In the first part of the series, Acharya Das discusses the topic of yoga. Rather than just the limited understanding as being a system of physical postures and breathing, Yoga is best understood as a broader spiritual system, of spiritual endeavor aimed at self-realization and God-realization. He clears up common misconceptions of what yoga is, describes the ultimate goal of yoga, and explains the process by which the goal of yoga can be achieved.

Acharya Das also shares that the real message of yoga is a message of hope, self-discovery, and boundless joy. He will explain the yoga system of learning from a qualified teacher and reveal why it’s extremely beneficial for a sincere seeker of truth to seek out an authentic spiritual teacher to guide them on the gradual and progressive journey towards transcendence.

These verses from a yogic text were quoted:

Bhāgavata Purāṇa 7.13.28-30

In this way the conditioned soul living within the body forgets his self-interest because he identifies himself with the body. Because the body is material, his natural tendency is to be attracted by the varieties of the material world. Thus the living entity suffers the miseries of material existence.

Just as a deer, because of ignorance, cannot see the water within a well covered by grass, but runs after water elsewhere, the living entity covered by the material body does not see the happiness within himself, but runs after happiness in the material world.

The living entity tries to achieve happiness and rid himself of the causes of distress, but because the various bodies of the living entities are under the full control of material nature, all his plans in different bodies, one after another, are ultimately baffled.

Do not stay in illusion; go to the eternal reality. Do not stay in darkness; go to the light. Do not suffer death; become immortal!  –  Bṛhad-āraṇyaka Upaniṣad 1.3.28