To the untrained observer, yoga looks like a series of gymnastic moves that can only be done in special outfits and with special mats. It looks like a purely physical practice.
Yoga can be a vigorous physical activity, but it’s also a systematic approach to wellness and health. The eight-limbed path of yoga is an examination of the self in relation to the world and a holistic approach a balanced life free from suffering.
The primary challenge is to relinquish attachment to the objects of the world. The foundation of the varieties of yoga – Raja, Karma, Jnana, Bhakti, Hatha, Mantra – is to teach the self to control reaction to external stimuli. Patanjali’s yoga path is a step-by-step process for gaining control of the self in spite of life’s ups and downs.