What is Yoga?
Yoga is normally translated into the word union, but in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, he describes Yoga as “the restraint of the mind stuff”. If you can control the rising of ripples you will experience Yoga.
The extra-ordinary experience gained by controlling the mind is itself called Yoga.
The modifications of the mind stuff (or our thoughts or ego) disturb our peace by ever desiring, analysing, criticising, judging, and disturbing our peace of mind.
All the differences in the outside world or experiences of our outside world are the outcome of our mental modifications i.e. our thoughts and mental attitude.
The entire world is your own projection.
Yoga is a science that teaches us and enables us to control our mind stuff and control our mind so that we control our lives and experience of life. Yoga does this in many ways; there are 8 limbs of Yoga that lead to BLISS.
When Yoga is mentioned most people think of the physical practice of postures. This is one aspect of Yoga but only a small part. The physical postures are designed to facilitate the real practice of Yoga.
The physical aspect which is called Hatha, is also the path to union, integration of mind body and soul.
Yoga is not a religion, you don’t have to believe in anything or give up any beliefs you may have. Yoga just joins all the parts of you into a intergrated whole, meaning there is no conflict in the mind or body which brings deep peace as the mind is not being tugged in many different directions.
The physical, Hatha Yoga is what most people associate Yoga with, practicing Asana’s which means “steady poses”. The Asanas keep the physical body healthy and whilst concentrating on these postures it teaches the mind to become calm.
The asanas also open the body and allow space for the breath to flow.
It is the breath that sustains the physical body, so more breath means more energy and more life.
As we learn to control the breath, Pranayama, it also helps to control the mind as they are ultimately linked.
Forget those images of Yogis with their legs around the back of their heads, Yoga is for everyone and everyone will benefit in many ways. It will work for you no matter of your age, size, sex or fitness, lots of people say “I would do Yoga but I’m not flexible enough”, but Yoga helps you to become flexible, strong and good posture so that the body comes into balance.
It helps with weight control, keep’s you looking young, and is good preventive health care.
Practicing Yoga gives you the tools to transform stress into energy.
Yoga strengthens and balances the nervous system and the glandular system and releases “feel good” chemicals from the brain.
These techniques awaken poise, grace, strength and the development of centred awareness ( a quiet and calm mind) even in the midst of chaos and turmoil.
As a consequence of these practices, you are able to experience increased vitality along with better mental and physical capacity and therefore greater enjoyment of life, while enthusiasm and inspiration become an everyday experience.
You feel physically vital, emotionally stable and psychologically centred.