For over 5,000 years the teachings of yoga have provided a way of allowing people to seek a deeper meaning in life, connect with higher powers and to liberate their spirit. The Sanskrit term Yoga comes from the root yuj, meaning to join, connect or unite and the English word yoke, meaning to restrain, harness, prepare or fasten. Yoga can be used as a way of uniting us with a higher universal spirit or power known as God, Creator, Absolute, Buddha, Nature and a number of others.
Yoga can be a way of quieting the mind and developing an inner peace. Patanjali - an ancient Indian Guru advocates a complete and complex way of life and not only a set of physical exercises. His ‘eight limbs’ of yoga, include abstentions (development of compassion), observances (awareness of ourselves and others), bodily postures (channelling energy), breathing practices (controlling life force), abstraction (managing the senses), concentration (focusing) and meditation (total absorption). Yoga teachers build upon these elements, combining and interpreting them into their teaching. The three main aspects are the asanas, pranayama and meditation that are said to have a positive effect on our entire being.
Yoga can help to manage anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes, epilepsy, headaches, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, stress and other conditions and diseases.
As individuals we experience happiness and suffering in many ways, happiness being one of the most important things in life. Yoga is often used as a way of answering questions when we begin to search for a deeper spiritual understanding within ourselves. Yoga is offered as a path both spiritually and physically. In the world we currently live in we are moving further away from connection with our souls and beginning to lose the understanding of our existence. This is where yoga can be used to help re-connect and help answer questions of uncertainty surrounding our place in this world.
Yoga techniques were developed to help us remove emotions, sensations, desires, achievements and failures of every day life that we think define us and help us learn to develop an awareness of our physical and psychological state. This helps us to manage our thoughts, feelings and responses in a number of situations throughout our daily life. The development of a greater awareness helps us to create the sensitivity and skill to discover and remove the physical a psychological barriers keeping us from our true selves, allowing us to take control again.
To conclude, there are a number of different styles, each with its own individual focus. By understanding the importance of yoga this can help us to begin our journey and to discover our own spiritual path in life. Yoga aims to help transform our minds, focusing on creating a positive change. Our mind becomes more open, and with this clearer vision and a deeper connection to the world. Through yoga we are able to begin to distinguish between our true self and our ego mind, understanding who we are and what we really need in life. We being to create calmness in the mind and focus internally. A deeper understanding of yoga and our true self helps us to connect with a greater or higher power, through a deeper spiritual understanding and helps us to live in harmony with the world.
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change” Wayne Dwyer
“Don’t let anyone destroy your inner piece.” Dalai Lama