The term yoga means ‘union’. Union implies inclusiveness, as there is no union when there is exclusion and separation. So yoga can, through its developments be seen as a believe system, however in its essence it is an experimental, inclusive science in the first place with the quest for cosmic truth as its main goal.
The origins of yoga are therefore beyond historical date and without a particular founder. Its first records are found in the RigVeda (rig: ‘praise, verse’ and veda: ‘knowledge’), a 3000 years old documentation of some Indian sages’ quest to learn the truth about the universe and man’s relation to its cosmic nature. Nowadays, the RigVeda is considered as the main Hinduiste scripture. Hinduism is a term invented by people outside of India who found a different spiritual or cultural practice as their own and had a need to name it. In India at the time, there was no such thing as religion, but rather a code of living build on this experimental quest for truth of which yoga was the instrument.
What is it then that we want to unite in Yoga? Body, mind and soul or spirit, the different dimensions of human existence; but also masculine and feminine energies that flow through our bodies, our mind and the universe as a whole; Yoga is looking to transcend all dualistic perceptions, transcend pleasure and pain, good and evil, failure and success, perfection and imperfection, human and non-human, you and me. All of these are one already, only our mind creates a separation. Yoga sees the revelation of the infinite in the finite as the motive of all creation. This revelation is coming from the soul of him or her who reconnects with the soul of the universe; the Atma, the individual soul and the Paramatma, the universal soul merging to be one.