Modern yoga is commonly associated with stretching, relaxation and meditation. It has become top choice for sports stars, business people and celebrities. Yoga consistently trends as a healthy lifestyle choice, and its much touted health benefits are assisting many individuals with chronic illnesses unresolved by mainstream medicine. Yet only the tip of the iceberg of the greater yoga is known to a larger audience.
Essentially yoga is a practice to attain and maintain a natural condition of optimum human potential. Integral Yoga was formulated to share these universal teachings of yoga with a mainstream society. Two great yogi masters of the 20th century, Swami Satchidananda, and his teacher-guru Swami Sivananda, promoted basic hatha yoga (with vinyasa flow practice) for a healthy body, concentration and meditation, a disciplined, clear, calm mind, a sharp and keen intellect, to manage all the senses, and impart priceless benefits. Such yoga opens a heart of unconditional love and compassion, dissolves the self-will ego, resulting in a strong, pliable will, to help create unity of all individuals of all diversities. In essence Integral Yoga is a holistic body, mind, spirit system powered by the all encompassing Universal Life Force, Prana.
Flow with yoga and life
To incorporate all of (Integral) Yoga is a life task that requires dedication, and is not meant for all. Fortunately the greater benefits of yoga practice are not optional – the physical, mental and emotional rubs off on another regardless of one’s beliefs. This is one of the most beautiful aspects of yoga; much like nature, we are in balance when we move and breathe, because as in nature, there is always change. Where there is movement, and not resistance, there is life. Without flow nature, and life, stagnates.
As within, so without
Yoga helps us balance our lives because everything in life is interconnected – whatever happens inside us, shows on the outside. I.e. “we are what we eat, what we think, etc.”, our surroundings influence how we are, and our behaviour affects all our interactions. Making sense of this, in awareness of “the interactive whole”, is what lends yoga its “holistic” benefits, and why I think of Integral Yoga as “real yoga”. This is the quest of self-realisation; to know who and what you are, and paying the wisdom gained forward.
When the going gets tough… stick to the basics. When yoga or life gets complicated and confusing with options and choices, just return to awareness of breath and simple movement. It connects with the whole being – body, mind, and spirit, allowing the life force to flow into, and within, for balance and harmony.
One drop in the ocean is inseparable from the whole ocean. After all, yoga means “union”.
in Music & Yoga,
29 August 2016