Introduction to Yoga, everything you need to know

Introduction to Yoga

Let’s do a quick introduction to Yoga. According to the classical definition, Yoga is the silencing of the movement of the mind, but it is not limited only to leaving it blank and empty, but rather to reduce the constant activity to which our mind is subjected. The practice of the science of Yoga helps us to understand clearly that the world outside is governed by duality (day-night; cold-heat; abundance-scarcity; joy-sadness; beginning-end; birth-death) and that , in turn, the dual character of the mind is the one that perceives, projects and translates it.

Yoga is a light, which once lit will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.

B.K.S. Iyengar

The control of the fluctuations of the mind is Yoga. This is the definition established in the second of the 196 verses of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a fundamental text of the discipline. Patanjali was an Indian sage who presented the complete system of Yoga in these sutras more than five thousand years ago.
According to the classical definition, then, Yoga is the silencing of the movement of the mind (vrttis), and, therefore, its quieting. But with the ultimate purpose of the supreme self-realization of the Being, which is the highest self-knowledge: that of one’s own and most absolute essence.

To silence this activity is not to leave the mind blank and empty. By nature, the mind is in constant activity. What Yoga seeks, in the end, is to reduce identification with that movement that is inherent in it. The practice of the science of Yoga helps us to understand clearly that the world outside is governed by duality (day-night; cold-heat; abundance-scarcity; joy-sadness; beginning-end; birth-death) and that , in turn, it is the dual character of the mind that perceives, projects and translates it.

The quieting of mental fluctuations is thus a continuous process of disidentification of the little self with that duality – and names, forms, appearances – which is actually alien to our essence. They offer us a What is Yoga? a broader and more inclusive way of living: when we silence the noise of what we are not, we remember that, on the other hand, we are part of something much larger and more immeasurable. As we advance in the experience of Yoga we enter more internal and, at the same time, more subtle layers of our system; also dual dimensions that are intertwined with each other, from the most tangible to the most subtle. Covered and hidden by those sheaths (which in the science of Yoga are called Koshas) is the real Self. In the process we come to the ultimate recognition of him.

The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body.

Jason Crandell

What we really are is permanent and unlimited. It is not a question of stripping ourselves of these layers – body, energy, mind (in its various levels and capacities), soul -, much less of eliminating them; they are inseparable from the manifestation that we embody, inhabiting a body, moved by energy, thinking, sentient, sensory, emotional, reflective, discerning, intuitive, capable of experiencing joy and ecstasy.
What the Yoga journey consists of is progressively releasing the belief that we are those sheaths and what they project into the outside world. Transcend them to put them at the service of the journey towards the reunion with what We Are, a greater I that is an indivisible part of the Whole: of the Great Consciousness.

We settle more and more in the knowledge that we are not what we think, project, figure or what we believe separates us. Therefore, the significance of these limitations is sustained for a longer duration. Because in this way we let go of the identifications that ignore the greatness of the Being and that, therefore, cause us pain, grief and disturbance. We cultivate an observing — contemplative — consciousness of that movement alien to Being: the observer is Being itself.

True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.

Aadil Palkhivala

Duality is still there outside of our absolute reality, but we learn to be in it and its restrictions. All that we are not is ephemeral; Yoga is to enhance the ability to surf it from the eternal. To work the knowledge of infinity in us is to free ourselves. That is why the experience of Yoga is union. This is the most important concept in this introduction to Yoga.

That is, in effect, its translation from Sanskrit: the root yuj means to join, link and fix, recalls the teacher BKS Iyengar in his book The Light of Yoga. The search for him is the fusion between all those envelopes and, in the end, the Being with the highest intelligence (Consciousness, the Universe, the Cosmos or that which, of so immense, does not really have a name). The total unification – the return – with the Supreme Consciousness.

That is the supreme self-realization of the Self.

A world full of benefits

People who wish to enter yoga and carry out its holistic practice on a regular basis, will achieve high levels of physical health, mental clarity and spiritual awareness.

As for physical benefits, asanas improve the muscular system, revitalizing muscle tissues, strengthening and toning them; prevents joint degeneration; the spine improves its flexibility and mobility; regulates the functions of the circulatory system; expands the capacity of the pulmonary system; helps regulate the digestive and endocrine systems and, finally, balances the nervous system.

We hope that this introduction to Yoga has been useful for you. Please send us your feedback in the comments section.

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