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
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
If you'd like to learn more about yoga
poses, see this article. This guide to locust
pose yoga is illustrated and with variations for locust
pose described, so that it can be adapted to anybody. Rebecca
Prescott runs the site Yoga
Article Source: http://www.articledashboard.com