by: Coco B
What is Yoga? There are many things that can describe yoga, but my favorite yoga definition is from the first sutra of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. In this Sutra Pantajali states Atha Yoganusasanam: "Now the exposition of Yoga is being made." It states that mere philosophy will not satisfy us and that we cannot reach the goal by mere words alone. Without practice, nothing can be achieved. So in other words Yoga is now, this present moment.
When the word yoga is mentioned, most people immediately think of some physical practices for stretching and stress reduction. This is one aspect of yogic science, but actually only a very small part. The physical practice of yoga was primarily designed to help facilitate understanding and complete mastery over the mind. This is why the first sutra resonates with me so very often in my everyday life. Many times I have found myself frustrated with things that I literally have no control over. For example, when I find myself in a rush the frustration could be a person driving too slowly or a bank teller taking way too long- the list can go on and on. I find these are the times that yoga can be so transformational, and I remind myself "Yoga is now".
There are many choices on the yogic path, which tend to start with the physical practice and then lead to self realization and integration of spirit. I found the physical practice of yoga after years of failed medications. Many physicians stated, "You have to learn how to live with the pain and discomfort of Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis". They told me that it was all in my head. When a friend of mine suggested I take a yoga class, it was the beginning of my yogic path, my personal journey inward to find the true essence of my body, mind and spirit. The body follows the mind and in fact my body was manifesting what was in my mind.
Yoga can transform your life and is a long- term wellness approach to enlightenment and overall better health. I would encourage everyone to start a yoga practice, whether it consists of the physical practice known as asana, the meditation practice known as Samadhi or the spiritual practice of Raja yoga. Yoga is not a religion, but a practical aid with techniques that may be practiced by everyone- supporting both religious and non-religious world views.
On alternating Wednesday mornings between 8-9am on KUCI 88.9FM "Yogi World" hosts Coco B & Jay share about yoga culture and the fascinating individuals who are transforming the world as we know it.