Recently, yoga has become a fascination for many and a way of life for some, while others find the whole idea unthinkable. Whatever your opinion about yoga, I’m hoping you’ll find its etymology as appealing as I do.
Yoga first came to English in 1820 through Hindi from a Sanskrit word meaning union or yoking. That Sanskrit word came from the Proto-Indo-European word *yeugh-, which meant, to join. It takes no imagination to see how the ideas of union, wholeness & joining could come to mean yoga, but what I find truly fascinating is all the other words that proposed root word *yeugh- has grown into.
It gave us join, adjoin, conjoin, enjoin & joint.
It gave us junction, juncture, adjunct, conjunct & subjunctive.
It gave us subjugate, conjugate & conjugal.
And how about yoke, zygote, jostle, joust, jugular & junta?
*yeugh- to join, gave us all those words while also contributing words to Lithuanian, Old Church Slavonic, Hittite, Greek, Latin, & Old Welsh.
Nothing like a little joining, eh?
Thanks to all of you who contacted me through the blog and through other means to express condolences for the loss of my friend Paul Fahey, subject of last week’s post. Rest assured, Paul was & continues to be well loved.
And please leave any comments about yoga and its many family-members in the comments section.