Yoga as a Path to Transformation

FRANÇAIS PAGE 2 : LE YOGA COMME VOIE DE TRANFORMATION

3 min read

As promised, let me now introduce you to yoga. I will share the history of yoga, how I went to it and how I find it really beneficial to anyone who wants to improve their life and wellbeing.

Yoga is both a physical and spiritual practice originated in ancient India. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit (ancient Indian language) yujto yoke and samadhi – concentration. Therefore, the one who practice yoga wants to connects one body, mind and spirit and go toward liberation. You can find many different interpretations of what yoga is and we can speak about more than 20 different types of yoga, each with its own practice and goals.

As a matter of fact, yoga was originally created in order for one to be able to stay seated longer while meditating. The more you’re comfortable in your body, the more you’re able to stay still and listen to yourself. Originally, Indus practiced yoga in order to grow spiritually speaking. The yogis encourage union with the finite jiva (transitory self) and with the infinite Brahman (eternal self). Brahman is a term used by the Hindus to mean “God”. To say that in another way, yogis want to connect to the inner God everyone holds in their being in order to find peace. Yoga is ancient path to spiritual growth, a system created to rejuvenate the body and prolong life.

For a beginner, I would suggest starting with restorative yoga, which is a very relaxing and grounded type of yoga. Everybody can do it and everybody should do it, because you don’t even have to do the effort or have to use your muscles, you use the ground and the gravity to help you go deeper into the relaxation. Yes, you read well, I’m talking about relaxation, I’m not telling you to force yourself into building muscles. And it is really good for recovery, healing, anxiety, helps you stretch and even practice patience! If you want to build muscles, then there is another type of yoga that is available for you.

In addition, yoga is known to be therapeutic and really good for all sorts of health and mental issues. Studies have shown its effectiveness for back pain, anxiety, schizophrenia, self acceptation, to name a few.

On this subject, I would suggest you to watch the documentary I AM MARIS on Netflix or THE SCIENCE BEHIND YOGA on UpliftTV.

Actually, I think yoga is a very good way to come into contact with your being, with your body. I know there’s a lot of people showing off the postures they’re doing on social medias and I think that’s the opposite of what yoga should be about. Yoga is about working on your impatience and listening to what your body is trying to tell you. It’s a good thing to want to be good at what you do but it’s another thing to help yourself going there.

When you do yoga, you want to be in tune with your breath. As everyone knows, the breath is where life flows, so as long as you breath, you will be able to tune into your body and your dharma (purpose).

Even if your goal is to build strength, you always tune to your breath to be aware of your muscles. The more you do it, the more you’re able to recognise where your body can go and where you want to lead it.

The mind is a calm meditative flow. The more your mind is steady, the more your body will be as well. The mind is a meditative calm steady flow when you do yoga, the body is an expression of that inner state. So here we are, we use this exercise to always build more steadiness in our mind. That’s where yoga is a meditative practice.

The methods used in the yoga techniques cannot be separated from its philosophy. Because yoga is considered to be a practice of psychosomatic exercices. The more you practice the exercices, the more you are inclined to feel the benefits. In the repetition of the movement, the magic arises.

A yoga teacher once told me :

“We’re not here to suffer through the experience but really grow as a result of the experience. Not only growing physically but also growing mentally and emotionally. As you learn to relate to experiences of discomfort, this skill translates directly into your daily life, when you encounter challenging or uncomfortable situations you can remain relaxed there and interact in a much more functional way with the different experiences of your life.”

And that’s what I actually find magical about yoga. Where one comes into the mat, one is dedicated to doing good to oneself. By deciding to show up and just be here with yourself, you come into contact with your own being, discovering what keeps you away from fulfilling your deepest desires.

It’s like an analogy of life, you come into the mat as you would come into your life. Some days you’re lazy and you just want to relax and some days you want to be as good as you can be and build strength. Of course, the more you practice, the more you will find yoga intense, and that’s when you will have to allow yourself to remain relaxed within this intensifying experience. Discomfort is perfectly normal in the context of yoga and in the context of life, if you feel pain, that’s when you know you have to stand back and change your position – or experience if we still talk about life experiences. When having challenging experiences, you learn to breath, to relax with discomfort and learn from it.

Furthermore, I would advise anyone who wants to start this journey to alternate any type of yoga they’re doing. If you want to build strength, it’s good for you to work on your core and always challenge you but it is also good to know when to relax and listen when your body is asking you to stand back. And if you’re doing yoga only to relax yourself, challenging you might be beneficial.

As you move through the body, there is a lot of energy that we are transmuting. We are playing with the energies coexisting with us, breath, life, laughs, tears, gifts, chakras …

Though the body is how you get to discover your spirit. Even faster than reading books. You drop into the very present moment. Mind starts to go away when you’re in the movement part. Naturally you connect with your heart more and the present is what allows your spirit to blossom, because you’re connected with your body and spirit and the mind is not doing this chatter thing. I find moving in general to be one of the most helpful ways to connect to your spirit.

We are made to move, because if we don’t, we fall.

Personally, I know yoga and therefore meditation has been really beneficial to me. I used to have panic attacks, to speak too fast to be understood and to move through life even faster than my mind was even able to articulate. I come to yoga/meditation as often as I can because when I don’t I feel that my body is not in tune with my being anymore. When I start to articulate my movement with my breath, I am able to come back into my true essence, I encounter myself every time a little more. And it is always a pleasure to discover another part of myself. That’s where I find the magic in life. It’s magical to look at a tree when you remember that it was only a little seed in the beginning. And it is magical to see that one can be even better everyday. I used to think that only self-centered persons could think that way but now, I think that it takes courage and maturity to be able to live in peace with oneself.

Here you can find an article about yoga, more focused on a christian point of view https://puricarechronicles.blogspot.com/2018/07/yoga-practice-of-yoga-is-much-more-than.html

Here’s another really good website about yoga if you’re interested to know more : https://www.yogapedia.com/  

I hope this article was beneficial for you and inspired you to start doing yoga – even more.

Don’t hesitate to ask me any questions if you want to know more. You can also propose a subject for a future article.

Stay tuned !

Love

Ben

Want to read more? 

Here’s my article about meditation : Stop Running and Listen to Yourself

Want to know about my next film project?

Here’s my article about my Docu-project : The Internal Change Happening Within and Outside of Us

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