One of the two traditions of yoga is Vedic tradition, the other being Tantric tradition. Vedic tradition of yoga is based on the Vedas which are the collection of spiritual, practical, moral, social and metaphysical thoughts. These thoughts in Vedas embody every aspect of creation as a manifestation of the divine nature. The Vedic tradition of yoga follows simply the principles mentioned in the Vedas. This tradition is also known as the Sanatan or eternal culture of yoga. Different philosophical ideas, practices with guidance, practice of yogic path are encompassed in the eternal culture of yoga which aims to unite the human soul ultimately to the supreme consciousness.
The ancient sages followed the principles mentioned in the Sanatan culture in their yogic practice and attained the ultimate destination, the union of soul with the supreme consciousness. The attainment of union of soul with the supreme consciousness brought them to an eternal state of joy. Every ancient yogi practiced yoga exactly as per the Vedic tradition following the yogic path properly. Staying under a strict discipline of yogic path practicing yogic aspects brought them to the world of enlightenment.
The world is dynamic. Things change every second in today’s world and so the need of people changes accordingly. Thus, the yoga has also transformed to a great extent today, at least in practical aspects. While yoga is spreading rapidly all over the world, very few are into it following the aspects as explained in the eternal culture. Actually, very few are aware about it and even if there are some, some of this worldly phenomenon is keeping them from practicing those principles into practicality. Although yoga has gained more exposure and popularity in today’s world, we have seen only its surface. For many reasons we have remained unaware of the eternal aspects of Vedic yogic tradition, thus deprived of the essential pleasure.
Yoga today has become merely a physical phenomenon. It has become alternative to some of the physical workouts or people have switched to it to stay fit physically. Of course, physical fitness is one of the aspects of yoga that brings us closer to other essential aspects to getting closer to the supreme consciousness, but it is not the ultimate purpose of yoga. But most of the modern day practitioners take it to be merely a physical exercise, which, nonetheless, has some benefits but we are still way away from the holistic benefit of yoga.
There is a huge gap between what the Vedic tradition explains about yoga and what we are practicing today. This gap needs to be bridged for the holistic benefit of yoga to the humanity. If the yoking of mind, body and soul actually happens in practical aspect, we can enjoy the real effect of yoga into our life which is only possible when practiced as explained in the eternal culture of yoga.