‘Yoga’, the term itself is in rage these days. It is an age-old science that has been a benefactor to the human mind and body. With its roots in India tracing back to more than 2500 years back, the term propounded by Patanjali was derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuja” which means to connect or culminate. It is the culmination of the mind and the body with nature. Yoga has a diverse scope with mainly five forms, which are Gnyana Yoga (Yoga through knowledge), Bhakti Yoga (Yoga through devotion), Karma Yoga (Yoga through action), Raja Yoga (Royal or supreme Yoga) and Hath Yoga (Yoga by balancing opposite principles of body). They are different rooms interconnected to each other under the same roof.
Over the past few years a probable misconception has gone into the minds of the common mass. People perceive Yoga to be just a set of complex body movements and poses that make the body pliant. Yes it does make the body pliant like rubber but it is not just a set of fitness tricks. Yoga is all about connecting with oneself to a spiritual level. It is about acquiring a body position and maintaining this position as long as one’s body would allow, keeping in mind that one should never force oneself in maintaining such a posture beyond the time which the body would not permit.
Yoga inquires into the wholesome nature of human consciousness. The only riddle that stops humanity from taking a step further to a psychological well-being is the ignorance of the very same psychological entity. Each individual was born with this self-destructive fragmentary process, and it keeps on increasing because there is lack of professional help. One can only be professional when equipped with the right amount of knowledge. Alas! This does not happen since the enemy of knowledge is not ignorance but it is the illusion of knowledge. People claim here and there that they are the finest in this form of art, but what they have failed to realise is Yoga is all about one’s spiritual well-being and not adding a superlative degree to his/her qualifications.
The comparative study of Yogic texts and modern sciences of Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology is fraught with a number of problems. Yoga has been advocated as a way of life; a kind of psychosomatic preparation for spiritual upliftment. Patanjali being heavily influenced by ethistic writings of Sankhya Yoga, did not concern himself seriously for such transcendental, blissful or “ego-dissolving” experiences. The utility of Yogic exercises for a commoner should, therefore, be assessed at the grosser levels of health and fitness.