There are many other perspectives on yoga in the mainstream. One of
them is this paper from SwamiJ.com, entitled Modern Yoga versus
It includes not only personal narrative, but also quotes from Swami
Satyananda, Swami Rama, Swami Chidananda, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait,
David Frawley, Georg Feuerstein, and Paramahansa Yogananda.
The gist of the message is contained in the quote from Paramahansa
"Yoga means union. Etymologically, it is connected to the English
word, yoke. Yoga means union with God, or, union of the little, ego-
self with the divine Self, the infinite Spirit. Most people in the
West, and also many in India, confuse yoga with Hatha Yoga, the
system of bodily postures.
"But yoga is primarily a spiritual discipline. I don't mean to
belittle the yoga postures. Hatha Yoga is a wonderful system. The
body, moreover, is a part of our human nature, and must be kept fit
lest it obstruct our spiritual efforts.
"Devotees, however, who are bent on finding God give less importance
to the yoga postures. Nor is it strictly necessary that they practice
them. Hatha Yoga is the physical branch of Raja Yoga, the true
science of yoga. Raja Yoga is a system of meditation techniques that
help to harmonize human consciousness with the divine consciousness."
In loving service,