Yog, or yoga is not so much about the positions / poses, as much as it is about the flow of prana through our energy channels by intentional or unintentional use of breath (Pranayama). An example is the original form of yoga called Kriya Yoga, which is in truth the foundation of meditation. They are one in the same ultimately. As a side note, I only use terms from India because most people already can relate to these terms, not because yoga is an Indian thing as I will prove in this blog / article.
Kriya yoga is a meditation technique of controlling energy through pranayama and meditation, which speeds up the spiritual process of the aspirant. Kriya Yoga is a scientific method to enlightenment essentially. “Kriya” means “action” and “Yoga” means conscious union of body, mind, soul, and spirit. Self-mastery is the goal of yoga / meditation, to unlearn lower frequency illusions and merge with the infinite.
Now, where does yoga begin? Asking a question like this is like asking, when did people start to eat food? No one knows truly, although there are hieroglyphs found throughout Kemet (modern day Egypt) that shows the Kemites clearly doing Kemetic Yoga stretching over 7,000 years. Spirituality is a part of life as many other things are. Time doesn't move in a linear fashion as we have been taught previously by science. It's actually more cyclical as quantum mechanics proves.
When a culture is really into something, they tend to claim it as their own, as a part of their identity. This is not to take away from the great accomplishments of the Yogis of India that have truly helped us all by raising the frequency of the entire collective consciousness. The wisdom contained in yoga can be traced back to Tehuti (known also as Thoth and Enoch), who is the Kemetian God of Wisdom, and credited with the construction of the pyramids at Giza Plateau. If you read the Kybalion, a book of Tehuti's, there are mind blowing secrets that shift your entire comprehension of the universe around you.
Yoga does this very thing, changes your mind, literally. Transmutation of Mind is what the outcome of enlightenment is, and I speak from inner experience, not just study. Our relationship with the earth, how we live our life, our source of food, and how we treat other living beings etc., completely changes. You are reborn in a sense, like a cosmic baptism of sorts. This isn't just something that happens randomly though, it takes intentional discipline in areas of our lives that need balance, and actually maintaining a level of control in order to project into another cycle of existence.
Many only master yoga poses and look powerful in photos. However, what is taking place in their minds and hearts is truly what matters. This is something you can feel but cannot physically see. You can only see the ki that emanates from them if your third eye is keen enough. They learn to be more compassionate, open to new things, empathetic towards others and their sufferings, and honest about how they feel. Their actions and words expand the collective consciousness as they are now merged with Source, or in full truth they have accepted that they are merged with Source. This doesn't mean that what they say always feels pleasant, awakening can be uncomfortable at times.
As a true yogi who practices daily, and have been for my entire life since puberty, my advice is to practice with no aspirations other than being a better version of yourself. When you find total peace within and you are comfortable with who you are beyond culture, gender, material objects, and physical appearance, you will know you have reached. When you reach you begin, because now you have a responsibility to keep the vibrations high, and help living beings on their journey whilst continuing on yours.
Suffering arises from desire, the want to do, to be seen, to accomplish. This is not to condemn the physical world, as it is also important, and worth exploring and mastering as well, however that is not what will fulfill us. So, take care of the things you need first, then fulfill your desires with discernment. Why are yoga students called disciples? This is because they show discipline in order to be trusted with more wisdom as they move through the ranks.
"Do everything in moderation, even moderation."
May peace be yours forever,
~Portals Of Samadhi