In asking the question, “What is Yoga?” the first thought that comes to mind is another question; what is life? For like life itself yoga is not a subject or object outside oneself. It is not a class that one takes, it is not a position that one poses in, and it is not meditations or mantras. It is, of course, the clothes!
Just kidding! Yoga is an approach or quality in which we do all things with. It is a mindfulness of humility, perseverance, love, tolerance, and balance while paying attention to the present (breath) and honoring all beings. It is living in the Goodness that goes beyond the duality of good and evil. Namely, doing Good without the promise of reward or fear of punishment. Balance is central; a balance that is expressed in the physical poses but ultimately goes beyond all form. Balancing male (Construct, Volition, and Truth), with female (Intuition, Acceptance, and Love). Practically speaking, it is balancing fire with softness, even ego with Sacrifice. How do I become soft when I was instructed to do one more pose on that same thigh? – How do I let go and strengthen at the same time? This is what is revealed through the technology of yoga.
Taken off the mat – it is, for example, the practice of how to be soft and loving when I am trying to write this page and there are kids screaming all around. Each yogic experience on the mat can be a whole life of material. From realizing this transitory state of life that we live in (this pose too shall pass), to offering a moving, meditative prayer with body, heart, and Mind.