What is Yoga?
I am often asked “What is Yoga”? After almost two decades studying, doing, and teaching, this is the philosophy that has always resonated with me. And continues to be my guide and inspiration.
Real yoga is not blind belief, memorization, conformity, obedience, follow the leader, nor ideology, although charlatans try to play that trick on unwary students who are seeking guidance.
In authentic yoga, practice leads to wisdom, insight, inner light, and direct perception (brought about by the cessation of the citta-vrtti). Then one sees directly the universal principles of natural law (often referred to as Sanatana Dharma) reflected in all beings and things.
Ignorance is defeated by practices that result in pure vision. Delusion and self deceit is defeated by truth. Truth tells us that we are all One big Family. Justice is realized through the union of truth and compassion, as ahimsa, and satyagraha. The wisdom eye is opened through practice which in turn results in wise and compassionate activity naturally.
Hence the goal is to not use good actions to go to heaven, but rather to practice in order to discover the innate goodness inside (Buddhanature, Bodhicitta, Maheshvara, isvara, Siva, or inherent Christ-nature) and then express that naturally in spontaneous good actions.
Authentic yoga practitioners find that efficient yogic practices bring such out in all one’s relations. Such light and love are marks of an accomplished yogi. Hence, the eternal law lays inside the yogi, while the yoga practice is designed to bring that into direct awareness.
In authentic yoga, practice invokes awareness, not belief in mechanically following model behavior, in hopes of a future reward/salvation in a distant heaven. Yoga Bound Deb