Why and how to practice yoga nowadays?
On and off the mat, so why and how to practice yoga nowadays?
In times of high access to mass media, the question "what is yoga" will be answered differently by many of us. For people who start their yoga adventure, the main motivation may be the desire to practice regular physical exercises that will improve the general health, condition of the spine and joints, or act as a supplement to other sports. For others, yoga will be an ideal form of gentle activity, allowing you to calm down, find balance in everyday duties. Some of us will be carried away by "yoga fashion" for beautiful outfits, comfortable leggings, nice gadgets ...
However, in all this aspect of popularity for yoga, one cannot ignore the most important of its dimensions, namely the issue of spirituality. And it is not about religion and rituals at all but rather about how practices on the mat translate to better "exercise in life".
Photo: Sonia Frydrych @soniafrydrych
Model and author of the text: Basia Baranowska @barbcoach_ig
What is yoga and why practice yoga?
This development of spirituality through yoga can be called practicing it outside the mat, because in a broader sense it will not be about fancy positions or the gadgets mentioned earlier ... And all this thanks to the wisdom and life truths written about 2,000 years ago by the creator of yoga - Patanjali in his work, Yogasutras, which are a kind of code of good life.
In Patanjali Yogasutras we will find eight yoga elements described as principles and attitudes towards ourselves and the world yamas and niyamas, breathing techniques and practices - pranayama, physical practices - asanas, pratyahara practice, dharanana which is withdrawal of senses and focusing on the interior, settling in here and now, dhayana which teaches us about meditation and all mind practices, allowing us to focus attention on an object or field, and finally samadhi about the state of complete unification at the physical, mental and emotional level of all beings. Samadhi is called the Divine Experience; a state of total happiness, peace and joy, during which the differences between subject and object disappear, the mind becomes completely cleansed and the soul free.
Yoga as Patanjali teaches you how to live well and act in a dignified attitude towards yourself and the world to achieve fulfillment. Through the practice of its eight elements, a man who practices yoga begins the process of focusing on his interior - observation of his own self, physical training and breathing practices, care for good relations with the outside world and other living beings, and ends with the combination of all these elements to finally achieve the state of pure happiness.
Even if all eight function independently, they complement each other and all, in parallel play an important role through the path of a good life. Yoga as a science will convince you that it is not the pursuit of fulfillment, the desire to experience the desired absolute that should be the goal of our life path, but rather the aforementioned path as a practice in itself. Thanks to it, we have the chance to experience, discover and get to know ourselves and the world, teach ourselves and others.
You can and even should ask the question "well, what is all this for?" ... Would it not be easier to move from time to time, come to group classes, unfold the mat in the hallway and do a cycle of greeting the sun before leaving for work? Yes, you can. However, choosing the path to a conscious life, deciding on this journey at some point may turn out that we need to take care of ourselves more comprehensively. We need to take care not only of the body but also the spirit. It is worth starting from small steps, from practicing yoga positions on the mat, by observing your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and the world every day. Practice conscious breathing, train breathing techniques, learn about the subject of meditation and introduce even the simplest to your daily routine, so that you can step by step consciously strive for better self-knowledge and develop your potential to create your own good life.
About the author Basia Baranowska is a yogi, fitness trainer, specializing in the posture training, with a long-standing experience, a lifestyle coach developing in mindfulness. Her passions are traveling and writing. Make sure to check out Basia's website http://barb-coach.com/ and especially her blog. You can also follow her on Instagram @barbcoach_ig and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/b.b.baranowska.
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