What does Yoga Philosophy mean?
The main philosophy of yoga is simple: mind, body, and spirit are all one and cannot be separated. There are a multitude of philosophical ideas in order to explore the deeper dimensions of the body, mind, and spirit. Studying and understanding these ideas are essential to shift our view as ourselves as separate, to realizing the unitive state.
Yoga philosophy, similar to Buddhism, believes that spiritual ignorance creates suffering and binds us to the wheel of samsara (cycle of rebirth). The removal of our ignorance can take many different paths and techniques in yoga. Still, the central philosophical teachings of yoga revolve around the practice of mental discernment, detachment, spiritual knowledge, and self-awareness. Yoga philosophy also incorporates the concepts of the subtle body and the spiritual energies of prana and kundalini moving through the nadis and chakras.
The ultimate goal of Yoga is a sustained state of pure awareness called Moksha or Samadhi. Yoga is the transcendence of the mind to realize the “true self” or “highest self.” This experience of pure consciousness is our true nature. In this state of liberation, all mental and philosophical constructs fall away. In essence, yogic philosophy is a necessary means to deepen one’s yoga practice and to reach enlightenment.