Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Purpose of Yoga

Yoga is a system of physical exercise, breath control, relaxation, meditation, spirituality, and health culture designed to strengthen the body, train the mind, and cultivate inner and outer harmony. Regular practice reduces stress and improves stamina, longevity, confidence, awareness, peace-of-mind and happiness.

Yoga has many benefits. Some of the the benefits of yoga include improved stamina, vitality, concentration, awareness, self-confidence, peace, happiness, longevity, and zest for life. Yoga strengthens your pulmonary and cardiovascular systems, tones and stretches your skeletal muscles, stimulates and massages your inner organs, improves your mental clarity, reduces anxiety and the effects of stress - maintaining physical and emotional fitness.

Yoga will provide you with increased energy, strength, flexibility, balance and can also give you a cardiovascular work-out. It provides effective stress management through positive thought patterns and deep relaxation techniques, which are essential for our modern lifestyle demands. Yoga’s meditative movements improve circulation and the health of internal organs while cleansing toxins out of the body and accelerating the body’s repair processes at a cellular level. A regular yoga practice will help improve and maintain both your physical and mental well-being.

Yoga has many obvious physical and mental benefits, but it’s true esoteric purpose is to cultivate the union (“yoga”) of the individual-self (jivatma) and the Cosmic-self (mahatma). For Patanjali (a dualist) this meant a kind of joining together of individual and Divine. In non-dual tantra yoga is seen as becoming aware of the true nature of your union with the Divine.

Yoga is a total comprehensive approach to spiritual, mental, and physical health and fitness. The practice of yoga makes the body strong and flexible, it also improves the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems. Yoga brings about emotional stability and clarity of mind, and - if you're lucky - Self-Realization and spiritual liberation (moksha).


  1. due to a series of injuries i find yoga too difficult at least the asanas. thru my Sufi training i have some knowledge of breathwork. i find your writing clear and inspiring. looking forward to rejoining the pool which is one place i can do exercise, tho i am not ready to swim yet. i am able to walk and find the walking/breathing exercise very centering. i saw your post on FB and feel the same way about my own blog, um, is anyone out there? so now you have one more follower.

  2. The exercises and meditative movements in a typical yoga class are forms of Hatha Yoga - the yoga of body culture. Bhakti Yoga (devotion), Karma Yoga (action), Jnana Yoga (knowledge), and Raja Yoga (meditation) all provide great spiritual benefit and constitute the practices of "real" yoga - the path of liberation and Self-Realization.