In Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, written around 400 C.E., yoga is defined in Sanskrit as follows: "Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah," which translates to "Yoga is the cessation of fluctuations of the mind." In other words, yoga was first established as a form of meditation, a way to calm our racing mental activity. What we often see today in a yoga practice is the body doing down dogs, headstands and various physical forms that can be therapeutic, but also are a very modern incorporation into the experience of inner reflection and healing as a whole.
Today marks International Yoga Day, as declared by the United Nations, coinciding with the the Summer Solstice. So what does this mean to you individually? Maybe you practice tree pose today, or do a few sun salutations with your family. Maybe just take a moment to be still, to be in the moment. There are many ways to practice meditation or mindfulness, including practicing breathing exercises. Or deeply inhale the aroma of a blooming flower. Or really savor that meal today. Be aware of your senses. Feel your heart beating. Explore within, and find that inner space of stillness.