Article by Charles Knapp
Yoga is different things to different people, so what it means to you’ll depend greatly on how you had been introduced to it and how you enjoyed your initial experiences with it. For some people Yoga is merely a method of exercising that assures they have a healthy supple body. For other individuals Yoga goes beyond a method of exercise and is a spiritual experience that permits them to find the balance and centring their lives need. This type of Yoga comes closer to a life philosophy than every other.
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is frequently placed in this final type when assessing it is place as a Yoga discipline. It descends from a document known as Korunta Yoga which offers with the 8 spiritual movements which are explained Patanjali in Sutra Yoga. These days most Yoga disciplines are directly descended from the descriptions of Yoga exercises in these documents, and so most forms of Yoga are variations of Ashtanga Vinyasi.
Getting a total understanding of Ashtanga Yoga is essential as it is proponents address it as more that a form of physical exercise. Whilst it is base is in physical movement it is recommended that it’s power actually comes from the strength of spirit that is developed from normal and disciplined practice of the 8 stages of Yoga. Through the 8 stages of Yoga the body and mind become pure, and so they’re seen as a purifying discipline.
Moreover the discipline of Ashtanga Vinyasa deals with a profound and deep way of relating to others. The closest word to describe this aspect of the Yoga discipline is manners, but it really does go beyond that. Yoga is a discipline of balance, and the physical balance required to complete many of the workouts ought to be reflected by an internal balance or harmony of the soul. It is said that a hyperactive person canot be successful with Yoga and this is true on several levels. Firstly they lack the discipline to sit calmly through the exercises, but they also lack the mental calm to focus wholly and totally on a single tas k. Yoga demands deep focusing on the simple act of breathing and feeling the breath bring life to different areas of your body.
The power of Yoga is found in it’s combination of the physical strength and flexibility needed to complete movements and also the mental discipline that is required to maintain them. Yoga isn’t just a form of exercise but most frequently it is thought of as a form of meditation. Meditating successfully with Yoga requires a pureness of thought and singularity of focus that is not found in most modern exercise programs. It seeks to bring the body back into balance and focus on maintaining that balance.
This aspect of Yoga is frequently misunderstood, but balance plays an enormous role in Eastern Medicine and also the purpose of Yoga and similar meditative techniques is often no more than to achieve and maintain the level of balance that keeps our bodies healthy. Yoga teachers will often talk about one-ness and inner harmony, and this can be mis-interpreted by individuals who lack a holistic understanding of what Yoga seeks to achieve. Simple the harmony that is accomplished via Meditation and Yoga is a self-contentment or acceptance of oneself. This shows that the first step to becoming completely happy and healthy is to be content with your self as well as your life.
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