What is this thing called Yoga?
To most of the people in the Western world it is the “best form of exercise” as described by many a yogi who goes to the gym or yoga studio to get their weekly dose of “feel good”medicine.
According to B.K. S Iyengar, the yoga guru who introduced yoga to the Western world; “Yoga is the rule book for playing the game of Life, but in this game no one needs to lose.
It is tough, and you need to train hard.
It requires the willingness to think for yourself, to observe and correct,and to surmount occasional setbacks.
It demands honesty, sustained application, and above all love in your heart.
If you are interested to understand what it means to be a human being, placed between earth and sky, if you are interested in where you come from and where you will be able to go, if you want happiness and long for freedom, then you have already begun to take the first steps toward the journey inward” (From Light on Life by B.K.S Iyengar).
Most of us, including myself embark/ed on the yogic journey for similar reasons be it health or to be fit or to discover what it really is.
I can only speak for myself when I first started on the journey, I couldn’t wait for the next session. It was challenging, mentally stimulating and an all pervading sense of wellbeing encompassed me. I wanted more of the “good stuff”.
The asanas (poses) helped me to think positive, try things that I thought were difficult and learnt how to face challenges.
It helped me to reassess and evaluate this thing called “fear”.
Fear of letting go of the closely guarded body which I held onto very tightly.
With every asana I leant to slowly but surely let go, this in turn helped me to let go of troublesome thoughts or any type of trivial or intense worry.
I was beginning to realize where this energy and power within me came from to transform myself not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well.It is an incredible inward journey, the benefits far surpasses the physical wellness and the ability to be flexible.
It is indeed a journey of self discovery and the more you know yourself and the world that you live in, the easier it becomes to understand others and be able to relate to all beings with equanimity.