Yoga – An Exercise System and a Life Philosophy

I see people doing yoga across the globe. Being an avid traveler, I have been able to witness firsthand the spread and popularity of yoga and the holistic health benefits that ensue. What today seems like a global phenomenon, originated in India thousands of years ago.

The yoga philosophy I have grown up imbibing, has evolved over the millennia. Patanjali, considered the father of modern yoga compiled the yoga sutras, in which he organised and explained yogic knowledge from all older traditions, making it easier to follow.

As you take a step to join Live Online Yoga Classes in New York you can examine and ponder on what yoga is all about, by reading further. This should clarify to us that yoga is a sensible, systematic and thorough form of physical exercise and at the same time it is also a deep philosophy which guides us on how we should live our life.

Physical Asanas: The Exercise Component

Yoga’s physical aspect, the asanas, comprise a vast range of postures aimed at enhancing flexibility, strength and balance as well as curing ailments. These poses tone the body and also promote relaxation and release stress by stimulating the nerves and nervous connections. Each asana holds unique benefits for instance we understand grounding via Tadasana (Mountain Pose) we build vigour through postures like Salabhasana (Locust Pose), we build body balance through asanas like Vrikshasana (Tree pose) and Virabhadrasana-3 (Proud warrior 3), cure abdominal ailments through postures like Mandukasana, back strength through Bhujangasana (Cobra series of postures), Ushtrasana (camel) and Dhanurasana (the bow).

Breathwork and Pranayama

Pranayama is about regulating breath. Prana, or life force, is controlled through various breathing techniques. Pranayama exercises don’t just oxygenate the body, they also calm the mind, reducing anxiety and promoting mental clarity. Techniques like Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing) and Kapalabhati (Rapid Diaphragmatic breathing) are fundamental in pranayama practice.

Meditation: Cultivating Inner Awareness

Yoga isn’t solely about physicality; it delves deep into mental well-being through meditation. Meditation cultivates mindfulness, enhancing self-awareness and promotes emotional balance. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and transcendental meditation aid in quieting the mind and fostering a sense of inner peace and tranquility. As our meditation practice deepens, we begin to connect with our true self, our deeper self.

Yamas and Niyamas: Ethical Guidelines

Beyond the mat, yoga encompasses ethical guidelines known as yamas and niyamas. Yamas represent moral disciplines, including non-violence (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), and non-greediness (aparigraha). Niyamas are personal observances, such as cleanliness (saucha), self-discipline (tapas), and contentment (santosha). These principles serve as a compass for ethical living and self-discipline.

Yoga Beyond Exercise: A Way of Life

While yoga’s physical aspect is visible, its essence lies in its integration into everyday life. It encourages mindful existence, fostering a harmonious relationship with oneself and the world. By following  yogic disciplined lifestyle habits, clean satvic eating, practicing compassion, kindness, and gratitude, individuals embody yoga’s philosophy, leading to a balanced and fulfilling life.


Any kind of yoga you may follow and practice, essentially falls within the purview of Overall Yoga, all with the same basic yogic philosophy which is based on the belief that every individual is a unique combination of karma, bhakti, gyana, and kriya, and it’s essential to work under the guidance of a guru or a yoga teacher to mix the appropriate combination of the four fundamental paths, as is necessary for each seeker.

Karma yoga is the path of selfless service or the belief that one’s work should be one’s yoga or one’s worship. Bhakti yoga is the path of love for the divine and includes singing and chanting. Gyana yoga is the path of seeking true knowledge. And Rajyoga is the scientific path where one systematically follows the laid down steps on a ones yogic path. Every aspirant is advised to progress, without ignoring any of these.

Looking for Live Online Yoga Classes in Washington ? Join Yoga with Sapna and discover how yoga can transform your life.

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