Philosophy: Defining Yoga – What is Yoga and Why Do We Practice It?

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Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we explore many expert definitions of yoga, and why people practice.


Be aware of the profound depth and potential scope of yoga as a philosophy and practice, and consider multiple perspectives on the purpose of practice.


Note that there are many meanings of the word yoga and consider why that may be so. Define yoga according to its Sanskrit origins and explain the context from which yoga philosophy originates. Describe some of the many ways in which experts have defined and described yoga. Distinguish the definition of yoga from why we practice it, offering perspectives on the purpose of practice, both short-term and what might be considered the grander or ultimate purpose.

Get Inspired: 2-Minute Message

Message #10:  What is Yoga?

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