The Meaning of Adhyatma Yoga

Yoga is a Sanskrit word which derives from the verbal root ‘yuj’ which means ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. In the course of time, the name of yoga has come to be applied to almost any form of practice which has for its aim a yoking or uniting of apparently conflicting elements, with the result that there exist today so many varieties of Yoga that a newcomer to the subject is often understandably confused.

Adhyatma Yoga traces its origin to the Vedic Rishis or ‘Seers’ of the highest Truth. Their inspired utterances concern the nature of our true Self. This is the principal theme of the Upanishads, their final teaching and the culmination of wisdom.

The practices of this original yoga, integrated with our daily life, have the aim of uniting our outer and inner life with our ‘highest’ Self (adhi-atma). This endeavour leads to our re-discovery of the eternal bliss and freedom of our true identity, that ultimate essence of pure being and consciousness which upholds the perishable body and fluctuating mind, yet in reality transcends them utterly.

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This article is from the Autumn 2017 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.