Yoga: Connect – Practice – Be
The word Yoga may bring up a wide variety of images and expectations most likely including the words stretching and pretzel along with images of a room full of people on mats, moving in a trance like state.
Yoga is a sanskrit word (ancient indian language) that can best be translated as a state of or act of Harmony, Unity, or Balance.
The aim for any Yoga practice is to practice the tools to enter into a state of being which is balanced, relaxed, and in harmony. The common modern experience of Yoga which we will call asana (the yogic postures) is a means for the yogi (person practicing yoga) to come into a state of inner balance and harmony which is achieved by moving the body with the breath with the ultimate goal of relaxing and slowing down the mind.
While it is a common perception that yoga is about the body, the body is seen here only as an extension of the mind and if we can relax our body we can relax our mind and vice versa. So the term Yoga or harmony is a state of being in which our mind is united with our body which is united with the breath. The ancient Yogi’s prescribed a philosophy and a variety of tools to connect these three parts of the human (mind,body,breath) as they found when these three things were working together, the person felt a greater sense of calm, ease, relaxation, and ultimately love throughout their whole body. They found that the more they practiced this feeling of harmony, the more they felt a part of a greater universal intelligence. In more succinct words, as they found harmony within themselves they felt themselves in harmony with the greater world and by extension universe.
So Yoga is a state of Harmony/Balance/Ease/Grace/Relaxation that is achieved by tools of connection. We use our mind to connect to our breath, and our breath to connect to our body. As our body moves with our breath, our mind begins to slow down and relax its grasp on verbal constructs. As this chatter releases, a deeper, richer experience if found called: Direct Experience also known as Satori, Samadhi, or Peace.
Any means to join with this state of Yoga (noun) is also a Yoga (verb). So we Yoga (connect) to Yoga (practice) to be Yoga (harmony).