Is Yoga Really Universal?

An ongoing debate concerns the subject of the relationship between Hinduism and Yoga. One side argues that westerners have appropriated Yoga and tried to divorce it from its Hindu roots. The other side argues that Yoga predates Hinduism and cannot be contained under...

The Goal of Yoga

The main goal of Yoga is to clean the mind and calm the mind. “Yogaha Chitta Vritti Nirodaha,” Raja Yoga says. In the very beginning, when Patanjali talks about Yoga—at the very outset—he answers the question,  “What is Yoga?” The answer is: Chitta Vritti Nirodaha....

The Highest Form of Yoga

Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj, the great sage of Himalayas. We felt so fortunate to be with him, to watch him, to play with him, and to experience what Divine play means. He himself was the book of knowledge. In his own very life, whatever he did, whatever he saw, he...

The Essence of Integral Yoga

Traditionally there are five separate Yogas. Each, like a spoke of a wheel, leads to the hub, to oneness or union with the Divine. Hatha, the way of the body; Raja, the way of the mind; Karma, the way of service; and Bhakti, the way of the heart.  “Some people think...

Is Yoga a Religion?

Many people ask this question: “Is Yoga a religion?” My answer would be, “No and yes.” How could it be both no and yes? Yoga is not a religion, so in that sense, the answer is no; but it is a synthesis of all the religions, so in that sense, it is yes. That is why we...

Yoga is Union

Yoga is a Sanskrit word that comes from the root, “yuj” which means “to join together.”  Simply put, Yoga means “union.” In many ways the term Yoga is similar to the English term, “communion.” It refers to the state of union or communion with God, one’s true Self, or...

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