The word Yoga is derived from Sanskrit, one of the world’s most ancient languages. In its simplicity, Yoga means: “A bringing together of the parts in order to create a union or balance of a person’s body, mind, and spirit.”
Our contemporary western concept of Yoga has little, if anything, to do with anyone’s religion or belief system. However, it must be said that our contemporary western approach to yoga is but a small part of the original “Yoga” that developed thousands of years ago in India, and is still being taught throughout the world.
It is said that many thousands of years ago in India, various orders of high Hindu priests developed parallel concepts of Yoga. They were ascetics, living a strict and disciplined lifestyle. Through the millennia and particularly in the south of India, the “yogis” as they were known, were vegetarians, wore minimal clothing, and lived literally close to the earth learning directly from nature.
In addition to their many other disciplined and spiritual practices, these spiritual ancients observed that in nature, the bodies of animals were almost always perfectly balanced. They exhibited profound flexibility, strength and endurance and were always living in balance with their environment. Yoga implies a constant search for harmony and balance at all levels of the self. Tat Sat.