So far in this book we have primarily concerned ourselves with describing the basic rules of asanas, pranayama and relaxation techniques, vet there are many other varied aspects of yoga. The reason behind this was to enable you to practise yoga from the outset. The purpose of this new series of discussions, of which this is the first, is to explain what yoga is all about - how it relates to you, to everyday life, how the structure of yoga is formed, its different paths and how these paths interrelate to achieve the culmination of yoga1.
Actually, it is impossible to really appreciate the aims of yoga, at least the higher ones, without personal experience. All we can do is to broadly indicate the direction in which yoga can take you, if not its destination. For example, it is possible to indicate on a map the route to a specific town and even describe the layout of the area. Yet at the same time it is impossible for anyone else to experience the journey or to know the town for you. You must do it for yourself. It is the same with yoga. We can indicate the path, the signposts and make madequate attempts to explain the higher aims, but for the personal experiences you must tread the path yourself. And this is the essence of yoga - neither descriptions, nor theories, nor suppositions, but direct personal experience.
In this topic we will discuss mainly the meaning of yoga, giving an outline of its origin and development through the ages.
Was this article helpful?