What Is Yoga?

om-set-1Yesterday I wrote

Yoga is union.  That is the doctoral thesis of this whole practice.  If you master those three words, “Yoga is union,” then there is no more.

What is yoga then?  What is union?  I also wrote that there is an ultimate reason to practice yoga, what is that?

The Bhagavad Gita states it.  Patañjali covers it in the Yoga Sutras.  The very word, yoga, says it.  The ultimate reason to practice yoga is yoga, which means union.  The natural question to ask now is, “Union with what?” and the popular answer is “Union of heart, mind, body and spirit” or some variation of that but that question actually highlights the very problem and, also, the solution.

“Union with what?” implies that there is some separation between me and some other thing that I can solve through the unification that yoga creates.  This is not what union or yoga means at all.  It does not mean I need to bring heart, mind, body and spirit together or that I need to become unified with the cosmic oneness or with all of humanity.  These all imply that there is some sort of separation that I need to solve.

Yoga, union, means that there was never any separation in the first place.  Separation is the illusion.  Union is the reality that has always been.  The practices of yoga simply clear away the clutter so we can experience what was already there, what has always been there.

The real question is this:  Have you experienced yoga?

Jai Bhagwan