Today, when people come to yoga, what are they seeking? They come for relief from disease. They come due to illness. This is the truth. In today’s world of hustle and bustle, you cannot find time for yourself. As you wake up, the day’s worries and jobs consume you and they stay with you until you lie down again at night. If you find time for yoga, you will do it for a day, a week, a month, a year. For how long will you sustain it? Eventually, you will drop it.
The purpose of yoga is not therapeutic. If someone tells you this, they are wrong. If yoga is adopted as a lifestyle disease will disappear. Consequently, becoming disease-free is an outcome of yoga, not its objective. Your yoga practice should not stop when the physical ailment is cured; you should continue with your practice.
You come to yoga because of your troubles, whether they are health related, stress related, emotional or familial. Your purpose is relief from difficulty. As long as the problem exists you will do your practice, but when that problem is resolved, you drop yoga. Five to ten years later when the problem resurfaces, you think of yoga again. You start your practice again. This is not yoga sadhana. It is not even yoga practice. It is yoga for alleviating a problem. There is no attempt to understand what yoga stands for, to understand its objective.
What kind of sadhana should you perform so that yoga becomes an integral part of your life? The biggest obstacle in this attempt is that you believe you need to take time out to be able to practise yoga. Not at all. To learn yoga, yes, but not to live it as a lifestyle. As a lifestyle, it becomes a regular part of your behaviour, something that you do not even need to think about. A musician will hear music in the hammering of a nail into the wall. Someone who is proficient in a subject will bring it into every experience of his life. Slowly, as you practise these yogas, little changes begin to come into your life, which will eventually lead to a change in your lifestyle. Then, you will begin to live yoga as a lifestyle.
When you go to school, you study and pass your exams, your lifestyle changes. As you grow up, your thoughts, intellect and viewpoint change. This is called maturity. You say that the person has become an adult. It is the same with yoga.
When you perform your actions with patience and endurance, and your behaviour reflects these qualities, then you are called a karma yogi. Similarly, when you use your common sense and are practical in life, then you become a jnana yogi. When you do not get carried away by your emotions, then you are called a bhakti yogi. This is yoga sadhana. That is how yoga has to be experienced in life.