Why Yoga?


If you look after the root of the tree,
the fragrance and flowering will come by itself.

If you look after the body,
the fragrance of the mind and the spirit will come of itself.

Iyengar, Light on Yoga

Patanjali, considered the father of yoga, wrote that "the objective of all yoga is to inhibit the modifications of the mind." In other words, the goal of yoga is to stop thinking: to get out of your head. What happens when you do that? It’s not just calming; it’s eye-opening. You see things as they really are, not through rose or gray-colored glasses, those “modifications of the mind.” You get REAL. And when you get real, you heal.

Yoga means “yoke.” What yoga binds us to is Brahman, i.e., Reality. By getting back in touch with what is, we feel alive once again.

To get real is to come back to your senses. You can't do that in your head; only in your body. To heal, you have to feel what's real. The word health means “wholeness.” To heal is become a whole person again: mind, spirit, and body, all one. But that's not all.

The word religion means “to bind (back together).” Yoga, like any spiritual practice, is about getting whole. This is not the selfish pursuit of personal healing; this is finding out who you really are. Your feelings bring out your compassion. Why? Because we have never really been separate. Yoga brings us back to reality: that we are all in this together. No more loneliness; no self-induced suffering. That's yoga. That's reality. What do you have to lose?


The only thing we are every afraid of is to feel our feelings.

Raven Dana