The Vedas are ancient texts from India, written in Sanskrit. They are considered to be divine truths revealed to ancient sages after intense meditation.
Meditation is a practice to bring awareness to the nature of our Self. Slowing and observing our thoughts can expose the nature of our mind, how it connects to our body, and what lies beyond the mind. Repeating mantras or the observation of our breath are common meditative approaches.
The Upanishads are part of the Vedas. These texts describe Yoga as a union of the individual soul (Atman) to the universal spirit (Brahman).
The Yoga Sutras are a collection of ancient knowledge compiled by the sage Patanjali. They are a guide of how to study the mind & the soul, and how to yoke the individual soul to the universal spirit in order to become whole & healed.
The goal of Yoga is to create a unification of body, mind, and spirit.
The physical forms of Yoga, known as asanas, are one of eight practices identified by Patanjali to study the nature of body & mind. Originally asanas were comfortable sitting poses for meditation. Modern Yoga uses asanas as exercise, a way to strengthen & balance the physical body to enable better meditative insight.
Pranayama is another practice of Patanjali’s eight-limbed path to enlightenment. It is the practice of controlling our breath, which is the main source of our Prana, or life-force.