What do you know about Yoga?
Here, in ‘the West’, we often think about ,and/ or associate Yoga with a physical exercise or stretching for flexible people; or an esoteric secular practice and religion from India, for religious people; or maybe even a group exercise, dominated by women all wearing Lululemon; or the latest trend on Instagram, teaching and traveling yogis sponsored by Alo and the like.
There are so many ‘types’ out there; from Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa, Kundalini, Krya, Iyengar, to Yin, Restorative and Bikram to partner-Acro-yoga, aerial yoga or even goat yoga. We have not yet seen it all.
From ancient times, the TRUTH of the matter IS… that …
ALL of THIS
ALL of THAT.
YOGA is UNIVERSAL,
and IS, and has been
There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin other than that yoga developed in ancient India. Suggested origins are the Indus Valley Civilization (33rd –19thBCE) and pre-Vedic Eastern states of India, the Vedic period (15th –5th BCE), and the śramaṇa movement. Since its earliest traced evidence in the 15th century BCE in the Indus plain, and throughout the Vedic period (15th-5th BCE), the Classical (6th BCE – 5th CE), the Medieval (6th CE- 16th CE) and through the Modern era (16th CE – present) , Yoga has been CONTINUOUSLY practiced, taught, adapted, influenced, and often… realized.
It has been, embraced by a numerous diversity: At first, predominantly by men, ancient sages and munis of the forest ascetics and Brahmanical priests, through the Shivaists, Hindu swamis, tantric Budhists, Jain and Sufis,… And now, in the later days, practiced and influenced by the modern gymnasts, physical culturist as well as by the common householder , spiritual aspirant or modern day, conscious biohacker, both women and men.
Throughout this whole time… the perpetual message, wisdom and eternal truth has been unchanging:
YOGA is …
Both, a practice,
a state of Being
A practice that requires and instills discipline, and has effects on all the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of the ‘human experience’ and beyond.
A practice that seeds and perpetuates discipline, peace, devotion, love, truth, wisdom and happiness
A universal wisdom and science, trialed and tribulated by numerous cultures
A philosophy that can eradicate ignorance and bring one to Self-realization.
YOGA is UNIVERSAL
YOGA* is UNITY
YOGA is a state of (being) ONEness
*The true sense and etymology of the word “Yoga” is “union”, coming from the Sanskrit root “yuj” (pron. “yug”) meaning "to join", "to unite" but also "to subjugate", with the meaning also "to control" and "to disciplinate". The English word "yoke" is also derived from the same Sanskrit (Indo-European) root.
What it is certain, is that in the modern day, with all the distractions and attachments, cravings and desires, established in the root of all suffering, ‘avidya’ →ignorance, it has been more and more difficult to:
reign in the senses,
to still the mind,
to cultivate equanimity
to have skill in action,
to directly perceive reality,
to unify all pairs of opposites,
to be established in Self,
to unite individual consciousness with universal consciousness,
to realize ONEness
…. With all this in mind, and through this continuum, here at ELEMENTAL, we are setting the intention and making it our Vision and Mission:
to allow the UNIVERSALITY and TRUTH of Yoga to manifest, for all beings:
through its ancient practices and through its modern variations;
to cultivate DISCIPLINE and WISDOM
through instructed daily practice and self-study
to sustain and support, PEACE, COMMUNITY and ‘LOVE’iNG KINDNESS
through holding space and selfless service,
to achieve and realize UNITY
through embracing diversity and eradicating ignorance of all that IS:
TRUTH, PEACE, LOVE, WISDOM and UNITY
Air, Earth, Water, Fire and Ether (essence of emptiness)
With OM and Prem,
Dattatreya Dan and the Elemental Team