“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30)
The word “yoga” means union. It means bringing things together. How we choose to interpret this depends on where we are on our journey at this point. For me, originally it meant: Union of body and mind. Later, it meant, “union of body and breath.” Then: Union of body, mind and spirit. Now, for me it means: Union with God. I believe that is the ultimate purpose of Yoga practice – a practice that has existed for thousands of years. Some people choose to move in that direction, while other people choose to focus on getting a physical workout. There’s no right or wrong answer. Well, perhaps the only possible “wrong” answer is staying stuck in our practices and our beliefs – refusing to grow and change into maturity.
Jesus said: “I and my Father are one.” That’s Union. That’s what Yoga means by Union. Therefore, Jesus was a Yogi (see Paramahansa Yogananda’s The Yoga of Jesus). Christians believe that the only way to God the Father is through Jesus Christ. However, Christians also believe in the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – who is One. So – it seems to me that we can get to union with God through any part of the Trinity, since the Trinity really cannot be divided. Some folks may choose to go through Jesus Christ, while others relate more to the action of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Plus, who says we can’t just go directly to God the Father? That’s what Hindu Yogis do. That’s what Jews do as well.
I have a meditative phrase that I’ve been using off and on in my yoga classes for years: “May our outward and inward being become One.” Today I saw the connection of that prayer to Jesus’ statement, “I and my Father are One.” Jesus realized his union with God, his inward Being. Aspiring yogis are moving in that direction, reaching out for God Who is first reaching for us. We love God because God loves us first. Eventually, we’ll no longer be so aware of self and God; we’ll simply be aware of Love, of Union. All that seems separate will appear as they truly are, as One.