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The Meaning of Yoga

Most will agree, Sanskrit scholars and philosophy dabblers alike, that the translation of the word "yoga" means “to yoke,” but from there the interpretations vary. Some say it is the union of body, mind, and spirit. Some say it's the joining of opposites or the synchronicity of body and breath. The definitions are endless and, in my opinion, not of huge import for the dedicated or even curious practitioner. What is important, however, is recognizing the spiritual roots of this ancient tradition, and its ultimate purpose: to provide a scientific method by which we might remove the delusion of loneliness and alienation and come to experience a moment—and then many moments—of deep inner peace.

The word "God" is heavily laden with the ghosts of religions past, and it’s not uncommon for people to shirk away from anything with “God-like” associations. That is a tragic dismissal. I believe that to live in a world without humility, hope, miracles, and wonder (these are just a few of the great gifts provided by faith) is to live in a world that is life-less, boring, sad, empty, and unnecessarily difficult. But that's just me.

Reflection: We all have faith in something. The deepest innate human drive is to seek meaning and purpose in our life. Consider the last time you found yourself in a desperate situation--maybe horribly hungover or sick beyond imagination. Maybe you lost your job and the anxiety overwhelmed you. Did you ask anyone/anything for help? Did you make a silent plea for relief, or barter good behaviour in exchange for escape from a desperate situation? That is the deep-rooted seed of faith.

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