The word yoga comes from Sanskrit—an 5000 year old ancient Hundu religion. In the past 60 years, yoga has gone from a little-known, esoteric Indian practice to a world activity of the cultural mainstream. But while it is commonly available in cities throughout the world and almost everyone has heard of it, yoga still remains something of a mystery to people who have never tried it. That’s because it resists an easy definition.Yoga is a diverse and diffuse practice with numerous threads that can be interwoven in many ways & said to be for the purpose of uniting the mind, body, and spirit.
Most modern yoga practices rely heavily on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a series of aphorisms written c. 250 CE, as the basis for their philosophies. The Yoga Sutras specify eight “limbs” of yoga. The three most commonly practiced limbs are pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, and asana. Asana is what most of us have come to know simply as yoga, the physical poses.