Defining yoga in the western world has been transformed from the original meaning. The meaning of yoga is considered as a word symbolizing a challenging workout that only some may participate. However, this definition does not provide justice to the actual meaning of the word yoga. Here we will break down the literal translation and discuss ones likely experience with the term: YOGA.
Defining yoga and it’s word origin:
Translating the word yoga from Sanskrit, yoga is a verb used to define yoke (couple). The literal translation in Latin is jungere, also a verb but the literal translation defines yoga as to join.
At The Pursuit of Yoga we have taken the literal translation and used this as our definition throughout. In the western world yoga carries a smorgasbord of meanings. Other cultures define yoga as a state of being, a way of living and a practice of communication. Along with this yoga is also defined as a religion and some consider yoga a spiritual path. Our intention is to define yoga as a means to connect. Here we are connecting everyone, practioners and providors teachers and students whom practice yoga. We choose to keep the definition open. You will note we have a melange of providors, some who teach physical movements like Hatha Vinyasa and also those whom teach sound healing techniques. We provide space for everyone that chooses to live in a place of connection. Positive connection, positive light, peaceful in nature and clean of heart.
Defining yoga as a practice:
Every practice is going to be different because it is going to be your practice. Permission is given to practice any way you like. One could join their religious, physical and spiritual self. Defining yoga in the modern world is misconstrued to mean that practicing yoga is only possible in the form of a physical state. This is a misconception. Being within a state of consciousness one is harnessing the movements of the body with the breath, to gain better balance. Defining yoga encompasses all.
Beginning yoga, whatever and however the practice is . . . practiced . . . the root remains constant and that is to connect and bring together. This is a universal understanding at the base for all purposes.
There are several different types of yoga, which is right for me?
There are hundreds of schools of yoga, here are a few popular examples:
bhakti yoga (surrendering to love and devotion to love),
jnana yoga (service through wisdom),
- karma yoga (service to all without attachment) and,
- raja yoga (a combination of all mentioned plus some)
– kundalini yoga (a form of raja ~ purifying the body through kriyas)