The practice of yoga is not just about physical postures though in the West many people see yoga as simply that. Unless of course you are a practising yogi or yogini and know that there is more to yoga than a series of postures.
Yoga is essentially a lifestyle choice though personally I dislike this term as it sounds so artificial. Let’s rephrase it. Yoga is essentially a way of life if you embrace it fully. It should permeate everything you do not just the time you spend on the mat.
Yoga means ‘union’ or ‘yoke’ in Sanskrit – the ancient Indian language of yoga’s origins. The union or yoking is between mind, body and spirit. The mind and body connection is easy enough to fathom but what about the spirit?
What does yoking to the spirit actually mean? We all have a deeper nature and a deeper connection to life than we know. Union with the spiritual side of our nature is simply connecting to our higher nature – understanding that there is something bigger than ourselves. We all have different conceptions of what our higher nature might be and what that something bigger than our little selves might be. The spiritual journey is what our lives are often about.
All of us are on a spiritual journey in one way or another. All of us have our own way of connecting to our spiritual nature. Yoga is simply a science or an art or a set of tools that help us to calm body and mind so that we can more easily perceive our higher nature. Yoga was never a religion but a way of connecting to a higher reality. Anybody can practice yoga – a way of relaxing body and mind and learning to tune in to the reality of life around us. Regular practice of yoga enables us to gain a sense of inner peace – much needed in the busyness of modern life.