I must say that this is a topic I don’t even want to go too deep into. It is just crazy. Let’s just touch the surface, alright? So, what means Yoga again? It means to join. It means union or unity.
Now, someone recently said to me that it is fantastic the way Yoga is spreading all over the globe and that he believes in the power it has to transform peoples’ lives. I took me quite a while to find some words. He was talking very passionate and dramatic about what he thought Yoga was. “Yoga is not a physical exercise.“ I finally interrupted him. As I am also teaching Asanas, he was a bit shocked about my statement. We both enjoyed the open and free atmosphere and so we ended up talking about life and death.
What we call Yoga, the physical exercises, is not more than 200 to 300 years old. Unbelievable for many of you, right? But yes, it is a modern invention which aims to maximize physical health. The idea behind it is: A healthy body is a healthy mind. A super body is a super mind. Und therefore the Asanas are often believed to bring super powers. Yoga teacher training and Yoga courses promise an awakening of a higher energy, spiritual awakening, or call it enlightenment.
The real Yoga, Raja Yoga, or also called Ashtanga Yoga, aims for a highly moral life. Patanjali described with the eight limbs of Yoga a way of liberation from the duality. To join our human consciousness with the universal consciousness. To unchain ourself from the feelings of separation. Besides of regular physical activities (like walking, working, gardening etc.), Asanas haven’t been mentioned in any of the original texts. I couldn’t find anything. Yes, I know this is crazy. What a development? As I said: Yoga means a life in morality.
Now, what happened? How did this art of living got reduced to a daily exercise on a matt? With all my respect, I don’t mean to offend anyone. What has happened is just incredible.
Imagine someone who wants to bake a cake but all he has as ingredients are some baking forms. No flower, no butter, no egg, not even an oven. He calls his baking forms “cake“. He has plenty of them. But they remain empty forms made out of metal or whatever. I know this wasn’t the best example, but you get the point, right?
So you can basically practice your Yoga exercises for the rest of your Life and you won’t awaken any spiritually inside of you. Is that shocking news? Nor will the awakening of a higher energy become into being, the so called Kundalini.
Many people mention an energy arising inside of them – A snake. I have been talking to many practitioners about this topic. So what they are talking about is a certain form of increasing energy to do more mischief. I am serious about this. By eating the right food, practicing breath control and the right physical exercise and so on, you have naturally more energy, right? And that gives people often a feeling of superiority or enlightenment, right? Now they have more energy to be more miserable.
But there is also a totally different kind of energy, that can arise from living a moral Life, according to real Yoga. According to Patanjalis teachings it keeps the mind fresh, young, light and alive. This life supporting energy can only arise when there is absolutely no feeling of a self. Right? The “self“ is in constant conflict (liking, disliking, aversion, craving, creating dualities etc.). There is a constant struggle going on. And as long as this struggle is going on, there is a wastage of energy. Wasted into more suffering. Obviously.
I really feel even weird talking about this topic. This is so banal. It is just that I think that it is important to mention this false-belief and to maybe give some inspiration the one or the other of you who wishes to start a new journey. Honestly and with morality.
Ashtanga – The eight limbs of Yoga by Patanjali. Discover Yoga as a compass to real happiness and real harmony.
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