The heart of yoga is Spirituality. It is best defined as the process of Self-awareness, Self-discovery and Self-realization. Yoga is not an exercise, but a spiritual journey and a philosophy in itself. The lessons that you experience on your yoga mat are profound insights to be carried into your daily life. Spiritual yoga encourages you to embark on this spiritual journey and discover your true Self. Spiritual yoga brings you to the fundamental teaching of yoga ie inner peace or stillness. It is only when you are at peace with yourself that you will be at peace with the world.
Yoga , means union . Union of the atma (your true Self or Soul) with the paramatma ( God ).Yoga reinforces and allows you to experience your inner divinity. It tells you that you are eternal, absolute, beautiful, amazing and divine. It reminds you that you are atma , a part of god. It teaches you essential values of compassion, love and peace.
yogah cittavrtti nirodhah ||
Yoga is the cessation of movements in the consciousness.
The aim of yoga is to still your mind and bring you to a state of inner peace. When your mind is silent , you can then listen to the music of your soul. Through yoga, one understands their true purpose in this life or what we call as dharma. When one acts according to the nature of one’s soul, is when they are acting in the right way.
Spiritual Yoga > Why Asana Practice
The practice of asanas is to develop and enhance awareness in our bodies, our breaths and our minds. It’s about creating and deepening our connection with ourselves. It’s about connecting to the unknown; the spirit, through the known; the body, mind and breath. As the legendary yoga Guru B.K.S.Iyengar says, “Asanas penetrate deep into each layer of the body and ultimately into the consciousness itself”.
The underlying essence is that on a macrocosmic level, everything in this universe is connected; the cosmos, the mountains, the rivers, the trees, the animals, and human beings. So naturally on an individual level, when we look deeper, we will see clearly that the state of our bodies, the state of our minds and the state of our breaths are all closely inter-linked.
It begins with physical awareness. As we progress into the course, you will find that our minds and our bodies begin to flow as one. Our practice becomes a coordinated flow of body, breath and mind.
Then comes the more subtle awareness of the nuances and subtleties of the breath. The breath speaks a language all of its own. But, we can understand it only if we actively seek to cultivate a relationship with it by devoting time and attention. As the breath flows in a regular steady rhythm, the mind too becomes calm and centered. The normal restless, reactive and agitated patterns of the mind are stilled. And in the silence that ensues, we have a chance to connect to our inner selves, our spirit.
Let me conclude by saying Appa deepo bhava – be the light unto yourself.
Y2S Yoga, Girinagar , Cochin