The great sage Patanajali and his eloquent sutras maybe the popular modern association of yoga, yet yoga is mentioned thousands upon thousands of years prior in the earliest recordings of Sanskrit writings, mentionable the Bhagavad Gita which is at least 5ooo years prior.
Yoga is more of a science than a religion and yet it is neither, it?s simply an attempt at skillful techniques and comprehensive methodologies derived from the ever expanding collective human consciousness, thousands of years human trial and error in an effort to bring oneself in union from that which they?ve never been separated, true inner nature.
?Through Yoga you have accumulated knowledge and experience. This cannot be denied. But of what use is it all to you? Yoga means union, joining. What have you re-united, re-joined?
Each seeker accepts, or invents, a method which suits him, applies it to himself with some earnestness and effort, obtains results according to his temperament and expectations, casts them into the mound of words, builds them into a system, establishes a tradition and begins to admit others into his 'school of Yoga'. It is all built on memory and imagination. No such school is valueless, nor indispensable; in each one can progress up to the point, when all desire for progress must be abandoned to make further progress possible. Then all schools are given up, all effort ceases; in solitude and darkness the vast step is made which ends ignorance and fear forever.
The true teacher, however, will not imprison his disciple in a prescribed set of ideas, feelings and actions; on the contrary, he will show him patiently the need to be free from all ideas and set patterns of behavior, to be vigilant and earnest and go with life wherever it takes him, not to enjoy or suffer, but to understand and learn.? ~ Nisargadatta