A Yoga Definition
There is no ‘perfect’ yoga definition. In the classical literature, you’ll find many wonderful descriptions. …
But description in these texts often lies in poetic verse and metaphorical prose, and not in any literal sense of the words.
Why? … simply because yoga itself cannot be described in words alone.
So rarely will yogis attempt to define yoga with simple words. Modern teachers even tend to restrict their yoga definition to the word ‘union’, which, even to the seasoned student, leaves little in the way of inspiration or understanding.
Personally, I’ve found so much to light my way toward understanding yoga through the graceful poetry of many of the classical texts. In these ancient archives, you’ll find many wonderful descriptions of yoga both in the literal and metaphorical sense.
… and I guarantee that if you take the time to peer through these gems of wisdom, you will surely be delighted too!
Here’s a small sampling from the classical literature of yoga… as well as some from modern writings too:
Some Nice Descriptions of Yoga
“Yoga is the cessation of the whirlpools of the mind.”
~ Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – (sutra II, Samadhi Pada)
“Yoga is the science and art of accelerating the process and progress towards liberation (moksha).”
~ Yoga Kosa – (Publ. by Kaivalyadhama Inst., Lonavla, India)
“Yoga is the union of Jiva (individual consciousness) with Brahma (Universal consciousness).”
~ Brihadyogiyajnavalkyasmriti – (Ch.2, V.49)
Yoga Definitions From the Bhagavad Gita
“(He) who looks upon opposites as equals, who has risen above duality, and thus freed himself from both vice and virtue, is a Yogi. Verily, work done to perfection is Yoga. Yoga is skill in action.”
~ Bhagavad Gita – (Ch.2, V.50)
“… Be even tempered in both success and failure. This mental evenness is what is meant by Yoga. Indeed, equanimity is Yoga!”
~ Bhagavad Gita – (Ch.2, V.48)
The great Swami Gitananda Giri Gurumaharaj of Pondicherry India gave these delightful yoga definitions:
“Yoga is a way of Life.”
“Yoga is a method and a technology for conscious evolution.”
“Yoga is four-fold awareness: awareness of body, awareness of emotions, awareness of mind and awareness of awareness. One should start with the awareness of just how unaware one is!”
“Yoga is the Mother of all Sciences (and) the Mother of all Religions.”
“Yoga is learning to live within the natural and spiritual laws.”
“Yoga makes us realize that we cannot pluck a flower without disturbing a star.”
“Yoga makes us truly humane beings.”
For a true definition of yoga, one must study yoga… sincerely, with much effort and patience. Only the sadhaka (the sincere yoga aspirant) can come to know this profound science beyond all words.
…and beyond all ‘definitions’ of yoga.
NEXT: The Origin of Yoga …
PREV: What is Yoga ?