Yoga is both a physical practice and a spiritual philosophy originating in ancient India. Both focus on connecting body and mind to achieve a holistic state of balance. In the West, yoga is generally seen as a physical practice that improves flexibility and strength, reduces stress, and increases one’s awareness of the body-mind connection.
All forms of Yogic Meditation practiced today are based on the Yoga Sutras—a Sanskrit scripture by the ancient Indian sage, Patanjali. This famous text prescribes a sequence of eight specific practices, ending with samadhi, to reach the ultimate goal of spiritual life.
"The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are in themselves exceedingly brief, less than ten pages of large type in the original. Yet they contain the essence of practical wisdom, set forth in admirable order and detail. ... "Patanjali has in mind the spiritual man, to be born from the psychical.