If you understand yoga as a series of exercises or stretching muscles and body parts, then you are mistaken. Rather it is the union of mind, body and the spirit. No wonder our understanding of yoga attributes only the physical phenomenon leaving behind the mind and spiritual phenomena, as our senses are familiarized in the recognition of concrete materialistic entities rather than what is beyond our knowledge and comprehension.
Yoga is a way of life that was heralded to human kind by the oldest form of faith in this world, almost ten thousand years ago through the oldest of all scriptures, the Vedas. Even though it is considered as a gift from a specific form of faith to the world, its practice cannot be restricted to a selected few. Nor could its practice be considered prohibited by anyone, as most of the religions include physical postures in their worship. As already told yoga is not just these physical poses and movements but involves a lot more psychic exercises to become a whole being.
Understanding the power of yoga is as simple as it could be very complex. It is similar to finding the meaning of a deafening silence; creating a coherent pattern out of chaos; channelizing the vast energy juggernaut within ourselves.
You, The Universe and the energy:
Energy is what makes us and the whole of the universe. It is the source of our inception, the elixir of our existence and the hope of our future.
There are two complex ideologies that shape our perception. One, looking for an ocean within an atom and the other looking the entire ocean as an atom. This could be understood analogous with the relationship between our spiritual body and the universe.
If we wonder at the vast expanse of the universe and the energy trapped within it, then we should be amazed to know that a similar kind of potential lies untapped within us. The unknown mystical source of our origin has nurtured an equal amount of energy as it has equipped the universe with. Or in other words, it would be a never ending journey to explore the depth of our spirit, like when we do in investigating our universe. Both the universe and our body are boundless with infinite energy.
It is humanly impossible to travel the deep inner realms of our spiritual body without any special techniques. These extraordinary yet simple techniques are collectively called yoga.
The purpose and the misunderstanding:
In the recent modern days yoga has become synonymous to various physical postures that can get people rid of ailments, whereas the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali from 1st millennium CE comprises eight limbs of yoga known as Ashtanga yoga, including meditation, liberation, concentration, abstraction, and abstention.
The purpose of yoga is to relieve oneself off the cobwebs of egoism, transform into complete beings by realizing the potential within and unlocking them for a harmonious co-existence of all species in the world.
We have grown fast in terms of technology and other advancements. In the event of striving for more sophistication we have realized the importance of physical well being rather than the source of inspiration and innovation, which is the energy in our spirits.
For our convenience, we have pruned off the mind and spirit related parts of yoga and have made them separate entities. Even though this thought doesn’t look pretty, it is a harsh reality that we are living with. Our physical entity alone doesn’t make our lives, but our thoughts, actions and emotions combined together make our existence meaningful.
The occasion of ‘International day of Yoga’ as declared by the United Nations can be considered as an opportunity to spread awareness about the holistic practices of yoga on a global level.
As our ancestors did a lot of soul searching for our well being, let us pledge to leverage the potential of our spirit for the greater cause of global well being and harmony.
Let this be an occasion where we unite our minds, spirits and deeds in its fullest potential for the betterment of everyone.
Related video: Sadhguru on what is yoga