Yoga is a Sanskrit language word, meaning union or to join together as a whole.
Yoga is the art and science of resolving the inherent opposition in all things to create a union of body, mind and soul. Meditation is an integral component and essence of yoga. Yoga is a holistic term and has been described in different ways by different people. In India, yoga is traditionally thought of as a means to understand the relationship between one’s individual self (jivatma) and the universal self (Paramatma).
Conventional belief is that yoga originated in India at least 5000 years ago, but traditional Indian belief is that yoga itself is far older and was practiced all over the world. Artwork depicting images of people in yoga postures are dated as back as 2,700 BC.
In the Yoga sutras of Sage Patanjali, Yoga has been defined as:
- Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sutra 2)
Translation: Yoga is the restraint of mental modifications of the mind.
In Sri Guru Granth Sahib*, Yoga has been defined as higher state of being to be earned with practice.