Yoga is a philosophy of life that seeks the balance of body and mind , the expansion of consciousness and the union of the individual to his true nature and the nature of the universe.
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Originally from India, yoga is can be understood as a set of practices and knowledge developed more than 5,000 years ago and, although it admits innumerable strands and derivations, the essence is preserved around a common goal: to harmonize the body and the mind . For this, yoga makes use of three pillars: breathing techniques (pranayamas), yoga postures (asanas) and meditation .
What is Yoga?
With a broad and at the same time profound proposal, it is not surprising that so many doubts pervade the meaning and very essence of yoga practices. There are those who say that yoga has always been present in our lives , and that has been manifested for many generations in the most trivial gestures of our daily lives.
We have practiced since we are babies! For example, doing the cat’s posture, to lengthen the spine. You always see children doing some kind of yoga during the day. “- Art of Living
Even so, setting yoga is not an easy task. There are many derivations of philosophy, concept, practice and even the translations used for the Sanskrit word “yuj” , which originated the word ‘yoga’ and which in an enlarged vision means ‘to unite or to integrate’. Yoga teacher and researcher Pedro Kupfer well illustrates this prism of visions and meanings:
Some people define Yoga as art or science. Others, such as exercise or technique. Others, like doctrine or religion. There are people who think that Yoga is a way of life or a culture . But originally, Yoga was born as a very special vision about the human being and his role in the order of things, which included a practical path to personal growth. A path that leads the human being to an understanding of himself. “- Pedro Kupfer
Without a clear vision of the currents that formed this philosophy, we run the risk of imprisoning the real meaning of yoga to concepts and definitions restricted to the paradigms of modern society. “Sometimes we have the feeling that something is missing, that Yoga refuses to be imprisoned in a concept,” Kupfer adds.
It is important for each of us to have the opportunity to weave our own experience with yoga, and to construct our own journey by dialoguing whenever possible with the Yoga Sutras (a compilation on the philosophy and practice of Yoga by Patañjali) and with the community of yoga, and of course to bring to light their own reflections on the journey of self-knowledge.
In this way, the meaning of the term yoga evolves as we broaden our perception of the world and the relationships that occur at different levels of consciousness. The study of the Yoga Sutras and the observation of the studies disseminated by the ancient yogis are fundamental to connect the essence and to understand the correlation of the practices. There have been many influential yogis along the way to cultivating the practice that we all know today as yoga.
But if you’re really curious about the origins of yoga, maybe it’s time to take a close look at the East, especially India. See why …
Where Yoga Was Born
Yoga has been born for at least 5,000 years in India, considered by many to be the cradle of spirituality and religion. This does not mean that yoga has any connection with a religious doctrine, but that contrary to what we see today, the original practices did not focus only on the physical aspects – postures or asanas – and yoga did not exactly have a focus on exercises for the body.
Philosophy, in fact, approaches from the outset the development of a conscious gaze upon oneself, investigating the individual and his relationship with the environment, in an in-depth survey of the perceptions and knowledge of the mind. The awareness of the body and the potential activation that occurs through physical postures is an important part of this journey, but it is not alone.
|Traditionally, yoga was practiced only by men, but today, women have become the predominant gender in the practice of yoga.|
The concepts of Yoga were brought to the West during the 19th century as part of a series of studies in the Orient, which also included subjects related to health and vegetarianism , which developed throughout the 1930s. Thirty years later there was a great migration of Indian yoga teachers who have gone to every corner of the world with the mission of spreading the philosophy and expanding the practices of yoga.
In the midst of this process of expansion, yoga took on new looks and contexts, originating innumerable subcategories or specialties. Today, especially in the West, yoga is seen not only as a philosophy of life, but also as a holistic system sought after by those seeking health and quality of life , and gained fame for helping people maintain focus and balance of emotions, besides acting in the increase of the flexibility and muscular tonification.
Yoga works the emotions, helps people act according to their thoughts and feelings, and brings deep relaxation, concentration, mental tranquility, strengthening of the physical body and the development of flexibility. “
Widely spread, yoga has grown with its main proposal: to help the individual journey of self-knowledge. And also with the offer of innumerable benefits related to health, well-being and quality of life. Today, the theme counts on an ample network of scholars, teachers and schools that were destined to develop day after day the teaching and the practice of yoga.
From this network, new perspectives and methods were born , which nowadays integrate daily life in small and large cities around the world. Through centers, schools, studios or even in private yoga classes, the philosophy keeps alive and reaches an increasing number of people.
The set of practices – asanas, pranayama and meditation – is offered in schools , kindergartens and even in companies, which seek to increase the quality of life, focus and concentration of its collaborators.
Yoga exercises calm the nervous system, bring a sense of harmony, as well as improve a person’s physical condition. This ancient and profound teaching is based on a few simple principles, which are often called the secrets of yoga. After all, it is thanks to them that it becomes possible to feel the essence of yoga and its full-fledged action on a person.
Secrets of yoga for everyone
The Secret of Yoga 1: Practice the whole head
Yoga, like many other areas, shares the view that the main thing in all is practice, not theoretical knowledge. And all due to the fact that according to the teachings of yoga it is believed that all our theoretical knowledge and skills are not transferred to the next life, as each person is born anew a blank sheet of paper. Only experience can be taken with you to a new life.
The secret of yoga 2: individuality is our all
In the world there are no identical people. And this means that it is impossible to create a single health improvement system for all people on the planet. Even in universal yoga, the main criterion is an individual approach, which will help a person to learn independently this or that skill. In the same way, one can not convey one’s own experience.
The secret of yoga 3: you can change yourself only by accepting yourself
How often we are unhappy with ourselves or with what position we are in now. But, unfortunately, most of the attempts to change oneself are in vain. It is in this and lies one of the principles that carry the secrets of yoga. It is impossible to change yourself without first accepting yourself as we are. After all, in this case, we forcibly try to come to change by correcting the shortcomings. But such pressure provokes a reverse, protective, reaction of the body.
In order to achieve results, it is first of all necessary to accept and love yourself, to determine what we are now and what we are striving for, at the same time rewarding and encouraging ourselves for our efforts.
The Secret of Yoga 4: You need to learn consciously
The secrets of yoga are based on the fact that only sincere interest and awareness of new knowledge or experience are able to benefit a person. This is the only way to learn life, learning new sides and peaks of the world. With the help of awareness, you can draw useful and valuable information from the surrounding people, absorbing what is useful.
The Secret of Yoga 5: Believing in Your Strengths – The Way to Perfection
Do you want to succeed in anything? Then turn to yourself, analyzing, do you believe in yourself. Only then can you and others believe in you, and the efforts will bring the expected result. It should also be understood that belief in yourself allows mistakes, failures, failures, because such situations only help to increase self-confidence, and also give new strength to action. The main thing is not to stop moving.
These secrets of yoga show how important it is to achieve harmony with yourself in order to feel harmony with the whole world and surrounding people. Good luck!