Yoga was founded by the Sages and the Rishis (spiritual leaders) who had the courage to investigate the nature of man’s inner world. It was handed down from the “Sages” or the “Rishis” to their “Sisyaa” or students in the hope that it would help in the upliftment of mankind. The ultimate aim of Yoga is to attain ultimate freedom- the breaking free from the shackles of cause and effect which tie us to continual reincarnation. Yoga helps one attain the absolute knowledge of the difference between the spiritual which is timeless, unchanging, and free of sorrows, and the material which is not. This and this alone can guarantee peace and tranquility. Just as a government is unable to function without the support of its people similarly the body is unable to function if the controller that is the mind has lost control over the senses. Attainment of peace is possible only if the mind has absolute control on the senses.
Yoga is a spiritual pursuit. In yoga, the physical body assumes paramount importance as it serves as an instrument of education for the mind and the nervous system. All the yoga exercises and practices are not meant to show a muscular display of strength and agility. They are in reality meant to aim at control, purification, and coordination of the nervous system. Regular practice of yoga leads to the purification of the gross body. The purification of the system itself leads to tremendous benefits related to the physical body. One gets relief from several physical ailments and more important one builds immunity which serves to prevent diseases. Yoga is not just the practice of asana, pranayama, kriya and kundalini techniques, and shatkarma; it is imbibing a way of life, thus improving the quality of life itself.
The moral restrictions- the don’ts and the encouraged daily behaviors- the dos of yoga are the aspects of yoga that can bring about miraculous changes in our lives. If one develops the quality of non-violence one will automatically emanate compassion. If one imbibes the quality of satya one will automatically radiate love. The do’s and don’ts of yoga highlight a character of the human personality. When the character is highlighted then it automatically by default becomes a part of your entire existence.
It will show in your actions, in your attitude, and in the way you conduct your life. Hence yoga is not just a technique, it is a lifestyle. If one follows the yogic way of life there are immense possibilities; provided of course, the yardstick one is using to measure is not money and power. Yoga is not against money and power.
Its only argument against money is that it serves to divert the mind. However, if the mind is strong and one has attained mental clarity one’s mind will not be distracted. Yoga is principally a way of life. It is not the abandonment of action but it is the correct performance in the correct spirit.
It is not about running away from civilization. It is actually the shaping of one’s attitude to home and society at large with a new understanding. It is not avoiding life; it is living life to its fullest.