I love this quote by Jivamukti yoga master Sharon Gannon: "You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state." The sage or rishi yoga decoder Patanjali had defined yoga 400 CE in his YOGA SUTRAS as yogas citta vritti nirodha. Translated - yoga is the mastering of the fluctuations of the mind.

When the mind is free of all sorts of non-stop responsiveness, when it is steady and stable, that is yoga. We are often so hostage to our body sensations, thoughts and emotions that we can barely see our true nature. The word yoga comes from Sanskrit root yuj, which means "to join" or "to yoke". It is a practice, a tradition, philosophy and a science. However it is not a religion as there is absolutely no dogma to follow.

Whereas Hinduism is a big umbrella under which many philosophical approaches were followed in India in ancient times, yoga was seen as a tool to put into practice some of the theoretical aspects. For example, when the Sages spoke about purification or Saucha Yoga and proposed cleansing Kriyas as a powerful way to detoxify and purify our bodies from inside out. Yoga talks about pranayamas or breathing exercises for the extension and control of prana (life force).

When we practice these rich ancient traditional teachings we often start to see ourselves in a different way and so the whole external world changes. We regain our natural freedom, peace, lucidity and dynamic energy for our own benefit and for the benefit of all beings around us. I like to say that practising yoga is one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and to the world.

Regina Padma Rintchen/ Ana Regina Perrusi Do Amaral