what is yoga

Quite simply, we see yoga as a system of living.

Mentally, yoga can be used to expand our consciousness and achieve thought processes on an elevated plane.

Physically, the practice of asana and pranayama maintains our bodily health and has countless benefits for our cardiovascular, neuromuscular, digestive, and reproductive systems.

Spiritually, it provides a sense of wellness, grounding, and peace – after all, the oft cited definition in the Yoga Sutras (I:2) is “yogaś-citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ” i.e. “yoga is the stilling of the mind“.

Now, having touched on this central definition, it may be useful to examine other descriptions in other primary texts.

The inner search for a connection with a Higher Power should drive the seeker to learning and walking through the limbs of yoga towards the final limb – samadhi. In this unified divine state, inner turmoil ceases: “when you are unmoved by the confusion of ideas and your mind is completely unified in deep samadhi, you will attain the state of perfect yoga.” (The Bhagavad Gita 2:53)

This system of living, practiced for thousands of years, is the search and journey we have decided to try and embark upon. To some, certain concepts described herein may at first instance seem lofty and idealistic. We wish to impress upon this type of reader that there are very practical and accessible methods of beginning the walk.

Eventually, “…when consciousness is unified…all vain anxiety is left behind. There is no cause for worry, whether things go well or ill. Therefore, devote yourself to the disciplines of yoga, for yoga is skill in action.” (The Bhagavad Gita 2:50)

We hope that your search will bring fulfillment and we wish to hear about your path, for all of us have a special story that is unique and divine in its own right.

I wish you peace and contentment.

Adriel J. Ho on behalf of The Steering Committee, Path8