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What is Yoga?

Love, hunger, sleep, fear and procreation are instincts which are common to both animals and human beings. The power of analysis and discrimination or the faculty of intelligence are the speciality in the human race and without that, it is equivalent to an animal. Nature has so many secrets and hidden techniques for self-realization. We always search for love, happiness and peace from outer sources and completely ignore our inner one. Once when we realize ourselves through the eternal journey, then we reach the state of the true nature of the human being.
Yoga (Asanas, Bandhas, Mudras, Parnayam, Meditation, Mantra, Tantra etc) is also one of those hidden techniques which can help us to know ourselves. Yoga is the product of the perennial wisdom of India. One can trace the origin of Yoga back to the period of Indus Valley civilisation i.e. at least three thousand years before Christ. All through the last five thousand years it has remained as one of the most important facets of the Indian culture, remaining vibrant and responsive to the changing times all through this period.
As it came to be developed in India, it came to be associated with the development of Hinduism and its philosophy. But in its essence it has always remained separated from any doctrine or dogma and never demanded acceptance of any specific belief system. It has always remained as a pathway open for all the people professing different faiths belonging to different religions. In essence, it is a path of spiritual enquiry, awakened by the earnest desire for having a deeper understanding of the Life and the entire phenomenon associated with it.
The literal meaning of the word Yoga in Sanskrit is INTEGRATION, state of union between two opposite poles or body and mind or individual and universal awareness. In this sense, Yoga represents a process through which one can learn how to live in the most integrated way. It involves therefore the process of identification and then elimination of all that would contribute in disintegration.
“YOGAS CHITTA-VRTTI-NIRODHAH” - Yoga Sutras1.2
(it means the control of the mind or become no mind)
In mind, we have so many things like desires, expectations, egos, hopes, etc. When taken in this sense it becomes a continuous process, requiring constant vigilance and involving all the aspects of life. In this integrated way of living, the process of identification of all the elements causing ill health and the use of appropriate techniques to neutralise their ill effects become one of the primary concerns of Yoga. Thus Yoga, which is essentially a Science of personal growth for spiritual experience, has simultaneously become a Science of Health and Healing.