The recent explosion of yoga’s popularity around the globe has portrayed yoga in so many various shades and colors that finding the most authentic yoga may pose (no pun intended) a challenge. So what gives yoga its authenticity? Is there such a thing as the original yoga, and the original yoga teacher?
In studying the ancient Sanskrit texts in which the word yoga first appeared, one observes that its usage was quite broad. Contrary to what some may think, the definition of yoga was not restricted to the bodily postures most of the western world associates it with, but rather, it encompassed a wide range of ways to connect with one’s highest potential. It also expanded beyond that into descriptions of what such evolved states of being felt like.
Thus, those who first used the word yoga regarded it as a highly complex term. Their definition of yoga was expansive and included not only the process of yoga but the outcome as well.
In ancient yoga texts, the various means whereby one practiced yoga directly merged with the aims of those very practices. It’s as if yoga were asking us not to worry about time, or about what yoga can do for us, or where it can take us, but to simply be in the present moment with our yoga practice.
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