Derived from the Sanskrit word “yuj” that mean to unite, join or to connect, in a broad sense, Yoga refers to a union. It is a union of mind and body, a coming together of mind and soul, that of individual self with the universal self. In India, the country where yoga is believed to be originated, the term does have religious and spiritual connotations. However, an important reason for its increasing popularity in the western countries is the exceptional benefits that accrue out of the practice of yoga. In terms of The Objective of Yoga, one can think of it in a physical, physiological and spiritual context.
The objectives of yoga can be understood in the context of its emphasis on the unity of body, mind and soul part. In the physical way, the objectives of yoga include the enhancement of productivity and efficiency while the physiological interpretation applies to the betterment of body functions and systems with all the meditation and exercises. However, it is the spiritual objective of the yoga that is considered to be of utmost significance. The unison of mind, body and soul while thinking beyond the materialistic pursuits is something that yoga is primarily aimed at.
A yoga practitioner has to undergo several levels of development before s/he is able to realize the true potential. And s/he is able to realize the inner self by using the benefits of various forms of yoga. However, one has to undertake the various asanas of yoga in a gradual manner and not rush in with the things. One has to proceed step by step, following the mediation and exercises in a phased manner dealing with all aspects of mind and body.
The basic objective of yoga is to develop physical health and power of resilience. Various yogic asanas help a practitioner to stress upon the purity of the body and lay a foundation for concentration and mental toughness, an ability to remain composed under all sorts of circumstances and focus on the issues that need concentration. In order to achieve this state, yoga develops the prowess to harmonize and integrate the thoughts, desires, emotions, feelings, aims of an individual. It thus helps in realizing the real potential of a person, both in terms of his physical and intellectual capabilities.
Beyond this, another important objective of yoga is to bring about a self realization in the individual. Ultimately, it is only through self realization that a person is able to secure the best and give his best to himself, to the society, nation and the mankind. In that sense, spiritual growth besides, the physical and mental growth of an individual aiming at the self actualization, can be regarded as the most important objective of yoga.
The objectives of yoga are manifold but the most important is to ensure the betterment of the individual that consequently leads to the betterment of the universe. It is for this reason that yoga is reaching out to all parts of the world and becoming increasingly popular even in predominantly materialist western countries.