Is yoga an oxymoron?

Yoga seems like an oxymoron sometimes. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the term “oxymoron” is defined as a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness); broadly: something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements. In Yoga, we learn to find comfort and steadiness through balancing resistance and opposing forces in our bodies during Asana practice. We learn the importance of honing our concentration in Dharana in order to free the mind to meditate in Dhyana. We look inwards and study ourselves to inch towards the goal of Samadhi, a state of supreme higher consciousness and ultimate understanding that we are all one. Indeed, the Yogic path seems contradictory if we viewed those seemingly incongruous states existing as distinct and opposite points of a linear road. But… what if, instead, they were just two sides of the same coin? One key message that I’ve come to deeply appreciate about Yoga is this power of perspective. Yoga teaches us that our happiness depends on how we perceive things. On the yoga mat, we contort our bodies into shapes of all kinds, including backbends, arm twisters and inversions, so we may experience and see the world from all angles. Through our practice, Yoga challenges us to shift our perspective and be more receptive, so that we may always find and appreciate the good in every situation, for there is never just good or bad, there is no pure duality.