Redefining Yoga

Yoga is a practice primarily incorporated in the modern world as a way of exercise. But there are various different forms of yoga. The modern day popularized form of yoga is actually a form of yoga termed as Hatha Yoga, i.e. yoga as a form of exercise.
Patanjali, a sage in Hinduism, compiled the yoga Sutras, which is a text on Yoga theory and practice. He defines yoga as an activity for mental peace to unite the body with the soul in order to attain enlightenment. If we consider Patanjali’s definition – an activity for mental peace, Yoga can be any activity performed wherein your mind is at peace and devoid of any ill thoughts regarding any being (which in a way, references the Karma Theory). Inner peace is a way to bring joy in a being’s life. Hence, Yoga can be anything – a form of dance, music, reading, art or any creative activity that would cause a person to not develop any ill thoughts, if only for a little while and therefore, causing a person to be happy and thus, a sense of peace is developed. This, essentially, is what the purpose of yoga and meditation is. If it can be obtained in a way a certain person seems fit, there’s no harm done.
Thus, let yoga be an activity of developing peace for a person by performing an activity that genuinely makes a person happy, bringing him or her, peace.

– Parth Thakkar