Yoga is Union of our individual self with the larger Cosmic self. Yoga is Balance, reaching a point of aware acceptance. And we attain it through our physical self or the body.
Breathing or Pranayama, Organized and structured physical postures called Asanas, Deep aware relaxation or Yoga nidra, Mantra Chanting, Meditation, these form the essential components of Yogic practice.
Swami Satchidananda lineage I come from teaches this as a easy, compact, and best practice of Yoga and highly advises that Yoga is practised with no expectations or competitiveness.
Yoga in Pop culture is more about the Body and getting ourselves to do those head stands, hand stands, twists, turns and all those postures that look impossible, the oh-so-tight spandex apparel line, green shakes, commercially capitalizing the timeless practice. A closer look and subtle observation will help us see the truth: it’s the breath and higher energies that move the body.
Now on to breath: What is the breath. Science tells us we inhale Oxygen and exhale Carbondioxide. Well, there is more to breath, we inhale the Life force known as Prana along with O2. In a future post I will tell you in detail about Prana.