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“We all must have known and learned about the term “Yoga” sometime in our life. When we look that someone is doing some posture or meditation we tell that person is doing Yoga. Then the question arises what exactly is the meaning of Yoga? 

Meaning of “Yoga”| Definition of “Yoga”

  • The literal meaning of “Yoga” means to “Join”. What are the things we are going to join? We are going to join “our Soul” to that Super Soul (God/Bhagwan) and the process of joining these two things means “Yoga” .
  •  In simple terms or to understand above definition consider the following example
  •  If we assume metaphorically that our (body as a Mobile phone) and (Sim card) as a “Soul of our Body” and  the internet as that Super Soul to which we want to connect then the method by which we get connected to the Internet can be called as the Yoga which in this case is the “Data connection”

In addition to above definition there are different Meanings of Yoga by different Yoga Rishis who were pioneers of Yoga or those who wrote books about Yoga.

  • According to sage Patanjali

Aim of Yoga is-“योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः” || 1.2||

      • Meaning-Yoga is restraining the mind-(Chitta) from taking various forms(Vrittis) or Stopping the modifications of the Mind.

He says  in Patanjali Yoga Darshana-

वृत्तयः पञ्चतय्यः क्लिष्टा क्लिष्टा: ॥ १.५॥

(Vratayah Panchatayya: Klishta klishta: 1.5॥)

All modifications of the minds will lead to misery or suffering.

प्रमाणविपर्ययविकल्पनिद्रास्मृतयः ॥ १.६ ॥

ENG-praman viparyaya vikalpa nidra smritayah //1.6//

According to the Sage Patanjali, there are 5 types of  vrittis(Mind modifications)

They are as below

    1. प्रमाण (Pramana) – Right Knowledge
    2. विपर्यय (Viparyaya) – indiscrimination
    3. विकल्प (Vikalpa) – a verbal misconception
    4. निद्रा (nidra) – Deep sleep
    5. स्मृतयः (smritayah) – memory/recollection


Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali-

By-B.K.S Iyengar (Author)

Science of Yoga: Understand the Anatomy and Physiology to Perfect your Practice

BKS Iyengar Yoga The Path to Holistic Health: The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide

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