What is Yoga?


There are many texts discussing the definition and aims of yoga. One of the original texts is:

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali which contains 195 verses in sanskrit and dates back to the 2nd and 3rd Centuries

In this text Patanjali gives a definition of yoga as:

योग: चित्त-वृत्ति निरोध:
( yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ )

– Yoga Sutras 1.2

 I. K. Taimni translates it as “Yoga is the inhibition (nirodhaḥ) of the modifications (vṛtti) of the mind (citta)”

Or, yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is the heart of yoga, according to Desikachar in his book “Heart of Yoga”. He states that this heart of yoga does not change, having been given a permanent definition all those years ago. The Yoga Sutra is vast in its scope and can be studied in depth for a clearer understanding or there are varied texts on the sutras available.

Yoga is vast and diversified.

The word yoga stems from the sanskrit language and has many meanings.

Yoga is an Art and Science of disciplining the body mind.

This leads to the question: What is yoga’s purpose:

Traditional yoga has the aim of setting us free with increasing degrees of inner freedom.

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