Well, it’s 2019 so I can’t exactly say, “hey, do you know what yoga is?”, because honestly, who hasn’t heard of yoga at this point in some form or fashion?
While most of us have HEARD of yoga at the very least, how many of us actually KNOW what yoga actually IS?
It’s true that there are many different kinds and forms and types of yoga.
But what’s at the core of yoga?
Besides just exercise and stretching, what is yoga all about?
What is Yoga?
These days they have what’s called “hot” yoga, where people go into super hot rooms and do yoga and sweat, a kind of bikram yoga, or hatha yoga.
While these practices are fine and quite healthy for one’s body and physiology, the truth is there is a lot more to yoga than simply physical exercises.
The term yoga actually means union with the divine.
It’s talking about the union of the individual soul with the omnipresent cosmic consciousness of spirit.
The physical exercises, poses, and stretches are actually designed for the practitioner to be able to meditate more effectively and deeply.
Did you know that?
Well, it’s something you’re not likely to hear everyday.
So if yoga means union with the divine, then it might start to make a bit more sense as to why there are so many different types of yoga.
The fact is, there is more than one primary means of uniting the soul with the spirit of God, and not every path fits every person.
There are Many Forms of Yoga, But One Goal
If you look up yogic philosophy and try to figure out how many different branches of yoga there are, you might find yourself becoming a bit overwhelmed.
However, there are those yogis who say that the core science of all yoga is called Raja Yoga.
Raja Yoga does indeed contain the essence of all yogic systems, but again these are generally taken and used for physical exercises and for stretching.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with physical exercise and stretching, but the truth is if the spiritual pursuit is removed from the practice of yoga, then it is not REALLY yoga anymore.
At the basis of all means of uniting the soul with spirit, there are three primary paths that people have generally taken to achieve this.
And these paths themselves are forms of yoga, or union with the divine. They are:
Respectively, each yoga stands for the yoga of action, or Karma yoga.
The yoga of devotion, or Bhakti yoga.
And the yoga of knowledge, or Jnana yoga.
Interestingly, you will find when you understand the meaning behind these yogas that these paths are inherent to some degree within all religious and spiritual paths.
When you think of things like selfless service to others, love and devotion to God, or reading spiritual scriptures and striving to apply them in your life, you will see that even if you didn’t think you were practicing yoga, that you are practicing yoga.
Pretty neat huh?
However, yogis say that even these paths in and of themselves are slower routes to God awareness or of uniting the soul with spirit, and there are faster means by which to attain this goal.
One such science is an ancient yogic science that was resurrected for the current day and age by a yogi by the name of Lahiri Mahasaya, and this yoga is called Kriya Yoga.
Kriya Yoga is said to be the essence and highway of all religions, as well as the fastest path to God realization.
It is actually at the top of the Raja Yoga science, and is the one specific yoga referred to be Sage Patanjali in the yoga sutras.
Furthermore, Kriya Yoga is actually the synthesis of karma yoga, bhakti yoga, and jnana yoga.
It is the truest and highest form of yoga that exists on this planet.
Now, I feel it would be fitting to relay to you the reader, that the Kriya yoga science is something that I myself am personally initiated into and have been practicing for a number of years now.
And I must say, that it is quite amazing to say the least.
Kriya allows you to quickly and powerfully tap into your own inner being, which will yield an increasing feeling of deep joy the more you practice.
There are specific yogic techniques that comprise the Kriya technique, but at the core of Kriya is the teaching of watching one’s breath.
Kriya actually means work of the soul, Kri means to work and ya means soul.
So by being aware of the soul or your inner self regardless of what you are doing is to practice Kriya.
In this way, one can practice regardless of what one is doing and achieve happiness AND the true goal of yoga all in one lifetime.
However, even with the Kriya Yoga science, one must be disciplined and devoted to reach the goal of heavenly bliss.
Yoga is About Becoming One with Happiness Itself
So although Yoga means union with the divine, which could also be called God realization or Self realization, what the divine really is is divine happiness.
And I don’t mean just a little more inner peace or joy that one experiences.
I’m talking about cosmic conscious never ending bliss billions of times beyond any human experience, and having it last forever in our consciousness.
That’s real happiness and it is also what yoga is leading one towards.
Yoga Isn’t Just Spiritual, it’s the Essence of All Spirituality and Consequently All Religion
So when we’re talking about God realization and expanding our awareness to encompass cosmic consciousness and the attainment of never ending bliss, undoubtedly the question of religion will come to mind.
A lot of people think that the yogic sciences are heathen sciences or blasphemous in some way if they are part of some organized religion.
But in truth yoga is the essence of all religions.
You see, what we’re talking about here with uniting one’s soul to the everlasting infinite bliss of spirit in cosmic consciousness is actually the same description as moksha for Hindus, nirvana for Buddhists, and the Kingdom of Heaven for Christians.
The beauty of true yoga or of something like Kriya Yoga, is that it doesn’t have you believe anything, but rather gives you the tools and the map to realize these truths for yourself.
In fact, yoga meditation and in particular Kriya Yoga meditation is non-sectarian, so it can be practiced along side any religion or spiritual path.
The neat thing is that if one is a Christian for example, the more one practices Kriya Yoga the more their own religion will make a lot more sense, and the deeper one will be able to understand the Bible for example.
Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is within us.
And the yogic sciences are precisely the tools one needs to access the Kingdom of Heaven within.
Wrapping it Up
I know, what we’ve been covering here has been some deep stuff.
BUT what we’ve just discussed here is what yoga is really all about.
Just practicing physical exercises is fine and quite healthy, but there is much more to what yoga really is.
Yoga, meaning union with the divine, is all about merging one’s individual soul consciousness with the cosmic consciousness of spirit, or God.
And while doing so does take some effort, discipline, and practice on a regular basis, the rewards are a trillion fold for the amount of effort one has to put into it.
In other words, this is literally how one finds the Kingdom of Heaven within, and yes, an ever increasing sense of peace joy and well-being will be opened to you even in the beginning of your journey.
If you’re not practicing your own yoga meditation already and would like to learn more about the Kriya Yoga that I practice, you can check it out here to learn more.
Many blessings to you, and as they generally say in yoga classes these days: