Yoga is a study of life, of your inner faculties, your body, breath, mind, intellect, memory and ego. It does not mean just physical asanas. It is the complete knowledge including meditation, pranayama and asanas.
The first use of yoga is that it frees you from misery and sorrow. In some form or the other we are unhappy from childhood. You don't get food or milk in time, you start crying. As you grow older you cry for a toy and then, as you grow a little older, you cry for a partner. After that you cry for power, money, position. Throughout life, there is something you always want. And when you don't know how to have it, you cry.
Yoga is essential because it improves skill. Yoga is skill in action. In the Bhagawad Gita, Krishna says to Arjuna that you need to be skillful and only through yoga you can attain those skills, to manage or run a country or an empire.
Yoga also improves your perception. Perception is essential for an administrator or ruler, because a ruler has to have eyes and ears all over. That means he has to understand every subject. In the ancient days, it was said a king should know 64 different trades, including how to steal because then you know the mentality of a thief.
Life is all about human interactions. How you understand the other person and how you express yourself to other persons are affected by you, getting in touch with yourself. You can't trust your own mind because the mind changes all the time. Our opinions change. Turn back and see how many times you have been proved wrong by your own judgement. Hence, yoga is necessary to improve our perceptions.
Therefore, to attain your basic needs and to administer society you need yoga. And to know about life, to explore into the secrets of the universe you also need yoga. It is like wherever you want to go, you need a vehicle and there needs to be a road. And yoga is the path.
The time gap between what you want and when you get it, makes all the difference. The luckiest one is where no want arises. That is the yogi. Even before you want something, it is already there. You are not thirsty, but there is already water. The next level of luck is — you want it and you have it, without much time gap. You know you want to build a hall and you do it. Between your want and the manifestation there is little time gap. And the third level is when you want something for a long time, and then you get it, after toiling a lot, putting all your effort in it.
So yoga takes you from being the most unlucky to the most lucky. Where, even before a desire has arisen in you, it is already there, already manifest.
There is a proverb that says "you wanted peanuts, but you got it, after you lost all your teeth." Just by wanting, things don't happen. It is by relaxing, by reposing in the being, in the self that whatever is essential simply comes.
Yoga is the art of doing nothing, of being in a total calm and serene state of mind. It brings a balance of body, mind and spirit and releases all pain, suffering and misery. If you are a seeker of any kind, spiritual or material, you need meditation. It is essential, to be in touch with the supreme being deep within one self.
Self is like the magnetic field which is every where like the air. Bringing the mind to the self is the whole exercise. Whenever the mind is resting, it is with the self. So self is the recharger, the energiser.
Every day in your sleep you are with the self. But that you do unconsciously. Consciously experiencing the self or being in the self, is meditation. And when you come out of meditation, you feel that freshness, everything looks bright, there is enthusiasm, there is joy there is love. All these qualities start manifesting in life spontaneously and naturally. That is what is called siddhi or the perfection. Courtesy Star of Mysore