Dear Path to Anandam Friends,
“Yoga is Much More than Asana/Physical Fitness”
Yoga beyond Asana Blog Post #1
In our last post we introduced what ”yoga-off-the-mat” means and explored the idea that this “art of right living” or True Yoga is rooted in the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. Yoga is the path to reaching pure truth, pure existence, pure consciousness:“Sat Chit Ananda”.
The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root verb yuj = to unite, to connect
YOGA is UNION.
True Yoga is the connection of body, mind, and spirit.
“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization.Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul.Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day–to–day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.”– B.K.S. Iyengar
Most people are familiar with Hatha Yoga, which is the most widely practiced physical aspect of Yoga, along with many other styles we mentioned in our previous post. But did you know that asana/poses or postures are only one step/limb of the eight–fold Yoga Path described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra? Each chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, eighteen in all, is also called YOGA and represents a different spiritual path that teaches how to self – awaken, self-transform and CONNECT with your Self/Supreme Consciousness.
The physical practice of yoga becomes a gateway to deeper self-exploration and self-healing. However, it is not a religion it is a way of life. The stretches and breathing associated with asana were developed by the ancients as a means of loosening up the body in preparation for long periods of seated meditation. It is through meditation that we are able to attain calmness of mind, a level of reduced stress, connection with our heart and soul to achieve the level of self-realization we need to reach our highest state of BLISS.
“When the mind comes to rest, becomes steady and peaceful by practicing of yoga, develops the ability to see the Self by the self and content in the Self, finds his happiness within his delight within, and his light within (State of Bliss).” (Gita.6.20)
So by practicing True Yoga on and off the mat, in concert with the other limbs of this life philosophy, we are connected or united with our inner spirit; our deepest selves.
In fact, to become settled in one’s essential nature is the highest goal of Yoga and the goal of life itself. By cultivating the ways of maintaining a balanced lifestyle through incorporating Yoga methods in our day–to–day life, we can come to know “What is the Purpose/Supreme Goal of Life.”
We can attain Love, Peace and Eternal Happiness/Anandam, the Ultimate Union with Self,Self–Realization–Sat Chit Ananda–and extend to others.
Achieve the freedom from miseries of life, cycle of birth and death, and also enjoy your life to the fullest. Self-Realization (Liberation from desire, fear and anger) is the Supreme goal of life (Gita. 5.28) “Yoga Beyond Asana… The Complete Guide to Blissful Life”.