It would not do Yoga justice, to try and describe it in a few paragraphs. However an examination of it’s etymology and that of it’s connected sciences, philosophies and terms, may help us begin to understand all that it encompasses:
- Yoga, to join, unite, connect:
- Tantra, to weave together, to transcend, to expand:
- Ayurveda, the science of life, science of health:
- Veda, knowledge, knowing:
- Jnana, knowing, understanding, intuitive knowledge, wisdom:
Step onto a yoga mat, or study a yogic text and the inevitability is that your awareness begins to extend out, whether it’s into your body, mind or world.
A yoga practice beginning with asanas (physical postures), may lead to a deeper awareness of the body, a knowledge of what is already there, without this having even been our initial intention.
This same awareness can then also be used to explore, understand and direct all aspects of ourselves and our lives. It’s this expansion of awareness that allows us to recognize, harmonize, and ultimately transcend the habits and patterns that exist as the body, mind and life itself – the ultimate aim of Yoga.
So Yoga and it’s connected sciences and philosophies exist both, as the techniques, maps and philosophies to explore, navigate and understand our entire world and selves, while even a single practice can give us a taste of this entirety in a moment.