The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root "yuj" which means "to yoke" or "to unite". Yoga is a type of bodywork, and bodywork can provide us with a fundamental connection to ourselves and to the world. It is a form of active meditation that helps bring balance and unity to the body, mind and spirit. The meaning behind the word and the practice is that of equality, connection and oneness with all.
The practice of yoga is unique to everyone. There is no such thing as a perfect yoga practice or a perfect yogi. There is, however, limitless insight to be gained from a committed practice for anyone of any age, shape or fitness level. Yoga merely helps us to relax with where we are, as we are and the way things are by asking us to be present, yet also be hopeful for transformation.
Yoga is my preferred form of exercise because it is all inclusive: it leads to a healthier BODY through sheer physical exertion, a healthier MIND through said physical exertion and the conveyance of positive and healing words (and sometimes music), and a healthier SPIRIT by helping us to connect to our highest self, our true nature, and our own inner truths. I also find it to be a lot easier than running.
Yoga is also a critical element of my own search for meaning because it teaches that even if we lose the people or things that give the most meaning to our lives, as long as we have our breath, we have the power and potential to transform and find peace, as countless souls before us have already demonstrated. Breath is life.
For all of these reasons and more, yoga can be used to heal the body, mind and/or spirit.