The time we step on the mat there’s a shift inside us. Worldwide, yoga is seen as both a physical and spiritual practice. However what does that actually mean and how you can increase awareness through Yoga? It means altering the lens inside our mind’s eye. It means making a shift in our physical and mental perception. Yoga postures are only the gate into the gifts that yoga can bring. It’s to create awareness of our current moment that’s simply found within the physical body. Our minds can daydream of mavny completely different places, but pinch your self and you might be immediately brought back to the now.
We step on the mat to leave our every day hustle and bustle, and find peace and quiet. However does this shift happen if the mind is not still or if we’re not feeling physically well? The minute we begin moving through the poses, our minds let go of the chatter and focuses on the quiet transitions, on the sound and feeling of breath filling our our bodies. All this occurs gradually over the course of time and with guidance from a certified teacher. After we reach that place of quiet, an awareness blossoms!
Yoga means to unite, to yoke together, in Sanskrit, an ancient Hindu language. This union is of the mind, the body and the spirit. Consciousness lies within this realm of awareness, removing the veil of ignorance into the self. Many students have written about this connection to self by way of diligent follow of the yoga asanas, by way of contemplation, studying and meditating, all for a similar purpose: to reach a state of being cognizant of our thoughts, words and actions.
The changes are evident fairly quickly as we first discover physical advantages of flexibility, strength and endurance. Then others begin to pop up. We discover that we’re extra tolerant, much less anxious, able to focus more, not stressed, and more open to change and acceptance. These all are advantages of being conscious of how particular we actually are as humans and can create change always and every time. Yoga keeps taking us deeper as we continue examining how the mind works, how we can turn the chatter on and off at will. The mind is merely an action that can be stopped.
Just as we can control our walking, we can stop the thoughts that flood our every day existence. Take a look one day: Sit in silence with your self and listen to what’s happening inside the thoughts. Then attempt to look for the silence behind these thoughts. The physical practice of yoga can prepare us to create that quiet, to have the ability to discover the gaps between thought and breath. When the body is healthy and powerful, we will concentrate on making the thoughts equally as healthy and powerful. Some yogis can stop their heartbeats; some can live without food or water for weeks, months. That is all because of mental control and pure consciousness of their bodies in connection to mind and self.
The more we practice attentiveness to ourselves, the easier it becomes to notice the beauty in living. We enable the limited time we have to infuse us with inspiration for the betterment of our every day lives and appreciate how they have an effect on others around us. The very best part is, anyone can practice yoga.It’s a practice designed to improve life one breath at a time, one pose at a time.
“The nature of yoga is to shine the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body.” — Jason Crandell