The word Yoga comes from the word “yoke” - to join together or to unite. Yoga is the union of the individual’s consciousness with the infinite consciousness.
Yoga is a technology of awareness, a personal technical know-how. In Yoga the most important thing is experience. Your experience goes right into your heart. No words can replace that experience. The intellectual knowledge will never hold and sustain you. Knowledge only becomes real wisdom when you experience it with your own heart and being, when it becomes your personal experience. Just because you know about, or believe something is true, does not mean you can act on it. But if you discover the truth and act on the path of that truth, and if you can find bliss, success and fulfillment in yourself as a result, then no power of the EARTH can make you veer from that truth or do wrong. Anything that can hold you and support you is based on real wisdom. That is what yoga does.
Yoga explores your dimensions, depth, nature and potential as a human being. Yoga is greatly needed. In our world today, each person must deeply understand why he is a human being and what it means to be a human being. How to expand the caliber and capacity of the mental faculties, to control physical structure and to experience the Infinite Self.
To begin to study Yoga, understand that you have a threefold structure; body, mind and soul.
Your essence has a vehicle to experience the universe and the Self, through these three facets of you. You must understand, have your own depth and experience of each facet.
The physical body is the first facet you must master and understand as a human being. It is your vehicle to travel through this life. Your inner machinery is very complicated and subtle. It is a very well designed and systematic system. It has glands, blood circulation, heartbeat, muscles and bone, brain and a complex nervous system. It receives and processes and accomplishes ongoing tasks. It needs cleaning, care and running regularly. The balance of your physical vehicle affects the rest of your capacity and experience. These are the basics that you must take care of first. The body is the basic temple in which you can deposit the treasure of happiness in life. You must understand it and learn how you can make the best use of it so it can serve you better and better, without a lot of trouble.
The mind is the second facet in our human life. As you think, so you are. The mind guides your actions and emotions. If you don't have a good road map, you do not know where you are going. We must realise that everything depends on our mental outlook. Happy and unhappy belong to your mind, not to the world. An important part of yoga is to develop the neutral mind and its capacity for intelligence, endurance and integrity. Your mind must gain a neutrality that lets you encounter and enjoy the constant change that is life. We must mature the mind and our attitude to ride on those waves of life and enjoy it. After all what is life? It is a wave. We need a little push and pull to just feel where we are and where we should be.
The roots of insecurity often run deep into the core of the elemental personality of a person’s consciousness. Yoga works to disentangle the threads of insecurity from the layers of the subconscious. In every mental state, the subconscious plays a major role which we are not aware of. The subconscious mind must be taken care of and trained with yoga to be an aid in life. If you do not clean it out it does mischief.
The third facet in the human being is the soul, the spirit. The general flow of cosmic energy. What is your origin? Spirit. What is your end? Spirit. It should inspire you and lift you to your full human capacity. We have to understand the relationship with this infinite energy. We must learn how to tune into it to realise our own life purpose.
We must learn Discipline. A teacher can give you knowledge and techniques - they can’t give you wisdom. It only comes with practice and discipline. Teacher and student have an equally essential part to play in the yoga journey. His part is to provide the knowledge and inspiration, your part is to learn, practice and experience.
If you overcome the limitations, become a steady student and do your practice (sadhana) with regularity, the results are certain! You can enjoy your life more and you can extend your life’s vitality. This is the practical result of yoga. It offers the capacity to live a healthy, happy life.