Now the study of yoga.
– Verse 1, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.
The Himalayan sages say yoga is based on traditions from earlier, spiritually advanced teachings which our present civilizations have forgotten. These yogis believe the current world cycle began roughly ten thousand years ago when the last ice-age ended.
Yoga wisdom has come from a myriad of sages throughout the centuries. But it was Patanjali, a yogi and polymath, who collated and elaborated on yogis’ life and practices in the work The Yoga Sutras. Patanjali came from India and lived about 500 BCE.
Yoga is not a religion. Rather, it is universal – sarvabhauma – Truth. The Truth can be found by anyone who embarks on a scientific, inward journey. The Universe, Adi Shakti, did not create Life with the hope that the majority would fail. Yoga is the rule book for the game of Life.
With this truth bearing light will begin a new life. Old unwanted impressions are discarded and we are protected from the damaging effects of new experiences.
– Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Chapter 1 Verse 50
Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word, yuj meaning union or joining. The light yoga brings joins the ordinary, limited self with our higher consciousness or the Inner Self. Yoga satisfies all our human desires with the goal of attaining Oneness between our limited and our higher consciousness. As we experience oneness with ourselves, we become One with everything beyond us.
We become the harmonious microcosm in the universal macrocosm.
– BKS Iyengar, Light On Life
Experiencing Oneness is a state of being. Yoga practices bring us into a direct experience of that state. It is process of consciously unlayering all the misunderstandings and memories that get in the way of us experiencing our true nature. Yoga frees us from life’s dualities.