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What does the word yoga mean to you? In the western world today this word is characterized with a lot of surface value meaning. People today do Bikram yoga in 90 degree heat, or intense hatha yoga and strain as a form of exercise or attempt to control their mind and breath. Some in the west have even zapped yoga down to a fleeting fad, or competition.

The word yoga originated as a Sanskrit term meaning union. Sanskrit is the oldest form of language known today, and is said to be the seed for all known languages. The meaning Union in this instance turns yoga into Yoga with a capital ‘Y’, as the capital indicates Union with Totality. If we step back and think of the word Unity in this context it is far from a strain. In essence if one is united with all, which is the fruit of Yoga then there are no boundaries and only harmony. At this point an individual is enlightened and has aligned with their Essence, Atma and is no longer identified solely with their individual, physical body.

In the video below Eckhart Tolle describes a reality in which one is without ego, without an individual sense of self. He talks about not having to achieve anything. The true nature of Yoga is not something to achieve because true Union is never without anything. Yoga is not something to achieve it is something only to be realized.

I am not saying yoga for health is not a good thing, I am simply saying this perception is only a partial value of the full, primordial, timeless essence of Yoga and the revelation of our true nature born of enlightenment.

Update: I recently read this Transcendence book by Dr. Rosenthal that was very inspiring about the use of meditation for achieving a state of Yoga.

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