Yoga for beginners
Yoga is a discipline to improve or develop one’s inherent power in a balanced manner. It offers the means to attain complete self-realization.
— Yoga Sutras 1.2
According to Maharishi Patanjali, Yoga is the suppression of modifications of the mind.
In this philosophy, the term Yoga has been used in the sense of Samadhi or concentration.
At The Yoga Institute, Yoga is also taught as a way of life. As a life school, the institute empowers each person with the awareness of Yoga to maintain a balanced state in mind, body, and spirit. Yoga way of living brings changes at the deeper level of one’s values, motivations, attitudes, and habits. Yoga can help re establish the homeostatic balance, and treatment of disease then becomes a natural consequence of a yogic life.
The word also has another derivation “Yogya”, which is probably an old word of the Aryan stock used in later Sanskrit literature of the Upanisads. Similar to the old metaphor of controlling or yoking the senses which were considered as uncontrollable horses, Yoga as an effort was probably suggested by a metaphor taken from the stretching of a bow.
During the period of the early Upanisads, however, the word Yoga passed through a variety of meanings and interpretations.
In the Katha Upanisad (VI, II) we are told that Yoga is the firm restraint of the senses, that is, when the senses are controlled with the mind and when the mind becomes steady, that controlling and keeping steady of the senses and the mind is yoga. This was followed by an important addition and modification of the original idea, viz, the control of the Prana as representing the main process of Yoga.
Again the idea of absorption and union with Supreme Being which occurs in the Upanisads-especially in the Taittiriya(X), Mundaka(II, 4) and Katha (IV, 15)- seems also to have greatly influenced the later yoga interpretations, In the Maitrayaniya- Upanisad, however, Yoga is defined as the joining of the Prana and Om and also as the uniting of the senses, the mind and the Prana by the removal of all sensual knowledge (Bhava). It also holds that Yoga is one-pointedness and unity (yogam laksayatyekatvamiti).