The Journey Of Yoga Through Mind

The Journey Of Yoga Through Mind

Yoga is​ a​ transformative art,​ and deceptively simple. at​ least,​ although the​ advanced yoga postures are in​ fact difficult to​ the​ unpracticed,​ and look it,​ the​ changes that yoga can bring into one's life belie the​ apparent simplicity of​ stretching muscles.

After all,​ we​ stretch muscles at​ the​ gym during a​ warm up. So what is​ the​ basic difference between yoga and regular workouts,​ including pilates. Pilates,​ after all,​ took some of​ its inspiration from yoga. or​ at​ least the​ aspect of​ yoga that is​ made of​ the​ physical exercises,​ the​ asanas.

Yoga integrates the​ breath and consciousness with physical stretches in​ a​ way that I haven't even felt in​ pilates,​ although pilates is​ great as​ a​ way of​ strengthening the​ internal muscles of​ the​ body as​ well,​ particularly the​ pelvic floor.

But in​ yoga,​ through the​ breath,​ and focusing on​ it​ within our body,​ we​ come to​ a​ greater understanding of​ both our body and ourselves. we​ begin a​ more conscious relationship with our individuality. we​ meet that unique expression of​ ourselves expressing physically in​ that moment. And we​ are able to​ begin a​ process of​ changing that which is​ blocking the​ vital flow of​ our energy.

That is​ why it​ doesn't matter what state we​ are in​ when we​ begin practising a​ yoga posture. we​ might be more or​ less stiff,​ or​ in​ pain,​ or​ distracted,​ than usual. it​ is​ a​ journey of​ discovery,​ not of​ trying to​ fit ourselves into an​ external idea,​ even if​ that idea is​ represented in​ that moment by the​ yoga posture we​ are trying to​ do. Desikachar writes that the​ body can "only gradually accept an​ asana". we​ should not strain ourselves,​ or​ judge ourselves,​ if​ we​ cannot fit into that posture. That posture is​ a​ possible outcome,​ yes,​ but what we​ do in​ our practice of​ yoga is​ to​ take the​ journey.

Desikachar makes another important point: "We should remain flexible so that we​ are still able to​ react to​ changes in​ our expectations and old ideas. the​ more distanced we​ are from the​ fruits of​ our labors,​ the​ better we​ are able to​ do this... Paying more attention to​ the​ spirit in​ which we​ act and looking less to​ the​ results our actions may bring us - this is​ the​ meaning of​ isvarapranidhana in​ kriya yoga"

The asanas are a​ way of​ preparing ourselves to​ more fully meet the​ challenges of​ life in​ a​ way that does not throw us off balance,​ and increases our capacity to​ adapt to​ those changes that are inherent in​ life. They allow us to​ be more sensitive and aware to​ what is​ really going on​ inside us,​ and in​ life itself. This growing self knowledge then provides us with a​ more complete picture in​ which our responses to​ whatever situations confront us more accurately reflects what is​ truly present. There is​ a​ deeper engagement that goes beyond the​ vagrancies of​ the​ mind,​ the​ self doubt,​ the​ domination of​ our preconceptions and expectations,​ or​ our need for something to​ be a​ certain way.

When we​ are distracted or​ preoccupied with doubts,​ worries,​ and fears,​ and even hope that is​ attached to​ an​ outcome (need),​ the​ vital energy of​ our whole being is​ leaking,​ diffused. Through yoga practice,​ we​ are able to​ clear the​ detritus,​ to​ redirect our diffused energy within,​ to​ sit within the​ body,​ our being,​ again. This is​ an​ energetic aspect of​ self-mastery. Integral to​ this is​ the​ knowledge of​ oneself as​ whole,​ and simultaneously a​ part of​ the​ wholeness that is​ within everything.

References: Desikachar,​ Heart if​ Yoga

The Journey Of Yoga Through Mind

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