The oldest text about the Yoga is the Patanjali’s Yogasutra. Someone says that Patanjali lived around 150 BCE, other around the 2nd century and even 3000 BCE. Whatis almost sure is that the knowing contained in the Yoga practice existed before the advent of the religions we know today.
As we know, Patanjali was the frst who summarized the Yoga teaching, and the result is a text who is the core of the Indian and Yoga tradition. What he transmitted is the main corpus of this ancient discipline, better known as Raja Yoga- even if Yoga is not only what he wrote.
In the field of the self knowing, the aim of Yoga is the work who leads the practitioner to the realization of himself inlaid in the cosmic unity. This discipline leads to the overcoming of the identification whit the practitioner’s “I” to achieve the realization of the intimate harmony who connects everything in a unique manifested body.
Through the centuries and millennia’s, Yoga has evolved achieving many dimensions of wisdom. It became part of the tantric tradition, successively ha influenced many Indus and non Indus traditions and Buddhism.
This system, in his integral version is a treasure of all the humanity, a step by step path for the realization of oneself and the consciousness of the whole unity. As a result of a personal experience of realization, Yoga is transmitted from master to pupil who achieves the capacity of being free to continue his path of understanding and comprehension.
However, once landed in the western countries, even a perfect system like this has been harmed by the rationalistic and consumistic way of thinking, and the meaning of this ancient discipline gradually dissolved, generally limits the value of this powerful tool for self development. It’s normal today “to make Yoga” for “our well being”, for a trend, to release the tensions and the discomfort that are the results of our inharmonious way of living. Of course, there’s anything wrong to take care of our well being, that’s the minimum that such powerful discipline can give to the modern, feeble man, but the problem is that the consumerist culture so eradicated in our society limited this practice only to this. The persons enter in contact whit Yoga as taught in the gyms, where is often seen as a good tool for stretch our body, wellness centers, hotels, sold as a pill for releasing the discomfort that everyone feels and that is the symptom of a deeply disease. So, as a useful massage, a morning jogging or a day passed with friends, even Yoga becomes a lenitive such as another.
For the reason that, there’s no doubt, the Yoga postures functions, new Yoga’s by the exotic or occult names has been developed, often copyrighted, but far from the ancient discipline that survived from many and many centuries trough the dedication, passion and struggle of innumerable practitioners.
That’s the real Yoga: a tool, a system, a discipline… call it as you want, who gives an imposing method for research and who could give the answers to the never-ending questions that beset the human minds.
Making questions about our existence is a duty of every human being, and his right to make a free research to become aware of our true nature. Why are we here on this planet? What’s our task on Earth? And what about the relations between the human beings, our purpose and role in the universe we are integral part? What about the laws who governs the harmony? What’s the meaning and there’s an aim to all this?
These are concrete questions, not abstract ponderings. Finding the sense of our lives we live every day is not a joke- our life is the only thing we have, and it wouldn’t last forever, one day it will end and we’ll lose it. So, finding the answer to achieve the heuristic realization that we are living beings both in space and time, to say and truly feel “Yes, I really exist”.
For the reason that we are lost in the mechanics and habits of our everyday life, we can’t realize this. We do folds according to rhythms and that our life has taken, but when something happens that in some way, “firm” that swirl, when we come into contact with pain, with death, physical suffering, the great theme the meaning of our existence is imminent. Ordinary, we react in our daily life as we are used to do, at the mercy of the things and rhythms imposed by the external world. Is this life? But, when we come in contact whit a real pain, physical or emotional suffering, death, then something happens… something stops and alienate us from our habitual routines, and then an urgent need to understand arises, something magic and horrible at the same time happens. We start to make some questions. We start to grow doubts about everything: our life, our relations, and our needs, our friends… all become an object of doubt. Then, maybe for the first time in our life, we start to think really and free from our constraints and limitations, and, if this state becomes an urge, and if this urge lasts for some time, then we have the possibility to rebuild our life, to learn how to live integrally, to become one whit the whole, and this is the meaning of Yoga- “to control”, “to yoke” or “to unite”… to love. Then begins our path.