The importance of yoga
Life today is full of stress and strain, of tension and nervous irritability, of passion and hurry. To remove physical, mental and psychological tensions, our ancient seers of India, not of India merely, but of humanity as a whole, perfected a system known as ‘Yoga’.
Yoga is an exact science. It is a perfect, practical system of integral education, education not only of the body and the mind or the intellect, but also of the inner spirit.
Yoga shows you the marvelous method of rising from badness to goodness, and from goodness, to godliness, and then to eternal divine splendour.
It is the art of right living. Yoga does not want a turning away from life. It demands spiritualisation of life. Yoga is primarily a way of life, not something which is divorced from life. Yoga is not forsaking of action, but is efficient performance in the right spirit. Yoga is not running away from home and human habituation, but a process of moulding one’s attitude to home and society with a new understanding.
The practice of Yoga is not opposed to any religion, or any sacred belief. It is purely scientific, spiritual and universal. It does not contradict anyone’s sincere faith. Yoga is not a religion, but an aid to the practice of the basic spiritual truths in all religions. Yoga can be practiced by a Christian, a Mohammedan, a Sufi or an athiest. To be a Yogi means to abide continuously in Truth and to live at peace with all of humanity, animals and nature.
Yoga is Union with the Truth. Yoga is union with all. Integral Yoga alone will bring about integral development of the head, heart and hand and lead one to become harmoniously balanced.
By Swami Sivananda, Life is Yoga, January 13th 2011