What is Yoga?
Yoga is commonly understood to be physical gymnastics — the mere practice of breathing exercises or Pranayama, meditation techniques or Dhyana, physical exercises and postures or asanas. Of course, these are parts of Ashtanga Yoga or the Eight Limbs of Yoga, but in reality, this is not Yoga. The role of asanas ormeditation is a part of the overall Yogic experience, but Yoga means something entirely different.
Yoga is “Yuj” or Union — Union with God. It is the ability to detach from the world and connect with God. It is building a connection with God. Just like a SIM card, which is pings for the satellite discovers its own network, and then follows the network wherever it goes, being in Yoga means being in constant union with God and never disconnecting from God. One who is connected to God grows closer to God and finally achieves God. A seeker of God tries to remain in Yoga at all times.
The science behind Yoga is to discover the true joy and bliss that comes from the union with the higher power. However, the world has understood Yoga to be a lifestyle solution for wellness — a fit body and mind. Yoga is also understood to be the union of body and mind, or body, mind, and Soul. Sure, Yoga is good for the body and mind, but the bigger question is — Are we the body-mind complex? The one who is on a quest realizes that he is not the body or the mind. He discovers the deeper meaning of Yoga and uses it as the foundation for Self-realization, Liberation and Enlightenment.
Different forms of Yoga
Yoga can be practised in four ways — Karma Yoga or Yoga of Action, Bhakti Yoga or Yoga of Devotion, Jnana Yoga or Yoga of Education and Dhyana Yoga or Yoga of Meditation. These four ways help us to build a union and as long as we are in Yoga, connected or in union with God, it doesn’t matter what type of Yoga we are in. Therefore, one need not specifically separate the four channels of Yoga. Bhakti Yoga can lead to Karma Yoga, just as Dhyana Yoga or Silence and Meditation can lead to Jnana Yoga. The four different forms of Yoga must create an uninterrupted, continuous connection with God. If this happens, one is on the path of Liberation and achieves the final goal of life.
Yoga or Bhoga?
While spiritual aspirants continue to remain in Yoga, living with faith, hope, enthusiasm, the common man of the world doesn’t live in a state of Yoga, but rather lives in Bhoga, which means he lives with desires, cravings, expectations and passion. This is in opposition to the path to spiritual enlightenment. This makes one sink into the world of pleasures. But it is finally up to us to choose Yoga (union with God) or Bhoga (to live with desires). The choice is ours.