This is actually a particularly difficult question to give a definite answer to as in the passing years yoga has become more and more diverse with a multitude of styles, practices and alterations appearing. Not to mention that since the word Yoga has been in use of thousands of years it, and has origins in the ancient language of Sanskrit, the translation of the word could have been warped over time. This said, for this book we will answer the question what is yoga by looking at a modern interpretation of it. I like to define Yoga as the union of the body, mind and spirit for the creation of a healthier you.
It is a discipline that uses both the body and mind to promote health and relaxation. Through very specific poses and meditative practices one is able to unite the body and mind together, doing this brings forth a host of amazing benefits which will be discussed later. Yoga has become increasing popular over the years and is now practiced by everyone from children to professional athletes. In the recent past yoga was often viewed as a stretching routine for old people who wanted to increase flexibility. This has rapidly changed but a few misconceptions still exist. Arguably the most common misconception of yoga is that it is a practice of stretching the muscles and increasing flexibility, now while both of these points are true, they miss out the main purpose of yoga.
As I said yoga is the union of the body and mind. The poses of yoga (which people misconstrue as for stretching only) allow you to gain better control over your thoughts, breathing, and restraint ultimately working towards allowing you to achieve the meditative state of peace you desire. How does that work? Well, carefully moving and holding your body in a variety of poses whilst simultaneously controlling your breathing requires a great deal of focus and mental power. This focus leads to a clear, calm mind which, as time passes, results in the mind emptying which is the perfect environment for a meditative state. So, now you know a little bit more about what yoga is we will move onto studying the amazing benefits of yoga.