. You may have unsatisfactory relationships at home and work and look to yoga to improve the quality and depth of your relationships. Or, you may look to yoga to help you find the meaning of your existence. Yoga can help in all these areas as yoga benefits the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components in us.
However, the ultimate goal of yoga is to prepare the body and mind for experiencing the higher states of awareness and consciousness, to open our eyes to new possibilities and new ways of thinking and living. Good health, wealth, peace of mind, contentment and clarity of mind are all the side effects of the regular practice of yoga. It help man find maximal happiness and fulfillment in life, no matter what their religious or belief system may be. The emphasis will be on your personal effort and practice as that will develop your sensitivity and awareness to both your internal and external surroundings.
Yoga is an ancient science, a most valuable inheritance, and essential in today’s society. It is a science to prepare and train the body and mind to experience the awakening of the inner potential bioenergy – the Kundalini Shakti. This Kundalini energy when awakened, will activate the non-mechanical parts of the brain and the deeper strands of DNA, allowing one to experience extraordinary energy, clarity, calmness, creativity, and ultimately, the experience of Completion, Enlightenment, Samadhi, or Nithyananda, eternal bliss. In the process, this energy awakens our dormant powers which will support and guide us to manifest our reality, living creative and fulfilling lives.
The word yoga is also commonly defined as “union”, a union with the divine. It has also been defined as “uniting”. It is the uniting of the Shiva the conscioiusness at the sahasrara, with Shakti, the kundalini energy which ascends up the sushumna to the sahasrara. When this ultimate union occurs, yoga happens.