What is Yoga?

Origins | Personalities
Yoga path | pranayama

Yoga | Illustration
Yoga | Girl doing a asana

Meaning of Yoga

Each stage of realization of the yoga practice has its own place and is called ‘The path is the goal’ and not ‘The goal is the goal’. The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit, that is, from the Indic language. Even today the word “yoga” is still used in many European languages. In Latin, yoga means religion, i.e. the reconnecting thing between mind and body, between Creator and creature. Everyone can learn yoga. Yoga is independent of denomination or age.

How did Yoga come to the West?

First and foremost, I must mention Swami Vivekananda (1862-1902). He was a student of the famous Saint Ramakrsna. Vivekananda represented Hinduism as ambassador at the “World Parliament of Religions” in Chicago in 1893. Vivekananda’s achievement was a new interpretation of the traditional yoga paths and thus he created an approach for us Europeans.

Great personalities


Sri Autobindo

Swami Sivananda Porträt

Swami Sivananda


Paramahamsa Yogananda

Yoga as a mental attitude

Yoga, apart from the various yoga exercises (asanas), is a mental attitude and viewpoint, and is not only practiced by the hour. The abilities of each student should be recognized and brought to development. Yoga is related to the individual, never in competition with others. Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950), one of the most important yoga teachers of our time, sees the human being as a “bridge-builder”. A bridge connects two sides of a riverbank, or more generally speaking: opposing states are connected. According to Aurobindo, development can only take place if neither side is denied or suppressed. One of the main goals of the yoga exercises is to gain clarity about the confusing activity of our thinking organ, so that our thoughts can come to rest, and the inner truth can be perceived. Through the constant information intake of our sense organs such as smells, dreams, images, our thinking organ is constantly busy and desires or wishes will arise. The intention is not asceticism or a suppression of desires, but these processes should be consciously perceived.

Yoga | icon buddha

Positve effects of Yoga

Yoga | Om Symbol

Yoga shows us the right path

This path consists of “getting a grip” on one’s own mind through meditation, mindfulness, and correct behaviors to “tame” him. With the help of meditation and consciously positive behavior we deepen on the one hand love and compassion for all living beings and on the other hand the insight into the nature of things. This gradually leads to a weakening of the ego-centeredness, a deeper recognition of reality and finally to Buddhahood or the “eight-limbed path to Patanjali” in yoga.

All wisdom teachings impart ways and basic thoughts to get into one’s own center “to the true I” to reach self-discovery. Meditation and mindfulness are a kind of mind training that helps us to a healthy, clear, and joyful mind and to the realization of its unlimited nature. We become able to see ourselves, our fellow human beings, and our environment according to a deeper reality and to free ourselves from the various ideas, interpretations, desires, and anxieties that make such direct perception impossible.

Positive behavior, i.e. actions taken with the motivation to do good to others and to ourselves, supports our spiritual development; it creates a harmonious life and the basis for inner strength, which is important for the practice of meditation.


“Prana” means breath, life force and “ayama” means pause or control. The yogis experience an invisible cosmic force surrounding us, a mysterious essence and universal energy that gives us life. Without prana there is no life. The more you possess of it, the more vital and energetic you become. With the right breathing technique, you can increase your “energy potential”, become more awake and self-confident.

Yoga | Pranayama: Shamanic Breathing

Shamanic breathwork

Sit upright, feet firmly on the floor or lotus position, right palm resting on left palm… Breathe in for three seconds and visualize golden light globules and inhale them - hold your breath for three seconds and buzz the syllable "Ma" loudly or softly while inhaling and holding your breath, then exhale gently for four seconds and leave the light power globules with you; exhale only the used air and again take a break for four seconds, buzzing the syllables "Na….. After seven to ten minutes, direct and seal part of the now increased vital energy onto the outer skin of the aura, and imagine how this energy is transformed into bulletproof glass

Yoga | Pranayama: Balancing Breathwork

Soothing, balancing breathwork

Take the right hand, place middle finger directly on the sixth chakra and thumb on the right nostril. Breathe deeply and slowly through the left nostril, close the left nostril, and count slowly to four or seven. Open the left nostril again and exhale slowly. Inhale left, hold breath, exhale with right nostril, inhale, right etc. The idea of a horseshoe facilitates the breathing technique.

Yoga | Pranayama: Pentagram Breathing

Pentagram breathing

Lie down. during the exhalation cycle extend the aura beyond the room and remain in the extension for three minutes. Imagine (visualize) how the primal sun cleanses and heals the aura. Then, during the inhalation cycle, bring the aura back to its original size.