In the western world today, wherever the idea that yoga is magic has been dispelled, it is regarded as a unique and unparalleled system of physical culture, which it is, and nothing more, which it is not. People who are anxious to save on doctor’s bills, women who are figure-conscious, good-livers who yet want to escape from the tension inherent in their-way of life – these people practice yoga; but, they ignore the fundamental thesis in yoga, the unity of body-mind-spirit.
The yogi believes in the ideal of a ‘sound mind in a sound body’, but that is because he knows that body and mind are basically one, a single unit with two poles as it were, that what happens in one, inevitably reflects in and affects the other. Yet, his ultimate aim is not a ‘body perfect’, because he knows that the body itself is subject to decay and decomposition. It is an instrument, worth keeping in good working order while the work lasts. It is a vehicle, best to maintain well, till it takes him to his destination. The destination is described as self-realization.