Can Yoga be seen as a fight for the perfect body? You might think so if you look at it from an outside point of view of women with perfect frames contorting gracefully in various postures and men with muscles beautifully ascending into acrobatic ones. And yet yoga, the real one, teaches us about detachment from the physical aspect of it.
In the West, yoga is still too often confused with a gentle gym practice that shapes our bodies into the modern beauty standards.
The philosophy of yoga, the true one that which is taught to us by the masters, tells us the opposite – to detach ourselves from our body, because the latter is just a material envelope which allows us to have an experience on earth.
Have you ever heard this quote? “We are spiritual beings that are having physical experiences, but not physical beings that are having spiritual experiences”. Well, in yoga, and I am speaking here again of the philosophy or spirituality of yoga, it is precisely a question of realizing who we are on the inside.
As a yogi, the first thing we are taught is who we are as human beings. We are taught that we are made up of 3 bodies – the physical body, the astral body and the casual body.
In other words, our regular body is our food envelope, our casual body consists of our vitality and intellectuality and our astral body, which is our blissful envelope, is the divine one.
According to yogic teachings, only the physical body dies – our causal body and our astral body continue on their way after death.
Why then do we put so much importance onto our physical body? And I am not talking about the efforts we are making to keep a healthy lifestyle, which is obviously also a priority in yoga. Moreover, I’m talking about our fixation on having a beautiful body that holds the society standards.
Boy, what pressure do we experience, for some from childhood, and for almost all – from adolescence! Extreme sport. Repeated diets. The non-acceptance of our so-called imperfections. We all went through the “he is more muscular, she has prettier buttocks…” phase after all.
So much physical and mental energy spent on something that is meant to wash away and die. So little energy invested in knowing oneself, understanding one’s mind, realizing one’s qualities of heart, one’s divine potential, which will not disappear.
Yoga is really knowing yourself. It is realizing that we are much more than a body and a brain, that our spiritual potential of blissfullness is immense. If only we could start seeing beyond the material, beyond the body.
Love yourself from the inside, do not do so conditionally and depending on your physical appearance, and you will see that life will immediately become much sweeter.