Yoga, meaning ‘union’ in Sanskrit, is a family of ancient spiritual practices, and also a school of spiritual thought that originated in India, where it remains a vibrant living tradition and is seen as a means to enlightenment. Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Raja Yoga are considered the four main yogas, but there are many other types. In other parts of the world where yoga is popular, notably the West, Yoga has become associated with the asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga, which are popularly considered there as fitness exercises and also form the basis of an expanding business.
Yoga as a means to enlightenment is central to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and has influenced other religious and spiritual practices throughout the world. Ancient Hindu texts establishing the basis for yoga include the Upanishads, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Bhagavad Gita, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and many others, which specify the criteria of having successfully mastered a particular yoga technique.