Yoga – a continuous happening inside you!

MANY translate Yoga as ‘union’. Please understand, Yoga is not ‘union’. It is ‘uniting’. Yoga is not a noun. Yoga is a verb. Yoga is not an end result. Yoga is a process. As Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga is being what you are without expectations and without attachments.

Yoga is not doing but being. There is nothing to achieve by practicing Yoga! Shocked? Many people have told you that Yoga will cure you of asthma, it will cure you of chronic pain, it will cure you of high blood pressure and so on. Perhaps it does; but not because of what you practice, but because you believe it does. That is why your intention behind your actions is so important in yoga. Yoga unites the mind-body-spirit system. Actually, what unites them is not just the exercises that you perform, but the intention with which you perform them. When you perform an action with a conscious intention, you create a physical memory which gets embedded in your muscles.

So it is essential to start any Yoga practice with a clear intention of what you want from it – health, strength, enlightenment, anything. Before you perform the asanas (physical postures), with full awareness of your intention, visualize the posture you plan to adopt. Go through in your mind every single step of that asana. Then practice that asana. Just by sitting comfortably in any position with your spine erect to allow energy flow, you can derive the result of any asana through intention and visualization. However difficult it is to believe, this is the truth!

Asana -Tune Yourself to the Cosmos

In the yoga world nowadays, the word asana generally means body postures: holding a specific pose while bending the body. Asanas may be popular practice for a number of reasons, including their great physical and mental benefits, and of course for aesthetics. On one level, it is, but asanas have a much deeper meaning and purpose.

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali states:

“sthira-sukham asanam” -Chapter II, v. 46

Paramahamsa Nithyananda translates:

Asanas are steady and comfortable body postures to tune oneself with the Cosmos.”

If you look deeply, any body posture is associated with a state of being, with a particular state of consciousness. For example, can you sleep standing up? And how about lying down in a relaxed way and try to shout angrily at someone. You can’t! The body language changes according to your moods and attitudes. Subtle changes in your body posture will cause a major change in the way you feel.

A small exercise:

Sit straight with eyes closed and the hands in front of you, palms facing up. Just notice how your body feels. Notice the breath.

Slowly turn the palms down. Bring awareness to how you feel now.

Can you feel a subtle difference? This subtle difference is due to the change of body posture.

Sthiram-Sukham Asanam

So, asanas are specific body postures designed in a way so as to reflect the highest possible coherence with the Cosmos. The perfect asana for you depends on you. You will see, in some asanas you will suddenly feel natural, steady (sthira) and comfortable (sukham).

Actually, in a deeper way, sthira does not only mean steady, it means, “which cannot be lost, which has become part of your bio-memory”. It should be natural to be in that posture. If after a few weeks without practice you suddenly realize you cannot perform the posture anymore, then the true quality of sthirahas not been achieved.

Sukham, which is commonly translated as comfortable, is not about cushion luxury! You should be able to be in a posture and feel its effect in your body throughout the day. Every joint should be oozing with nectar, like a sweet feeling of lightness. You can achieve sukham by constant practice, and increasing your ability to stay in that asana.

Respect Your Body

But understand, the practice of asanas does not mean abusing or disrespecting your body. Our bodies are victims of our self-destructive lifestyle. We often overeat and over-stimulate our bodies. Asanas are conscious practices to make you fall in tune with the deepest you, so it can never be against your body.Asanas are about aligning yourself with the highest possible coherence, with the highest qualities of the cosmos. Aligning yourself is levitation, maligning yourself is gravitation!

There are two ways of finding which asanas are best for you:
1) By your own practice, until you find your own sequence, or
2) By the Master’s instruction

In these particular asanas you will align your body perfectly with the super-consciousness, just like a mirror aligned directly with the source of light. This will allow you to tune yourself to the ultimate state of consciousness, and be established in Yoga.

Adapted from Paramahamsa Nithyananda’s Teachings

What is Yoga?

The word yoga, as commonly understood in the West, refers to the practice of asanas or postures. This asana practice known as Hatha Yoga, is the basis from which other schools of yoga developed. More on Hatha Yoga is described in the section below.

Yoga means different things to different people. Perhaps, you are overweight and practice yoga as a form of exercise to have a beautiful physique, or you have an ailment, and look to yoga practice for healing, or you suffer from stress and anxiety, and yoga is your tool to induce mental calmness and peace of mind. You may have unsatisfactory relationships at home and work and look to yoga to improve the quality and depth of your relationships. Or, you may look to yoga to help you find the meaning of your existence. Yoga can help in all these areas as yoga benefits the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components in us.

However, the ultimate goal of yoga is to prepare the body and mind for experiencing the higher states of awareness and consciousness, to open our eyes to new possibilities and new ways of thinking and living. Good health, wealth, peace of mind, contentment and clarity of mind are all the side effects of the regular practice of yoga. It help man find maximal happiness and fulfillment in life, no matter what their religious or belief system may be. The emphasis will be on your personal effort and practice as that will develop your sensitivity and awareness to both your internal and external surroundings.

Yoga is an ancient science, a most valuable inheritance, and essential in today’s society. It is a science to prepare and train the body and mind to experience the awakening of the inner potential bioenergy – the Kundalini Shakti. This Kundalini energy when awakened, will activate the non-mechanical parts of the brain and the deeper strands of DNA, allowing one to experience extraordinary energy, clarity, calmness, creativity, and ultimately, the experience of Completion, Enlightenment, Samadhi, or Nithyananda, eternal bliss. In the process, this energy awakens our dormant powers which will support and guide us to manifest our reality, living creative and fulfilling lives.

The word yoga is also commonly defined as “union”, a union with the divine. It has also been defined as “uniting”. It is the uniting of the Shiva the conscioiusness at the sahasrara, with Shakti, the kundalini energy which ascends up the sushumna to the sahasrara. When this ultimate union occurs, yoga happens.