Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means “to yoke”. In this translation it means “to unite or join”.
To me, this is a reference to our ever-existing connection with the creative God or Life Force within us. Yoga as a practice is about making this connection a conscious feeling. That we actually bring it from our unconscious-from under the radar-to being fully conscious of that fact.
We can choose to expand this connection to feeling in harmony with those we love, our communities, those for which we don’t feel obvious affiliation, as well as including the plant and animal world.
Yoga has the power to change the way you feel, the way you look at things, and the way you interpret what is going on in both your internal and external world. It is not a religion, of course, but for me it induces a religious feeling. It’s about remembering that we are connected and not separate. I often forget that simple irrefutable fact and when I come back to my practice, I am reverently and profoundly reminded of this.
(With credit to Erich Schiffmann’s essay “Remembering our Divine Connection”)