Yoga is a science, that is, a body of techniques that lead us to consciously connect with ourselves and with life.
There are many, many benefits to yoga! Physical and mental health benefits, when done correctly!
There are many traditional yogic paths that facilitate connection to the highest truth and awaken our own consciousness, including tantra, mantra, laya, kundalini, bhakti, jnana, karma yoga, and so on.
Each path specializes in its own techniques and methods to awaken greater awareness and connection to self and life.
Yoga has many, many definitions.
Highest philosophical definition of yoga,
In Sanskrit, the word ‘yoga’ is used to signify any form of connection. In a philosophical sense, however, yoga means the conscious connection of the limited little egoic self with the unlimited, eternal, higher Self.
Hatha yoga definition
Hatha yoga includes postures, breathing techniques, purification techniques, energy regulation techniques. Hatha Yoga texts is the union of the upward force and the downward force at the navel center.
Kundalini yoga definition
Kundalini yoga is the science of liberating the dormant potential energy in the base of the spine. The definition of yoga in kundalini yoga is the union of the mental current and the pranic current in the third eye or at the base chakra. This unifies duality in us by connecting body and mind and leads to the awakening of spiritual consciousness.
A Hindu theistic philosophy teaching the suppression of all activity of body, mind, and will in order that the self may realize its distinction from them and attain liberation
And also as a system of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation derived from Yoga but often practiced independently especially in Western cultures to promote physical and emotional well-being
Yoga practices include posture (asana), breathing (pranayama), control of subtle forces (mudra and bandha), cleansing the body-mind (shat karma), visualizations, chanting of mantras, and many forms of meditation.
Awareness is the secret of yoga
Source: Dr Swami Shankardev Saraswati