What is Yoga?

Sadhguru describes what the word 'yoga' means and does not mean.

Sadhguru describes what the word 'yoga' means and does not mean.

Sadhguru: Essentially in the tradition, once we attach the word “yoga” to anything, it indicates that it is a complete path by itself. We say hatha yoga, but we will not say asana yoga. Of course, if you come from the United States, they say anything!

The moment you attach the word “yoga,” it indicates it is a complete path by itself.

If it is a complete path by itself, how should it be approached? If it was just a simple practice or an exercise, you could approach it one way. If it was an art form or just entertainment, it could be approached another way. I am using all these words because they are in usage in today’s world. People say “recreational yoga,” “health yoga,” people refer to it as an art form – they think they are doing a service to yoga by saying it is an art form. No. The moment you attach the word “yoga,” it indicates it is a complete path by itself.

The word “yoga” essentially means, “that which brings you to reality”. Literally, it means “union.” Union means it brings you to the ultimate reality, where individual manifestations of life are surface bubbles in the process of creation. Right now, a coconut tree and a mango tree have popped up from the same earth. From the same earth, the human body and so many creatures have popped up. It is all the same earth.

What yoga means is to move towards an experiential reality where one knows the ultimate nature of the existence, the way it is made.

The word “yoga” essentially means, “that which brings you to reality.”

Yoga refers to union not as an idea, a philosophy or as a concept that you imbibe. As an intellectual idea, if you vouch by the commonness of the universe, it may make you popular in a tea party, it may give you a certain social status, but it does not serve any other purpose. You will see, when things come down to even money – it does not even have to boil down to life and death – even for money,  “This is me, that is you.” The boundary is clear; there is no question of you and me being one.

It actually causes damage to the individual if you intellectually see everything is one. People do all kinds of silly things because they got this idea that everybody is one, before somebody teaches them a good lesson and then they see, “This is me, that is you. No way to be one.”

If it becomes an experiential reality, it will not bring forth any immature action. It will bring forth a tremendous experience of life. Individuality is an idea. Universality is not an idea, it is a reality. In other words, yoga means you bury all your ideas.

Editor’s Note: Excerpted from Sadhguru’s discourse at the Isha Hatha Yoga School’s 21-week Hatha Yoga Teacher Training program. The program offers an unparalleled opportunity to acquire a profound understanding of the yogic system and the proficiency to teach Hatha Yoga. The next 21-week session begins on July 16 to Dec 11, 2019. For more information, visit www.ishahathayoga.com or mail info@ishahatayoga.com

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7 years 5 months ago

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5 years 8 months ago

A parah from "The Role of a Guru", may everybody be blessed to be in grace with Sadhguru

"If I were a moral teacher, I would try to change you. Because I am a Guru, I do not try to change you. I do not ask you to be good; I do not ask you to be peaceful; I do not ask you to be nice to others, because I do not intend to change you like that. That would be just a pretention which would build up over a period of time and implode at some point.

My intention and my work are to bring clarity. If you see things clearly, if you know that the whole universe is one – not because someone says so, but because you see so – everything will change. If you see existence the way it is, not the way you think it is, everything about you and your relationship with existence will change."- Sadhguru

5 years 2 months ago

Sadguru described some time back, satirically, about the potential of Yoga or significance of Yoga!

That description was something like this, though its difficult to put it as he could: Someday, a huge Airplane appeared in-front of the house. People were surprised and shocked to see this huge thing and initially were hesitant to near it. Then slowly one brave man came near to this huge thing and also entered the cockpit. Slowly, one by one started to explore this humongous object and one curious individual started the engine too and started to move this huge thing. All were happy and excited that this huge thing is moving. However, it was difficult move this huge thing a single meter as trees and buildings around were objecting the wings of plane. So, people decided to cut every other part of the plane which were objecting the movement of the plane. Now, this huge thing is moving, and all are happily moving around the place sitting inside the "Airplane?". Airplane was suppose to fly with wings and now its running like a bus. So is Yoga today! Instead of its usage for what it is meant to be, many people are using it as a form of exercise!