Everyone nowadays knows about other forms of exercise that go beyond lifting weights. Crossfit, parkour, running… But one of the more popular ways to exercise is through yoga. It’s known for how it trains one’s flexibility and core muscles, as well as how it requires little to no equipment and can be done indoors. But do people really know what it means to practice yoga?
Origins of Yoga
Yoga originated from ancient India around fifth century BCE. It comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means “to add” or “to unite.” It shows in how it wasn’t only done for physical discipline, but also for mental and spiritual discipline. It’s associated with different religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.
More Than Meets The Eye
Still think yoga is just an exercise? Serious yoga practitioners may disagree.
Yoga is a holistic way of life, focusing on sharpening every aspect of the human person. Hardcore practitioners consider it a way of life, a means to an end. Yoga has an ultimate goal: moksha, or liberation from worldly suffering. There are yoga masters who describe this goal as being ‘consciously conscious,’ where the body, mind, and spirit become one.
Yoga itself is more than just doing poses on a mat, and includes calming the mind and living a nonviolent and righteous life. It’s more than just an exercise, it’s a way of life.
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 "Yoga." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 05 July 2017. Web. 06 July 2017.
 "The Ultimate Goal of Yoga." Yoga.com. Snapside Ltd., 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 06 July 2017.