When we say yoga, we think of quirky postures that are typically done while balancing on your head and twisting your body in at least one way. While those are indeed part of yoga, they are but a fragment of the science, as I personally like to call it, that leads to physical well-being, inner peace and perfect balance of our three bodies – the physical, mental and spiritual. Let me tell you why yoga is a science.
Looking back, yoga has existed for at least 5,000 years, even though we might think that it has been around for much longer. The word “yoga” comes from Sanskrit and means union. It specifically involves the unification between the earthly and the divine, but it can represent the coming together of all polarity, the feminine and the masculine, light and darkness, good and evil, the physical, mental and spiritual body.
The physical practice of yoga, the postures we all know, are called asanas and they are meant for strengthening the physical body, our muscles, our ligaments and tendons, our nervous system and our internal organs. However, it has as much of an effect to our mental body by balancing our prana, our subtle vital energy, and in so doing it calms our minds and helps them find mental clarity and inner peace. You will understand what I mean if you practice the physical part of yoga, as you will find your well-being and your balance right away.
In the west we known much of the physical practice of yoga but the spiritual part of it is still lying in the shadows. If we look at the combined practice, yoga functions in what we believe to be magical ways when we experience it, but in reality it is nothing other than a very old and renowned science.
And now, to immediately remove the mental barrier that some will have regarding the spiritual aspect of yoga – No, yoga is not a religion and no, yoga is not a cult. Yoga is much more a spiritual philosophy, and therefore it consists of teachings of the discipline of living life. It is not attached to any religion but all religions.
The truth is only one! Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox or not affiliated with a faith, it does not matter, as yoga is for everyone. We are all human beings who are an integral part of the earth, we are a piece of nature just like trees, animals and all beings living on this planet.
The same life force flows in everything, in each of us, and recognizing this very aspect of ourselves is what yoga is. As explained above, yoga embraces our three bodies, the physical, the mental and the spiritual, and this union takes us on the path of becoming part of the divine.
Yoga teaches us that we all are, without exception, on this earth for one reason and it is to evolve. We are here to experiment and grow with the experiences that life puts in our way that we handle through our learning capabilities.
After first experiencing the physical benefits of yoga on my body and my mind, I immersed myself in learning the philosophy of it and that’s when yoga revealed its true colors to me. What I have discovered and continue to discover every day is just beautiful. My life has been transformed.
My life has meaning. I went from one lived day-for-day that was consisting of small moments of happiness and big ones of doubts, fears, sadness, emptiness, to a multi-dimensional life where every experience, situation, encounter have a deep and innate meaning. I know now, and believe me when I say this, that everything that happens to me does so for a reason and it all is an integral part of my evolution. Therefore I welcome it with serenity and a healthy detachment that allows me to maintain my balance and my inner peace.
Yoga is a philosophy of life, a science, a medicine for the body and the spirit. My moments of joy, well-being and inner peace are expanding more and more day by day, leaving less room for doubt and emptiness. And as Alan Finger describes it so well – “Yoga adds years to life and life to years”.
If you also want to give a new dimension to your life and increase the moments of joy over the ones of suffering, I lovingly and joyously invite you to my Sunday morning workshops « Zen for Monday ». They are a sweet mixture of the asanas practice combined with sharing the rich transformative philosophy that is yoga.