A Brief Philosophy Of Yoga
The yogis state that at some stage in our spiritual evolution over many lives we will become dissatisfied with brief, temporary pleasures and start our quest for eternal bliss. Methods to achieve this were developed and perfected by the yogis thousands of years ago. They consider that nature’s laws are so designed that we must evolve. The main mechanism nature uses in the early stages is pain. When we find that relationships, money or alcohol, for example, do not produce happiness or a sense of purpose, we will start looking more deeply into life. Yoga waits patiently for you to reach this stage.
In the later stages of spiritual evolution, pain is no longer needed to spur us on. Each stage of progress produces such peace and happiness that this entices us to go to a higher level of happiness. Thus, instead of pain, reward becomes the prime mover.
What is yoga?
In practice, yoga is an applied science of the mind and body. It comes from the Hindu vedas (scriptures). Practice and study of it help to bring about a natural balance of body and mind in which the state of health can manifest itself. Yoga itself does not create health; rather, it creates an internal environment that allows the individual to come to his own state of dynamic balance, or health. Basically, yoga teaches that a healthy person is a harmoniously integrated unit of body, mind and spirit. Therefore, good health requires a simple, natural diet, exercise in fresh air, a serene and untroubled mind and the awareness that main’s deepest and highest self is identical with the spirit of God. As a result, to many devotees, yoga becomes a philosophy that offers instruction and insight into every aspect of life: the spiritual, the mental and the physical. Of course, because it is all-encompassing, people who want to pick and choose from its smorgasbord can do so without being disappointed. Yoga is equally satisfying as a physical therapy alone.
Yoga is best know as a set of physical practices that include gentle stretches,breathing practices, and progressive deep relaxation. These physical pratices are intended to ready the body and mind for meditation as well as for a meditative prespective on life. These meditative practice also follow a sequence. First developed is the capacity to with draw the senses from focus on the outer world, then, the capacity to concentrate on a meditative subject-a candle flame, a scared oruplifting word or image, or the movement of the breaqth. Finally, and for mopst of us only occasionally, the concentration leads into a wordless and timelesss experience of inner peace. The yoga master describe various subtleties among these states of inner peace, but most of us, at best, achieve moments of this experience from time to time.
Michael Lerner, “Choices in Healing”
Angela LQ (RYT 200hrs Hatha/Ashtanga )