What is Yoga... basically?
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
The most commonly known Yogic practice in the West is HATHA YOGA, the physical approach through the means of Asanas = Yoga postures and Pranayama = Breath control. Simply said we clean out our body and bring balance to ourselves & our life, through the eventual bonus of calming the mind!
Over the years a variations of different styles and approaches to asana practice developed, but the basis is the same:
Yogic scriptures teach that if only one of our body systems is out of balance, it affects all the other systems as well! Imagine it like this: if you shorten one out of four table legs, it doesn’t only effect the one leg, the whole table starts to wobble!
Through a sequence of different Yogic postures, we move through and activate our complete body! While we strengthen and lengthen our muscles we massage and stimulate our organs and internal physical systems; very similar to "wringing out a kitchen towel”! By purifying these different systems, we allow a better flow of energy through our body!
Think of it like this: When you want to go for a long ride in your car (or live a long, healthy life in your body), you make sure the vehicle functions to it’s best: you check the tires, the oil, the cooling system, you put the right fuel in ( your diet ) and the driver ( your mind ) is rested, focused and alert. You never know what’s going to happen on that long ride, but you and your vehicle are as ready as they can be!
You can actively participate in your own well-being, with nothing more than your own body, a yoga mat, some discipline and patience.
Remember: this is the ONLY body you got! Keeping with the “car-example”: you can slap on a new paintjob, hang in the air-freshener, you can patch up little details... but that's about it. There is NO "newer model" to come! So let’s get the MOST OUT OF WHAT WE HAVE and treat it right!
A steady practice can reshape and adjust your body! The regulation of your breath eventually deepens it and a regular, calm breath automatically calms the mind: It’s a natural reflex. A deep focus and attention to what you are physically doing trains your mind, allowing not only better concentration but also a better and deeper relaxation. You can learn to stay “in the moment”, to be present 100% and take this into other aspects of your life!
Through Yogic practice you learn to listen inside, get to know YOUR body and mind, with ALL it's possibilities AND limitations, learn to ACCEPT where you are right now... only than you can EVOLVE!
Yoga doesn't change you into something better, it recovers who you truly are, and that true Self is pretty amazing!