The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word ‘yog’ meaning ‘to bind’, ‘to join’, or ‘a union’. Yoga is a union of the body, mind and spirit, as well as the union with the divine. Yoga is a practical science of the human being taking into account the physical, spiritual and metaphysical aspects of man.
As a practice, Yoga provides a system of methods, both physical and mental, leading to attaining one’s full potential through the disciplines of physical exercises (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), proper diet, self discipline, cleansing techniques (niyama), moral conduct (yama) and meditation (dyana) techniques (pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses, and dharana –concentration). Yoga is also the ultimate goal itself – the highest state of awareness where the atman, who transcends the ego, achieves samadhi, or bliss, through the union with Brahman, the infinite divine force.
Thus, the aim of yoga techniques is to relinquish the ego and to realize one’s true spiritual self in enlightenment through samadhi.