YOGA, EXERCISE OR SPIRITUALITY?
Why do people choose to practice yoga as a form of exercise?
First of all let’s say that yoga is not exercise, it is a combination of techniques that facilitate the union within ourselves and without ourselves, techniques that work with the physical body, mental body and also astral or spiritual body.
By using these techniques like asana with the body, pranayama with the breath, meditation for the mind, we get extra benefits that can be seen as exercise or have external results.
From my point of view, yoga is not only sun salutations and asanas on the mat.
It can be many things…
Yoga can be alll those things that help your unique being to be present in mind and body. It can be meditating, practicing yoga, it can be painting,dancing, running, climbing or any other practice that brings you to that point.
Nowadays, there is a big misunderstanding about yoga. People have this idea of work out, perfect shaped bodies in fantastic circus poses or the idea of mantra chanting people in turbans burning incenses. I understand that both ideas can make us stay away from the yoga world...
People say, I am not flexible enough, I am not strong enough, yoga is boring for me, I am not a spiritual person… and many other things...
Practicing yoga is not about being flexible or strong, it is about learning to be with you, learning to be aware of you in your body, of you in your limitations, of you in your shape, of you in your surroundings, of you in the universe.
It is not about achieving a certain posture or a certain flexibility, it is about what you learn during this practice, about who you are when you get there.
Here we come to the other point, yoga and spirituality.
Yoga doesn’t necessarily need to be spiritual, which frightens or turns many people away. It hasn’t to be about OMs and mantras in Sanskrit (I am not saying they are not powerful, because they are, be open to them if you can ;) ).
Yoga has to be how it makes you feel comfortable in the present moment.
Yes, the yoga culture comes from India, from where it has certain rituals, and cultural background. We got beautiful and powerful mantras from that culture, which i would like to talk about in another post ;). But, it is to understand that people are different, cultures are different and for sure, each culture has found their particular way to create this union of body, mind, and spirit.
Those who have practiced with me, may have observed that I sometimes introduce OMs in the practice, sometimes mantras, but sometimes not. So, depending on how you feel, what you need in order to connect or what helps you to find this point of union, depending on your background, depending on your state, depending on how you feel the energies around, feel free adjust your practice.
Nothing is mandatory.
Where I want to get with all this:
Find your yoga, be open, and understand your unique being and how every day you are going to need or feel to practice in one way or another.
Yoga has your own personal meaning and ways. Ways of physical exercise but also spiritual connection.
I would love to hear what is your approach to yoga, how you feel yoga for yourself and what kind of yoga style you prefer. Please leave me a comment or a little heart and subscribe to have fresh news from yogama.