What is Yoga?

"Yoga has complete message for humanity. It has a message for the human body. It has a message for the human mind and it has also a message for the human soul".

Swami Kuwalayananda


Most of us understand the term “yoga” mainly as asana practice (physical exercise). From this view yoga can be defined as a set of practices with the power to detoxify the body, increase stamina and strengthen the nervous system. Among the countless benefits of regular yoga practice are a flexible and strong body, being at ease, stress relief, inner peace and overall balance, more energy and vitality, reduction of weight and many others.

Yoga can be practiced by anyone from children to elderly people that is the beauty of it. The important part is to find style of Yoga suitable for you, and regular time to practice. If you are new to Yoga it is recommended to start with some Introduction classes so that you can try different approaches until find one you can stay with. Then you can gradually make your way to more advanced classes.

When practiced regularly for a long time, this ages old discipline leads to harmony of body & mind and to self discovery.

For those interested to study yoga in depth can asana practice be foundation for further steps on this journey. As a whole yoga can be described as set of different spiritual practices and techniques, aimed at the cultivation of a quiet mind, with origin in India. The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit, an old language of India. During the thousands of years that Yoga has been around, many different approaches and philosophical schools have developed. There are many differences between these schools, yet at the same time, they share the main principles.  One could say it is like many different paths leading to the top of a mountain. The main schools of Yoga are:

  • Bhakti Yoga – the path of love and spiritual devotion
  • Jnana Yoga  – the path of knowledge and wisdom
  • Karma Yoga  – the path of selfless action
  • Hatha Yoga  – the path of cleansing and strengthening body
    (preparation for Raja Yoga)
  • Raja Yoga   – the path of awakening higher consciousness
    (based on Patanjali's Ashtanga joga)
  • Mantra Yoga – the path of divined sound