Today, yoga is synonymous with āsana, prāṇāyāma, fitness and lifestyle and meditation. However, this is only one aspect of yoga, the material aspect. Therefore, for the serious yogi, understanding the overall yoga concepts is important if he or she wishes to go beyond the material limitations of yoga.
To start with, yoga can roughly be translated as yoking, the word “yoga” is a cognate of the English – yoke and refers to all forms of yoking or bonding between two entities.
All aspects of yoga focus on enhancing situational awareness or prajñā which operates at 2 levels – awareness of the Self in any situation (vijñāna) and the impact of change in the situation on our Self (jñāna). Importantly, this awareness emanates from our sense of Self (asmitā), which is why yoga is an exercise in the evolution of cognition of the consciousness (citta).
All the above concepts are anchored in traditional Indian culture, hence understanding this background is important for understanding yoga completely.
This section deals with the concept of yoga, such as karma (action), dharma (natural state/ order or conditioning), asmitā (sense of Self), their integration into yoga, various types of yoga and yoga solutions.