What Does Yoga Actually Mean?

Yoga is an all encompassing term which is derived from the Sanskrit word, yuj, which translates in its most simplistic form to yoke. However, the translation isn’t that straight forward and it can mean to bind, union, attach and communion or a culmination of all these words.

With such multifaceted semantics, yoga can also be interpreted as connection, contact, method, application, addition, combination and performance.

On first glance, yoga may appear as a series of stretches and postures but it’s a traditional method of practise, principles and philosophy that aims to bind or yoke the individual together with a higher being or existence.

Another way of looking at the definition of yuj is ‘to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use and apply’,Light on Yoga, page 19.

Yoga is both a state and a means to attaining it. Despite the differing styles and ways of practise, there is a common underpinning thread of belief that we, as people, are greater than just a body and mind. Continue reading

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