In Vancouver, yoga (and even yoga teacher training) is very popular. Yoga is a spiritual ancient practice that creates a union to our mind, body, and breath. Focusing on the balance between breath and mindful movement can help to increase health, happiness and self-knowledge.
The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to yoke or to join together as a method of discipline.
Dating back five thousand years, yoga originated in India and was developed by yogis as a means of preparation toward meditation. Yogis used yoga and meditation to remove themselves from the ego brought on by the material world.
Yoga is also largely practiced in Hinduism and Buddhism. It is not necessary to be a religious person in order to practice yoga, however, if you are it can help bring insight to your belief. Yoga is simply and beautifully a method to hear our inner voice and relish the feeling of being truly alive.
The connection developed through yoga is one of balance and awareness. Not just balancing our bodies physically but mentally and spiritually. Although steadiness is a major aspect, it must be in tandem with ease, the presence of mind, effort and surrender. Self-awareness itself is an art.
Once we realize that all we need and all that we seek is within ourselves, we become more present within our bodies and minds. It takes nothing more than practice to fully delve into our understanding of every emotion and feeling that we possess.
It can be hard to feel something we have repressed for so long but once we comprehend why we had that emotion and the necessity of it in the first place, we can then help ourselves to overcome and direct back to the happiness in our hearts.
To tap into this higher self, we must apply our knowledge of self and cultivate a deeper understanding with yoga as our vehicle.
Pranayama or breath control is the infrastructure of yoga practice. It can be used to de-stress, rebalance emotions and re-energize the body in times of fatigue. Yoga poses are known as asanas which simply means body postures.
Pranayama goes hand in hand with the asanas, which make up the physical and mindful movements of yoga. The breath fuels and guides the asanas. Pranayama is used to cleanse the body while steadying the mind.
This in unison with the asanas has endless benefits, some including insomnia and heart-related problems.
Although yoga is a spiritual practice, it can also be used solely as a form of physical fitness. This is becoming far more common as the yoga trend continues to grow.
Many use yoga for toning the body and developing strength in muscles they wouldn’t have normally exercised. Yoga does have a physical challenge which can lead to many thinking yoga is mainly for flexibility and strength.
This focuses attention on body ability and image with some choosing yoga as a way to manage weight. With the popularity growing, the true intention of yoga can become distorted. It is important to find the love within when practicing yoga instead of trying to change or fix oneself.
The spiritual aspect of yoga should be the goal in order to remove the negative thoughts associated with oneself.
In The End
Yoga has the ability to bring a sense of freedom and wholeness. The practice of process and not attainment will not only bring us deep within ourselves but also delivers a calm bliss that every human deserves to feel.
To be here, now, in this present state is to live. Yoga is the key to the sensation of being fully alive.