When most people hear the word yoga they think of fitness and the various types of yoga classes held in most cities around the world now. They either love it or hate it.
The thing is if we were to utilize the correct term from which the concept of yoga came from we are not calling those activities by the correct name. What we know as yoga here in the west is actually called Asanas. I have to be honest, I don't really like this form of "yoga" all that much even though I have taught it for years.
How can that be?
Well, the truth is I do it because it helps to minimize the stress in my body. My asana practice also helps me to slow down my busy mind and be more present with my body. Over the years I have learned a great many tricks to minimize pain in my body. This is my main motivation for continuing an asana practice.
Yoga for me and countless people throughout history have a much deeper definition than fitness or exercise. Essentially yoga means bringing the busy chaotic mind of our active lives to touch upon the Inner Intelligence that is responsible for all of creation. Here is a cool excerpt from a book that explains it beautifully.
“Yoga is not a belief system or a religion nor even a philosophy — it is an extremely practical methodology for systematically expanding the conscious mind. Said another way, Yoga is the Science for overcoming the self-destructive and limiting beliefs and internal programs that keep individual life bound to the experiences of the Waking State of Consciousness — the state in which life is alternately happy and sad, loving and hating, healthy and sick — in short, dual. ”
Excerpt From: Maharishi Sadasiva Isham. “Enlightenment!: The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali.” Apple Books.
Who wouldn't want to learn how to stop undermining their capacity to experience life by learning to recognize self-defeating patterns?
When looking at it from this perspective, yoga is a mental practice that is greatly assisted through effective meditation techniques.
Not all meditation techniques are the same.
Many of the techniques or apps out there today are nothing more than what you might get at an asana class that has been mislabeled yoga. They keep your mind focussed on thoughts. These may be peaceful relaxing thoughts that bring you benefits, just like your asana practice. They have value and merit in that instance.
Truly effective meditation techniques improve the way your brain functions so that you naturally experience more of what is currently taking place. Attempting to change the function of your brain while using it in the same way you do all day and night long doesn't change it. However, training it to do something different changes its ability to function. Much like training to run a marathon changes the way the body operates so that it can perform that desired result, effective meditation techniques open your nervous system to become aware of much subtler experiences that are currently going on right before your very eyes.
Through greater conscious awareness the surface level of your mind becomes more capable of making choices. This is where the autonomy aspect of what Explore Yoga Health is all about. Greater conscious awareness allows us to connect to and move from our sense of inner knowing and connectivity, rather than being coerced into choices by authority figures.
This truly is the key that unlocks the door to your good.
But so many don't want it. They fear the unknown even though it is essentially the storehouse of wealth and fortune. Thus asanas are called yoga in the collective mind with the promise that these stretches will make you fit and healthy. Yoga has so much more to offer you than fitness and health. These are great things, and as I mentioned I utilize an asana practice for these ends. Without which my body would be very uncomfortable to live in. But through meditation, I also have access to the storehouse that is jam-packed full of wealth from which I can pull. It never disappoints. It never runs empty.
But Sivani, you aren't super rich.
When you have at your fingertips the most priceless connection that goes with you in every single experience, money is like health. It's nice to have and makes things more comfortable, but money can never touch the significance of having access to and knowing your Inner Intelligence. Again this is the aspect that holds every single atom of "you" together as well as the world around you including money. Practicing accessing this part of yourself is what yoga is all about and it is truly priceless once you have enough courage to give it a try.
The purpose of this blog is to allow Sivani to express thoughts on Ayurveda, yoga & meditation that are not typically found when googling the topics. Sivani's deepest desire is to encourage autonomous living in all people. There are no infallible persons to whom one can turn for perfect guidance to ensure success. When it comes all the way down to it, we are each responsible for our choices regardless if others have led, will lead, or actively attempt to lead us in any direction either for our good or our destruction. Even the best-intentioned individuals make grievous mistakes. Yet, within each individual is an Infallible Source that governs all of existence. Through exploration and discovery, individuals can connect to and build a strong relationship with this Source and thus make their own choices based on their moral objectivity. Does this approach come at an expense? Potentially. But blindly following others has proven to be just as dangerous. Stimulating others to approach any and all exploration to deepen their first-hand relationship with the Inner Intelligence active within the confines of their nervous systems is Sivani's life's mission. The more this is done, the more the Inner Intelligence permeates and pervades all of creation and will be unmistakable.