The secret to true happiness lies in knowing who you really are.

The yoga view of the self is about you—your essential nature. But what is your essence? What are you made of? Are you made of matter—a mere collection of material atoms and molecules? Or is your essence something else?

“Who am I?” Maybe you’ve never even asked yourself this question. You might think you already know who you are. Unfortunately, however, it’s likely that you don’t know who you are at all. And if you don’t know your real identity, you’re in trouble. You’ll spend your life in a kind of dream state—you’ll falsely identify yourself as someone or something you aren’t.

Then, on the basis of this false identification, you’ll determine the goals of your life and the purpose of your existence. You use these goals to gauge whether you are making “progress” in life, whether you are a “success.” And you are aided and abetted in this assumed purpose by a complex network of relationships with other dreamers. Of course, at death—and sometimes before—the whole thing turns into a nightmare.

Yoga is the Science of Understanding One’s True Identity

The subject of identity is extremely personal as it relates directly to knowing your true purpose in life—your reason for existing. The question “Who am I?” is not a philosophical football meant to be kicked around coffeehouses by pseudo-intellectuals. It’s a real life question. Nothing is more important and more relevant than to know who you are.

This “yoga view of the self” section of our website is written to help you realize the answer to this question. To best understand the yoga view of the self, please read the contents in the following order, understanding one concept before moving on to the next: