What is Yoga?
“Anybody can breathe. Therefore anybody can practise Yoga.”
Yoga is a personal journey and each person is their own guru.
Yoga is many things to many people, for example it can be……….
….a healthy way of life, a sequence of postures, special breathing practices (pranayama), meditating, being conscious of one’s thoughts and actions, living in the present, carrying out one’s actions/duties with detachment, eating healthily and moderation in everything.
In a nutshell, Yoga is all of the above either collectively or each on their own. For example, if you carry out your duties in life without attachment to the outcome, that is yoga.
The Asana (yoga poses) are a small part of yoga. One of the main aims of yoga is to quieten the mind. One of the reasons for doing all the Asana is to make the body flexible and strong enough to sit for long periods comfortably in meditation to help still the thought waves of the mind. A stronger, toned body is a very welcome side effect of the Asana!!
Yoga aims to unite mind, body and spirit, and I believe with the practice of Yoga everybody becomes the best version of themselves.
“The success of Yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships.”
Interesting books on Yoga:
Light On Life by B.K.S. Iyengar
The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali…Translation by Sri Swami Satchidananda
Yoga Mala by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
The Key Poses of Yoga by Ray Long M.D.
The Key Muscles of Yoga by Ray Long M.D.
Ashtanga Yoga, Practice & Philosophy, Gregor Maehle
***The Bhagavad Gita…Translated by Eknath Easwaran
*** The Bhagavad Gita was used by Mahatma Gandhi as his personal guidebook in life!