“Unified Consciousness results when the gunas return back inward because the Ascendant’s purpose is fulfilled, or when the Absolute Self is permanently stabilized in the Divine Power of Pure Consciousness.” The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sutra IV.34
Of all the definitions of yoga that I have come across, the one that resonates with me the most is: union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness. From this perspective, connection to something higher than oneself is the ultimate, attainable goal.
I once heard it said, “An ocean accepts all rivers.” Imagine how interconnected we are: to each other biologically, to the Earth chemically, and to the universe atomically. In essence, we are constantly exchanging energy with all of creation, seen and unseen. In fact, just as the Earth’s energy field travels at the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, so, too, does our human energy field, connecting us to the entire universe–synchronistically.
One subtle, effective way to physically experience union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness is by walking barefoot on the grass, at the beach, etc., in the morning or evening. Research has shown that along with directly connecting us to the roots of Mother Earth, this experience also stimulates the absorption of life energy from the sun and neutralizes free radicals and balances cortisol rhythms. Because we are designed to co-exist within the universe, when we are in harmony with nature, we are naturally practicing yoga.