Video: How to Think About Yoga

Is yoga just a form of exercise? Is it a religion? What lies beyond the physical postures? 

“The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means union, or to join, or to yoke together,” explains Major Adhana McCarthy, MPAS, PA-C, C-IAYT. “So this can be joining together the mind and the body; mind, body, soul…but it really is an integration of the self.”

In this short video, Maj. McCarthy, an active-duty physician assistant in the U.S. army, shares about the practice of yoga, what it’s designed to do, and how it works as a technology for transformation. 

“It’s a practice that is designed to help human beings no matter where they’re from or what their belief system is—help people understand their bodies, their mind, their spirit, and being able to perceive in an enhanced way.” 

Maj. McCarthy goes on to emphasize that yoga is about more than just the physical postures—it’s a lifestyle. 

“There’s all of these different layers that you can dive into when it comes to yoga. It’s a practice; it is a lifestyle; it is a way of relating to yourself and others. Some might even say it’s a technology, because practicing over time changes things. It changes the way that people think, it changes the way that people relate emotionally to situations, it changes the way that people relate to their bodies. It develops a certain level of strength in many different ways.”

Maj. McCarthy is presenting at this year’s Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research (SYTAR)—IAYT’s annual conference for professional and personal development in yoga therapy. 

The 2022 conference takes place June 9–11 in the Chicago area and online. Learn more and register here