I believe, Yoga cannot be defined, as it is very closely related to “You”. On a gross level we are all different, born in different households with different circumstances with different upbringing, isn’t it so? Keeping this in mind, Yoga for each one of us will mean something unique. For some it is a means to attain liberation, for some it is just an exercise to keep fit, for some it is a way of doing things. But what actually is Yoga remains a mystery to me despite studying Yoga from an academic point of view.
“Yoga is the union of the individual self with the cosmic self”, is the most widely accepted definition of Yoga and it is the one which I go by. This definition can be traced back to the times of Mahabharata and even before, along the tantrik civilizations. This definition of Yoga seems to be above and beyond for most people. I personally never heard of it in my entire 12 years of schooling, but when I did at a later stage in life, I asked myself are we really disconnected with the cosmic self in the first place?
Coming back to “You”, do you think you are different and unique in the first place? No matter how you identify yourselves, if you have the courage to dissect yourself in the smallest of smallest particle, you may cease to find any difference in your smallest unit and in my smallest unit. Dissecting is not required as such, awareness and broadening of the perception will lead us to this reality.
Once this understanding has been established, one can begin to search for that which is not changing aka the cosmic self. For me it is just a matter of awakening to the reality that we are all same and united with our universal self. I am that, and that is me.If it is so simple, then why is there such a thing called as Yoga? Well to be aware of this union at all times, in all situations and in all moments is something which I believe is only experienced by few lucky ones like Lord Krishna, Jesus Christ, and some of them even alive today.
We all experience this union with the cosmic self every now and then unknowingly, just look out for those ultimate blissful moments, for most of us these moments of union just happen for few moments and vanish. What if we could sustain this experience of Union and ultimate bliss? Well then it will be a state of Yoga.
So to conclude Yoga on a gross level can be different for all us but on the subtle level it is pretty much the same and never changing.