What is Yoga? (Vasiliki's thoughts)
Yoga defines itself as a SCIENCE
-that is, as a practical, methodical, and systematic discipline or set of techniques that have a lofty goal of helping human beings to become aware of their deepest nature.
The goal of seeking to experience this deepest potential is not part of a religious process, but an experiential science part of self-study.
Religions seek to define what we should believe, while a practical science such as meditation is based on the
concrete experience of those teachers and yogis who have previously used these techniques to experience the deepest Self.
Yoga does not contradict or interfere with any religion, and may be practiced by everyone, whether themselves as agnostics or members
of a particular faith.
Thought history, yogic techniques have been practiced in both the East and the West, so it would be an "error" to consider Yoga as an "Eastern import".
In fact, Yoga, with its powerful techniques for creating a sense of inner
peace, harmony and clarity of mind, is absolutely relevant to the modern world - for both East and West.
Given the increasing pace and conflict present in modern life, with all its resulting stress, one could say that yoga has become an essential tool
for survival, as well as for expanding the creativity and joy of our lives.
Yoga probably is the oldest science (7000 years), a complete method of exercises for the all body, including muscles, tendons, joints, bones and ligaments, breathing and concentrating
Yoga Is Not a Religion
Although Yoga presents detailed information and techniques regarding the ‘soul’, Yoga is not a religion. Yoga is a spiritual science. By learning this science, an individual understands the fundamentals
of all religions. Yoga is a universal development system.
Yoga develops a human on the subjects of consciousness and soul, yet it is not a religion based on theology and rituals. There is no hierarchy or worshiping of a leader or a deity in Yoga. Yoga
is a source of spiritual information. By acquiring this information, an individual comprehends the basic principles of all religions.
Yoga is a cultural and spiritual branch of knowledge that is open to all humans without regard of class, faith, color,
race, gender and age. Perhaps the only essential quality necessary to begin Yoga is to accept the existence of the secret potentials of the human consciousness and to have the will to reach the summit of consciousness by practicing Yoga techniques.
factor that differentiates Yoga from religions is its perspective on the body, mind and emotions. Religions perceive the body, mind and emotions as an obstruction on the path to enlightenment and as a means of sin. Whereas Yoga teaches that the body, mind
and emotions are a part of the universal truth and how it can be used for humankind to develop, become enlightened and ascend.
When the body, mind and emotions are cleaned and filled with positive energy by means of Yoga techniques, the individual is
naturally freed of negative desires, thoughts and actions. By using one’s free will in a positive manner and enhancing one’s self-confidence, a person takes on the responsibility of his/her destiny and is emancipated from the slavery of destiny.
To conclude: Yoga it is an integral, subjective Science. Its spiritual, mental or physical import cannot be separate from each other.
In Science of Yoga we have techniques for the physical body , techniques for the mental body, techniques for the emotional
body and techniques for spiritual body, such as asana, pranayama, mundra, bandha, kriya, pratyahara, meditation etc.
Yoga its a complete Science of self- development and self-awareness and self-love. 🙏🤗💗
References: American Yoga Association, Coulter, 2001,Anatomy of Hatha Yoga, Dr. J.K. Thakur, Vasiliki Raja Nastou.