As we all know, Yoga is one of the most famous and globally widespread of India’s traditions. It has existed as a system of exercise, breathing, and meditation for over 5,000 years. The word “Yoga” means “to join or yoke together” – bringing the body and mind together into a harmonious experience. The exercises are designed to apply gentle pressure to the glandular system thereby toning the glands and improving total health. The breathing techniques are based on the principle that the “breath” is the source of life in the body. Meditation calms the mind and body and prepares one to handle stress.
The Upanishads (ancient Hindu texts) define Yoga as a state of gokumu jisho; “extreme nothing self nature.” Essentially, one’s consciousness becomes himself. According to Tsuruji Sahota: “When the five senses stop their function and the judging mind stops its function as well, people call it the ultimate state. To control the organs of the body is regarded as Yoga.” The organs are controlled and toned by drawing energy up through the seven major energy centers, or chakras. The ultimate goal is to reach the topmost chakra and achieve self-illumination.