Is yoga only asanas?

June 25, 2018

 

 

What comes to your mind when you think of yoga? Dramatic postures? A sculpted body balanced impossibly on a limb? This is generally everybody's concept of yoga.

The word Yoga comes from a Sanskrit root 'yuj',  meaning union. Yoga denotes that which brings the mind, body and soul to a state of perfect harmony, a synchronised union. What is that state of union? It is an experiential state when the mind becomes completely situated in the present moment. Neuroscience indicates that this state is associated with a large scale synchronisation of neural activity in the Brain, which is experienced as a state which is simultaneously one of high alertness and deep rest. With the help of pranayama, asanas and meditation it is possible to achieve that state. Even the simplest postures can make you experience that inner calm  and bliss if done with breath awareness and mindfulness.

Yoga is a way of life. Of course one cannot ignore the physical asanas which are very important but Yoga is not only limited to postures. Being aware about yourself, your thoughts, actions, feelings, behaviour is Yoga according to me. What you eat, how much you eat. Being disciplined about your food habits is also yoga. How truthful you are to yourself is also yoga.

'Yoga  karmasu  kaushalam' .....(Bhagwadgita) means yoga is skill in action and this skill in action is achieved when your mind is calm and stress free.

It doesn't matter if you can't do a headstand or can't stand on one leg. Simple postures have the power to make you experience that blissful state.

 

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