We know that the ancient system of Yoga has 8 parts to it, per the great Yoga master, Patanjali.
It is also very evident that Yoga and Pilates have become part of the mainstream physical fitness industry. This is now naturally leading all to meditation, as one pursues a holistic approach to well-being. Whether it is Yoga or Pilates, mindfulness or Heartfulness, it is a beginning of a journey – a journey of self-development that starts with the first step of physical fitness. Since the body is connected to how one feels about oneself, the mind begins to get positive. These positive feelings affect everything we think, do and, most importantly, feel – the domain of the heart.
But what does Yoga really mean? What is the fullest extent of Yoga and its benefits to its practitioners?
Yoga means to become one with that which we aspire for or do. Zen in the art of anything exemplifies this aspect of concentration and oneness. Such a concentration is not straining but a skill developed through introspective, contemplative and meditative practices. But in life we need more than concentration. A life well lived by integrating the needs and potential of the body, mind, spirit and soul is a life lived in balance. In this context what does a soul need and have a potential to be? It needs peace and has the potential to become one with the Universe or Ultimate.
As one enjoys peace and aspires for the potential to be realized, a life of balance is paramount. Balance gives steadiness to speed. Once the direction is set, balance is maintained and we move swiftly towards achieving the goal.
Mindfulness or Heartfulness, the practice of meditation is truly the beginning of Yoga in its real meaning. Through meditation one becomes more observant, aware and focused. The meditator has the possibility of improving empathy, compassion, intuition and perception. With an integrated practice, one can also unwind, recharge and align with the noble qualities of one’s heart. So the ultimate goal of Yoga is to achieve this ultimate balance of life and experience the fruit of this balance in one’s life for a long time. In some traditions this is called a state of “Samadhi.”
Welcome, and join us on the Heartfulness International Yoga Day!
June 17 2016