Watch the Video “What Is Yoga?” – Part 1

The word yoga means literally means "union" or "to merge". More than a set of physical postures or exercises, Sadhguru defines yoga as a science to determine the nature of who you are and what you want to be. Scientific research has shown today that the very fundamentals of the brain's activity, inner chemistry, and genetic predispositions can be changed by practicing certain systems of yoga. Yoga is essentially a technology to change the shape of who you are.


|

Sadhguru: Of… of all the things in the world, of all the things that a human being can do, why yoga? Everything that human beings can do is essentially an expression of who they are. Somebody sings a song… somebody dances, somebody writes a book, somebody paints a picture – whatever else we do, is an expression of who you are. You may be conscious of it, you may be unconscious of it but still everything that you say, everything that you do, everything that comes out of you is essentially an expression of who you are. So yoga, in that way is diametrically opposite to this because it’s not an expression of who you are; it’s about determining as to who you are. It’s about determining as to what you want to be, changing the very fundamentals of one’s existence. Today there is substantial medical and scientific evidence to show that the very fundamentals of the activity of your brain, your chemistry, even your genetic content can be changed by practicing different systems of yoga. This needed no confirmation because we have always witnessed this, but today there is scientific data to prove this.

So this is not an expression of who you are; this is about determining the nature of you wish to… who you wish to be, changing the fundamental ingredients which has made you who you are. So yoga as a system needs much more involvement than any other things that one… any other… other forms of things that we do which are merely an expression of who we are. If you find full expression through any particular activity, it may also leave you somewhat transformed. If you cook with all your heart, some transformation may happen. Yes. Taking care of a cow can change your life, you know? If you sing with all your heart, some transformation may happen. If you dance with all your heart, some transformation may happen. But that is only a certain impact that is happening because of absolute involvement in a particular activity, but essentially that activity by nature is an expression of who you are, it is not determining the nature of who you are. So when we transform our activity, not as an expression of who you are, ’cause who wants to find expression like this in the morning? Definitely not, isn’t it?

So, it is not an expression, it is a method, it is a means, it’s a technology through which you can change the shape of who you are; literally also, otherwise also. You can change the very shape of who you really are right now, that can be transformed because who you are real… right now as a person is a combination of things – genetic material, before that the karmic substance that you carry; because of that you chose a certain womb, so the genetic material and since the moment you’re born, whatever kind of impressions that have gone into you in the form of variety of experiences, situations, thoughts, emotions, relationships, associations, whatever else you have imbibed, all these things make you a certain kind of person. When you say, ‘I am a certain kind of person,’ what you are saying is, ‘I have this kind of compulsions.’ When you say, ‘I’m this kind of person,’ what you’re saying is, ‘This is the kind of compulsions that I identify myself with, so I am this kind of a person.’ People, you know… It’s a very western thing but it’s very much there in India today, ‘cause lot of Indians are far more western than West. You know, if you go all the way west, you come back to India, so they are much more western than Westerners are today.

So people say, ‘I’m a morning person. I’m an evening person.’ So what they mean is, ‘Morning, I cannot wake up in the morning, that means I’m an evening person.’ ‘I can’t stay awake in the evening, so I’m a morning person.’ Not only that, people… it’s going far, you know, some are Blackberry people, some are Apple people. It’s all getting… World is getting divided into so many ways they’re not just instruments that you use and keep it down, you get identified with it. So there are chapatti people, there are rice people, there are dosa people, there are idli people, you know all kinds. So what kind you are is essentially a certain type of compulsions.



Editor’s Note: Subscribe to the official Sadhguru YouTube channel to watch new videos every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Subscribe to receive Isha News weekly in your mailbox