Why do we practice yoga?
We know that yoga is union between mind, body & spirit; but what does it really mean? Yoga is a discipline to calm our mind, to control it.
The purpose of practicing any type of yoga is to achieve higher states of consciousness. Through meditation we work directly with the nervous system, reconditioning our brain. We are able to relax our mind & body, so our intellect can control our mind, and our mind can control our senses.
We have to fill our intellect with content, which doesn’t exactly come from books or school; it is the information that comes from our pure consciousness (purusa), within us. Its a consciousness that is not longer personal, it becomes universal.
What we want to achieve through yoga is self-realization. It is said that when we are born we are spiritual beings, but as we grow up we get full of ego and pain, slowly walking the opposite direction from who we really are.
By practicing yoga we reconnect with ourselves. We mean to transcend from our empirical life to the spiritual life. But there are some misconceptions of the yoga practices. It is really common that when we think of yoga we only think about the postures, but “asana is just the tip of the iceberg.”
We use our bodies through asanas as a tool to focus within in order to unfold the potentials of our soul and mind. By doing asanas we surrender our ego to God, we reach higher states of consciousness with mindfulness, effortlessness, awareness & comfort.
Stillness and breath are some of the main characteristics of the yoga postures. By observing our breath we connect with our spirit. So performing perfect asanas is not the goal, it is actually to reach other states of consciousness so nothing can touch you. No matter the situation or emotion you keep a calm and peaceful state.
So ASANA isn’t everything.
There are 8 limbs of yoga according to Patanjali: yama (ethical standards), niyama (self-discipline), asana, pranayama (control of the breath), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (ultimate freedom).
It is the combination of the 8 limbs what makes you a yogi. Your personality, diet, and habits have a direct impact in who you are, that’s why yoga is everything. Practicing the 8 limbs without a holiday, doing everything with welcoming attitude makes it strongly routed in our nature so it becomes part of our character.
Our ultimate goal is freedom; we reach for liberation of one’s true nature as pure consciousness, independent of worldly things. Yoga as a lifestyle becomes a tool to be happier. Little by little you start to feel as a whole with yourself, other people, nature & the universe.
Practice Yoga Everyday.
Juliana Beets Bujanos