Yoga is a state of being. When the mind ceases to exist, you reside in the state of yoga, the state of no-mind, the state of ultimate consciousness or enlightenment.
When the state of no-mind and pure consciousness is experienced, you undergo a complete psychological revolution related to the understanding and experience of the self (jeeva), the world (jagat) and god (ishwara). You realize through experience that these three entities are not separate but one whole. Both the world and god are experienced within you.
Yoga is realizing that you are not a human being striving for a spiritual experience, but you are a spiritual being having the human experience. Patanjali is the founder of the yoga system. He was the first master who created a clear, scientific, logical system to reproduce the experience of enlightenment.
Until Patanjali, enlightenment was like winning a jackpot, or a lucky dip – you might have the experience or not! It was more like a gamble, you played but there was no guarantee of winning.
Patanjali was the first master, or I can say ‘the spiritual navigator’, who created the map and gave the complete directions to enlightenment. He created clear-cut directions, step by step formulas to reproduce the experience of enlightenment. Just as scientists create a formula to reproduce the understanding of the outer world phenomena, Patanjali created a beautiful formula, a technology, to reproduce the understanding of the inner world or enlightenment.
I had the great fortune to be around a living master of yoga, Yogiraj Yogananda Puri,also called Raghupati Yogi. He had mastered the whole science of yoga as discovered by Patanjali. He had mastered all aspects of yoga – the physical aspect of bending the body into various postures called asana or Hatha Yoga, working with prana or the life energy, working with the mind, working with visualization power, working with emotions and all the dimensions of yoga. He had a deep insight into the core truths of yoga.
Please understand, in the Yoga Sutras, only the verbal language of Patanjali is recorded. But the body language that he wanted to convey, was not recorded. The purpose for which he spoke and taught were not recorded. Only the person who has experienced the consciousness of Patanjali can bring Patanjali back to life. I had the great fortune to be with such a master who had experienced that consciousness or the inner space of Patanjali.
Raghupati Yogi had amazing strength and unimaginable physical power that he expressed so casually. He would tie an iron rope around his chest and exhale completely, then he would inhale and the iron rope would break into pieces! Usually, a logical mind cannot accept or understand that all this is possible, but this great yogi made everything possible. I had the good fortune to be around him and see him levitating, not once but at least twenty times. He would inhale deeply and hold the breath. The moment he did that, the body would lift from the ground like an inflated balloon!
From the age of three to thirteen, I had the fortune to be at his feet, under his guidance and care. Every day from morning until noon for at least four to five hours a day, he would make me do all the traditional yogic techniques like various asanas, neti and dhauti where I would have to swallow a long cloth to clean the intestines and the internal system!
source: Living Enlightenment