Yoga is such a relevant part of life today, we are seeing more and more people practicing every day around the world, in fact, there may not be so many parts of the globe left where people haven’t at least heard of this word YOGA! But why is it becoming so popular today and a part of our daily or weekly lives?
Practically this practice in all its forms is a way of bringing balance and harmony back to our beings, enabling our body, breath, mind and emotions to join back together becoming one and bringing wholeness. At a time when the planet is very much out of balance we too are feeling this as technologies are everywhere and the earths recourses drained, people are needing something to make them feel complete again and yoga shows the way.
There are many ways and paths to this yoga- this oneness, but most people start from the outermost aspect – from the physical body. For many people the physical body and its workings are out of balance often working in opposition to each other which can cause disease, yoga asanas (postures) work on re-harmonising the internal workings bringing everything back into co-ordination and bringing the bodily functions back into working efficiently. Using yogic asana allows us to make our bodies into a possibility and leads us to ultimate wellbeing. Asanas give us a means to take charge of our lives and transform our bodies into vehicles of health that can lead us on a beautiful passage leading to ultimate bliss. Of course to reach our destination where we are free from any ill health both of body and of mind – stresses, phobias, anxieties etc takes courage and a certain level of determination. A little bit of practice each day will help in leaps and bounds to move us in the way we want to go. As long as we are alive in this life then the body is your abode of your existence and it is imperative that we take care of it. Creating the right atmosphere for your practice is very important, where we sleep for example has a very different feel to that of where we work or cook, creating the right space free of vibrations from other activities is important. Light some candles, incense etc, grow a beautiful plant in that space and when you enter that area you will naturally feel in the mood to practice.
There are so many yoga postures, but out of them all Swami Sivananda chose 12 that he considered to be the most beneficial in working through our energy centres and re-aligning them, re-connecting through them to the universal rhythms that surround us. The postures when practiced correctly with correct alignment and with considerations of the individual body, create a powerful bridge and means to connect with Mother Earth, the 12 postures of the sun in one year and the rest of existence that surrounds us. We can turn upward or downward, bend forward or backward, lie on our backs or on our tummies, stand on our feet or on our heads, this is all ways to connect our inner experience with our outer experience, or to become aware of the two experiences and bring them closer together. There becomes no ‘I’ or ‘Me’ no other or them, just one.
Starting with the physical body is probably for most of us the easiest way, starting with the mind, well the mind is a tricky thing which likes to play games, let us learn how to walk before we can run! With the body it is easier to take charge! Using the body to create this internal and external union can lead to a much greater sense of contentment, joy, peace and bliss, without balance it is hard and life can become a struggle. Practicing our postures returns this balance and then things can become easy in anything we are doing.
Yoga is essentially a state of mind that allows us to remain contended, connected and clam in any given situation, so let us roll out our mats and begin on that journey! Looking forward to seeing you on the mat and coming back to being balanced-
Om shanti shanti shanti
Mangala / nicky.