What is Yoga?
Sadhguru: In the western part of the world, if you utter the word yoga, people think of impossible physical postures. This is a very distorted idea of what yoga is. The word “yoga” literally means “union.” What does union mean? Today it is a scientific fact that the whole existence is just one energy manifesting itself in a million different ways. For ages the religions of the world have been saying, “God is everywhere.” Whether you say “God is everywhere” or “Everything is one energy,” it is not different. Einstein called it energy, you call it God. It is the same thing being expressed in two different ways. But a scientist has only mathematically deduced it. He has not experienced it. A person who just believes it has also not experienced it. Somebody just told him so.
A yogi is someone who is not willing to settle for deductions or belief systems. He wants to know it. If he sits with his eyes closed, there is no him and the universe. He is the universe. If even for a moment, you experience everything around you as yourself, after that, no one needs to tell you to nurture and preserve what is around you. You will anyway do it because there is no conflict with whatever you have known as yourself. There is only absolute unity and a deep sense of involvement.
Yoga is not about bending and twisting your body or holding your breath. It is a mechanism and a technology to get you to that state of experience where you see reality just the way it is.
Everything Becomes One
Is such a thing possible? The individual experience of who you are has its basis on the boundaries of your sensation. Whatever is within these boundaries is you, and whatever is outside is not you – this is your experience of life. For example, once you drink a glass of water, you experience the water as you. Everything that makes up your body right now was somewhere outside as food or water. Once you put this into the boundaries of your sensation, you experience it as “myself.”
At any moment in your life, if you have known an extreme sense of joy or ecstasy, if you had placed your hands about eight or nine inches over your body, you would have felt the sensation of touching the body. Similarly, it is a medical fact that even when a physical leg is amputated, the sensory leg is still intact.
The sensory body has its own presence beyond the physical body. There is a way to enlarge your sensory body.
If you make your life energies very exuberant and ecstatic, your sensory body becomes as large as you want it. Yoga is to expand the boundary of your sensation in such a way that you experience the whole universe as a part of yourself. Everything becomes one. That is union.
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