Yoga Means Union
… union of our breath and mind, union with ourselves, union with our higher selves, union with the universal self. When we participate in Yoga we participate in the greater Union of everything.
The practice of Yoga has two main aspects to it, asanas and pranayama, both of these work on the mental, emotional and physical body.
Asanas refer to the physical part of the practice, the part where we stretch and lengthen our muscles using different types of postures. Asanas are designed to strengthen our bodies, to release tension in the muscles and joints and to increase the health of the bodily organs.
In our modern society asana work gives us a chance to connect to our own bodies, to use our bodies and to keep them healthy all in a calm manner without the need to fully exert ourselves, like in a gym situation, but rather allows us to tune in to ourselves and work inwards.
By tuning into ourselves we can identify areas where we are stiff and ‘stuck’ and Yoga gives us the tools to be able to heal and work on these areas. Often places where we are stiff can be connected to an emotional issue or problem and again Yoga helps us to release all the emotion that we have locked up inside of us, making us happier by giving us a chance to be fully present and aware and alive in ourselves.
Pranayama works with the breath and uses different breathing exercises to bring the body and mind into a calm and controlled state. Once the body has become strong and stable through the practice of Asana we can use these different breathing patterns to work on the nervous system. By using the breath in different ways the mind can quieten down, stilling the body with it and taking us to a more reflective, meditative state.
Pranayama enables us to withdraw our senses from the outside and look inwards allowing us to connect to what is actually happening on the inside of our minds and bodies. By paying attention to our internal realities the mind will slowly, with time, stop taking part in the dramas that our mind creates and find the peaceful place in the eye of the storm. Pranayama practice is very useful as it can calm a troubled mind very quickly and by creating this calmness we can deal with our emotions and channel them in a positive manner.
Practising Yoga can bring many benefits into our lives, especially in our rushed, hectic , modern way of living. By using asanas and pranayama we can become healthier beings, healthier both physically and emotionally. We can assume responsibility for our own actions and take control of our lives so we can live to our fullest potential.
It’s through the practice of Yoga that we can unite the different aspects of ourselves, our body, mind and spirit. We can find peace inside of ourselves and share it with all beings.