The Philosophy of Yoga
“What even is the philosophy of yoga?”
A Philosophy Ph.D and a good friend of mine had inquired in a casual conversation between the two of us, “What even is the philosophy of yoga?”
I can see how the confusion would arise. Modern day philosophy at the university level is mostly analytical symbolic logic and science (yes, I realize this is a gross generalization. Philosophy is many things but for this sake, just go with me). Then, there is yoga. In the west, is yoga is often seen as a trendy exercise. However, in the east and as a tradition, yoga is much more than asana (poses), it’s a lifestyle.
Both of these words: yoga and philosophy, mean much more than meets the eye and they mean even more when placed together. I understand the ‘philosophy of yoga’ by breaking down the words into parts and then translating them from their greek and sanskrit origins. Trust me, it’s much more romantic and poetic than you might think so stay with me here.
Philosophy can break down into two parts: the prefix ‘philo’ and the suffix ‘sophy.’ ‘Philo’ is translated to mean ‘lover’. ‘Sophy’ is translated to mean ‘wisdom’. So, a philosopher is a lover of wisdom. So in this sense many of us are philosophers!
The sanskrit word ‘yoga’ can translate to mean “to join” or “to unify”. I translate it to mean unity or harmony.
So the philosophy of yoga is the love of the wisdom that exists in harmony!
Now isn’t that beautiful and less complicated than previously thought?! The literal meaning of the philosophy of yoga is gain with my practice: love, wisdom and harmony.