Yoga is an ancient system for developing our physical, mental, and spiritual potential and achieving health and well-being. It means “union” in Sanskrit because it sees a unity between our body, our mind, and our spirit. It also ensures that we are all connected, that we are one with everything that exists, and that we have the qualities of the universe: love, wisdom, wholeness. The physical yoga is the best known. The body works to be healthy and strong, but seeks to go further: through a healthy body, we seek a clear mind. Tradition seeks harmony because there we can find ourselves. A healthy body and a serene mind reconnect us with that part of us that is wise and infinite. Yoga is a wonderful way of awakening and inner growth.
What is yoga for?
Perhaps the first of the frequently asked questions about yoga. We do yoga for various reasons. To have more vitality. To reduce stress or anxiety. To feel good about our body. To increase our mental faculties. To treat health problems. To maintain good health. To sleep better. For back pain. Out of curiosity. To help us be serene in moments of transformation. For depression. To overcome fears. To increase my passion for life. To have greater self-esteem. To give more meaning to our life. To grow internally. To be more ethical, freer, and more courageous. To feel great.
What would yoga give me?
Yoga holds that radiant health and wholeness are our birthrights. In that sense, yoga is a liberation from the mental conditioning that has taken us away from our true nature. Yoga is a path with many dimensions to return to what we already are. That is why it is not that he “gives” us something. It simply allows us to be full. It allows us to let go and free ourselves from everything that does not serve us. It helps us explore the wonderful potential of our body and mind to transcend them. It allows us to be full, beyond the limited notion of “I” and allows us to experience the luminosity of union with the universe. Although there is talk of discipline, the ultimate goal is to do nothing or achieve anything because everything we seek is in us.
Is yoga a religion?
Yoga seeks unity among human beings. It is tolerant and universal, so it goes beyond cultural, social, or religious differences. It has a transcendent meaning because it is spiritual, but it is not religious because it is not dogmatic. Yoga addresses fundamental questions such as the nature of the world, the essence of the human being, or the meaning of life if you want to delve further into tradition, but it can be approached simply from a scientific and rational perspective as a series of techniques for physical and mental health and inner growth. They can be practiced by all human beings, regardless of their religious tradition or their way of life. Therefore, it does not tell us what to believe or how to live. Each one takes what seems best to you and, if you want to go further, you can make it a lifestyle.
Why so much interest in something that seems so boring?
With each posture we do we show our body new possibilities and we are amazed at how relaxing our mind and expanding our body can change our gaze. What we work on physically is reflected mentally. The postures of recollection give us calm, those of openness, flexibility of mind, firm inner stability, those of balance, harmony, and clarity. It amazes me how yoga extends into our lives. What happens is that it is an integrated work between mind and body, a conscious exercise that does not force or exhaust, that tries not to compete and not judge, that is pleasant instead of devious, loving instead of aggressive, and then becomes a fascinating world that changes our lives. It is a work on ourselves that never ends. In yoga we stand on our heads, maintain balance, bend, we stretch. We do the posture of the cow face, the peacock, the crow, the cat, the dog, the tree, the triangle, and the moon. Yoga is very entertaining and it is also a constant learning process.
Is yoga a fad?
Some people believe that yoga is a sudden fad but the truth is that it is a tradition of more than 5000 years. In modern life, we are generally stressed, devoid of meaning, and guidelines for a healthy, ethical, and fulfilling life. That is why yoga speaks to us. Yoga works the body to reach the mind and our higher self, or “spirit.” So, it is a whole tradition of integral development that includes other forms of yoga such as meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation, positive thinking, attention to the present moment, self-awareness, and ethical living. Only one part of yoga is the postures. Some of these postures, in effect, are stretches, essential for good health. Over time, this stretch makes us more flexible in the body but also more expansive and happier, because everything is connected. Yoga postures are also strength, balance, awareness, and energy that are symbolically translated into our lives.
Am I a good candidate for yoga?
One of the things that yoga teaches us is that anyone can do it because it is a universal practice that seeks something equally universal: health and well-being. Yoga has different practices and different interpretations, which means that there is a great variety and that it adapts to all people. For example, within the main yoga practices meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation, chants, and mantras, or volunteer work. If we speak of physical yoga specifically, the yoga of postures ( asanas), there is an endless range of types of yoga for different bodies, physical states, or personalities. Physical yoga comes from hatha yoga, which is a gentle and leisurely form of yoga, in which each person does what their body allows, without judgment or comparison. A beginner yoga class is suitable for most people who have never practiced yoga and if we have any conditions, there are personalized yoga therapy sessions where yoga is safely adapted and used as part of the treatment.