Yoga, or « YUJ » in sanskrit (official language of Yoga) means the union of the body, the mind and the spirit in order to find our balance. It is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India.
In the West, yoga is most often associated with the physical practice of asanas, particularly stretching exercises to build flexibility and relax the body. Yoga asanas can also build strength, coordination, balance and stamina. However, this is only one aspect of yoga as asana practice is just one of the "eight limbs" of yoga as listed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, a key sacred text on the philosophy of yoga.
These eight limbs are:
1. Yama capacity to communicate without any violence in all our actions
2. Niyama - practice made to remove all our impurities in our body and mind to help us finding serenity
3. Asana - Meaning “seat” and referring to the physical posture
4. Pranayama - Controlled or suspended breath
5. Pratyahara - Withdrawal of the senses
6. Dharana - Single pointed concentration
7. Dhyana - Meditation
8. Samadhi - Liberation