09 : What is Yoga?



Disconnect, to Connect.

Today marks the first day of the Shatkarma yoga retreat @ Bukit Tinggi Bentong. Any yoga retreat always makes me excited as being with like-minded people always brings an air of positivity that cannot be found anywhere when we are back to our everyday lives. Sometimes the energy that one gets from a retreat can recharge a person’s mind spiritually as well. I guess the best part of the retreat is very much disconnecting with our busy lives in the city and trying to focus more of ourselves and doing more internal reflections.

During the sharing session, we started to talk about what is yoga and what it means to everyone.

Everyone have different interpretation of what yoga is as yoga brings different experience and meaning to everyone
What is yoga ?

Now to answer that question, lets first look at the universal term of what is yoga?

The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj” meaning to yoke, join or unite. This implies joining or integrating all aspects of the individual – body with mind and mind with soul – to achieve a happy, balanced and useful life, and spiritually, uniting the individual with the supreme.

In India, Yoga is considered one of the six branches of classical philosophy and is referred to throughout the Vedas – ancient Indian scriptures and amongst the oldest texts in existence.The Upanishads are also broadly philosophical treatises which postdate the Vedas and deal with the nature of the “soul” and universe.

— B.K.S Iyengar


What is Yoga to me? 

Yoga has become a way of life to me. When i breathe, i practice pranayama. When i stretch, i practice asana. When i’m working, i practice yamas and niyamas. When i meditate, i practice dharana. Every aspect of my life has been yogified with one simple term;- awareness. Awareness to my breathe. Awareness to my body. Awareness to my mind.

Once i control my thoughts, my actions and my self, i gain balance and become my best self. There’s is no one to compare to, no ego nor hatred. No jealousy and disappointment. No regrets and grudges. I inhale positivity and exhale negativity. Every words spoken is of peace, love and harmony, every thoughts is untainted, pure and blissful.  I practice gratitude to everyone and every being and things. I practice acceptance, loving my body for its strengths and flaws, myself which is full of imperfections, and my physical limitations. I practice moderation. Living life in balance, whether at work, at home or at play. Life is all about balance and yoga helped me to achieve it.

Simply put, yoga is who you are on and off your mat. It is not only an asana practice on the mat, but it is also more on awareness of yourself when you are not doing any asana.

When we are aware of our very soul, we are then, practicing yoga.