Updated: Jan 14
It's 2022 and Yoga is becoming more and more popular worldwide. I would even go as far as say it's become fashionable and trendy, and I am all for it.
After all, Yoga is incredibly beneficial for your physical, emotional and mental health - fostering balance, cultivating peace and focus, and expanding one's consciousness.
However, as Yoga becomes mainstream and social media platforms fill with incredible-looking poses, it's easy to lose sight of what Yoga is really about:
Yoga is a philosophy of life originated in India over 12,000 years ago. It's a set of principles, disciplines, techniques and exercises to elevate the human being physically, energetically, chemically and mentally; ultimately connecting us with our true self - aligned, healthy and peaceful.
But let's take a step back and explore this further...
The word Yoga derives from the root term ‘yuj’ (read ‘yudj’) and means 'to join' or 'to bind'.
The Great Yoga Master Patañjali, the first to write about Yoga and put down in writing its teachings in his book The Yoga Sutra, defines Yoga as the control of the frequency of our brain waves.
YOGA CHITTA VRTTI NIRODDHA
'Yoga is the control of the frequency of our brain waves'
This definition alone implies that Yoga is above all mental, and has a primary mission to slow down our mind, lowering the frequency of our brain waves and allowing us to access higher states of consciousness where our brain activity is repaired and elevated.
According The Yoga Sutra of Patañjali, Yoga has two main purposes:
To develop the Human Being exceptionally in all our positive aspects – in harmony with nature, aligned, healthy and happy; solidly based on an attitude of self-discipline, anti-deformed ego and fraternalism.
Attain the Nirbíja Samādhi state - the Enlightenment, a Human-Cosmic Intellective Supreme Consciousness (the use of the entire brain capacity and transcendence into the highest state of consciousness, integrating the human being with the Cosmos and the Whole).
Therefore, in very simple terms, Yoga is a set of practices and behaviours that together, elevate human beings to their highest selves and seek their union with the Whole.
These practices will aim to develop different aspects of the individual, such as...
Meditation to slow down our thoughts, relieving stress and anxiety and contributing to the well functioning of our brain, boosting brain activity.
Prānāyāma (breathing exercises) to improve breathing capacity, optimise our oxygen and energy levels, and contribute for a balanced nervous system and response to stress.
Asana (physical poses with psychological and biological effects) to strengthen our bodies physically, build endurance, and improve flexibility and balance.
Yoganidrā (techniques for physical, emotional and mental relaxation) to improve sleep where our brain transmitters are repaired and produced, and preparing us for elevated states of consciousness.
Kriyā (exercises for organic cleansing and toning) to detox our body, helping to release toxins and boosting our immune system.
Mantra (control of sound, vibration, and harmony) to foster positive states of mind and activating our parasympathetic nervous system, responsible for bodily functions while we're resting and relaxed.
and many more we'll be exploring throughout this year in upcoming posts...
Combined, they form the powerful, holistic method of transformation that is authentic Yoga - an ancient system created to elevate the human race, unleash your true potential and help you live your best life - a life that is peaceful, abundant, happy, and full of love.
As our understanding of Yoga grows, let's go beyond the physical postures and value Yoga for what it is, a practice that will develop the way we breathe, install meditation habits, influence our endocrine and nervous systems, boost our immunity and above all, be transformational on all levels - physically, emotionally, chemically, energetically and mentally.
What's your thoughts on this topic?
What's one big change you've noticed through the practice of Yoga?
Let me know in the comments below!
At Yogaful Studio we're exclusively dedicated to the practice of Yoga Sāmkhya, a method of teaching the traditional, authentic Yoga from India, comprising 12 yogic disciplines every class (including the practices mentioned above and more) to help you...
...find balance and focus
...find peace and stillness
...elevate your body and mind
...access higher levels of consciousness and blissful meditative states & ultimately connect with your true self - aligned, healthy and peaceful.
Give Yoga Sámkhya a try with our 14-day free trial and access all our live-streamed weekly classes and on-demand video library here.