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What Does Yoga Mean?

by Marianne Navada

The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj”, meaning to yoke, join, or unite. But what exactly are we uniting?

There are many levels of union, from the metaphysical to more concrete concepts. To start, we can think of union as linking the mind, body, and breath. Through yoga, we train to understand our thoughts and feelings in order to act with intention.

By being deliberate and attuned to our senses, we find clarity. What we are doing is constantly learning about ourselves and making improvements when we feel the need.

That’s why the physical practice of yoga or the asanas are an initial step towards overall mindfulness. On our mats, we are cultivating self-awareness through the poses. We listen and challenge ourselves. This can mean deepening a pose or backing off. Every time we practice, we are learning how to react to challenges more gracefully and peacefully.

The postures or asanas are a part of the 8 limbs of yoga.

The next time you step on the mat, try cultivating self-awareness, by feeling and listening to what your body is saying.

Commit to living.