Essentially in the tradition, once we attach the word “yoga” to anything, it indicates that it is a complete path by itself. The moment you attach the word “yoga,” it indicates it is a complete path by itself.
If it is a complete path by itself, how should it be approached? If it was just a simple practice or an exercise, you could approach it one way. If it was an art form or just entertainment, it could be approached another way. I am using all these words because they are in usage in today’s world. People say “recreational yoga,” “health yoga,” people refer to it as an art form – they think they are doing a service to yoga by saying it is an art form. No. The moment you attach the word “yoga,” it indicates it is a complete path by itself.
The word “yoga” essentially means, “that which brings you to reality”. Literally, it means “union.” Union means it brings you to the ultimate reality, where individual manifestations of life are surface bubbles in the process of creation. Right now, a coconut tree and a mango tree have popped up from the same earth. From the same earth, the human body and so many creatures have popped up. It is all the same earth.
Yoga means to move towards an experiential reality where one knows the ultimate nature of the existence, the way it is made.