The first four sutras define Yoga, with that definition
being expanded upon in the other sutras. In a systematic process of meditation,
you gradually move your attention inward, through all the levels of your being,
gaining mastery along the way (1.2). Eventually you come to rest in your true
nature, which is beyond all of those levels (1.3). This action and the realization of
this center of consciousness, is the meaning of Yoga.
Once the obstacles and false identities
have been temporarily set aside, the true Self, which has been there all along,
naturally comes shining through (1.3). The rest of the time, we are so entangled
with our false identities that we literally do not see that this misidentification
has happened (1.4). It is the reason that sometimes it is said that we are asleep,
and that we need to awaken. That awakening to the Self is the meaning of Yoga.
Creates a toned, flexible, and strong body. Improves
respiration, energy, and vitality. Helps to maintain a balanced metabolism. Promotes
cardio and circulatory health. Relieves pain. Helps you look and feel
younger than your age. Improves your athletic performance.
Helps you relax and handle stressful situations more
easily. Teaches you how to quiet the mind so you can focus your energy where
you want it to go - into a difficult yoga pose, on the tennis court or golf course,
or in the office. Encourages positive thoughts and self-acceptance.
Builds awareness of your body, your feelings, the
world around you, the needs of others. Promotes an interdependence between
mind, body, and spirit. Helps you live the concept of "oneness."