Yoga is not a cult. Neither is it merely about flexibility. And no, chanting ‘Om’ does not mean you believe in Hinduism. It’s not a path to something religious.
It is spiritual. Yoga is philosophical.
There are 3 different types of Yoga practices. Sattvic yoga focuses on the natural things in life. And that we do not feed on the efforts of others. It embodies the qualities of balance, calmness, steadiness, goodness, harmony, and peace. Rajasic stimulates the individual to becoming more energetic via passion, confusion, and ambition. (the diet for this Guna is too hard to resist though). And yes, cannabalism is real in the Aghori tribe in Northern India. (of whom practices yoga too, but just the tamasic form).
While the most common form of Yoga strives towards Sattvic yoga, it’s not wrong for the other 2 to exist. Whatever floats your boat, or their boat. As long as you gain some enlightening and lead your life true to your morals and what you believe helps you then you’re good.
It explains and unravels mysteries of life (that could potentially be explained by science) in the philosophical ways to link concepts together. It is way beyond mere poses. It cleanses your body physically first, and then mentally. It teaches you to be aware of your surroundings (a new level of consciousness), and suppresses temptations, violence, falsehood. It explains life in terms of karma, your past karma, present karma and future karmas. All 3 which affects your life and how its being led. As much as you can control what you do in your current, you can’t control the environment you were born into. And that’s why I think I believe in Samsara and Samskara. Where sometimes things just happen without a reason. And I hope my next life would be smooth-going.
Not to mention the 7 different chakras that ground you to who you are and helps appease those who have been trying at life but nothing seems to work – yes just blame it on your under or over-spinning chakras that you cannot even attempt to control. But even so, it offers an explanation, to appease our innate desire for answers with regard to the unknown.
Yoga is scientific.
It’s all about the body. It corrects your spine and body posture. My back has been pretty straight ever since yoga. It also cures certain diseases or illnesses. Instead of relying on equipment, yoga focuses a lot on how the body utilizes strength, in every nook and cranny of the body. And I think that is beautiful in itself because we should make use of what we have naturally.
You follow different postures and finger positioning (that corresponds to different acupuncture points of the body) to ultimately achieve something good for the body. Like they always say, it’s about the journey not the destination. It’s about consciously doing your best (to the maximum you believe you can achieve at every second. I mention at every second because our limits are always ever so changing, and it really is all in the mind) and not consciously only wanting the best outcome.
In the end
Ultimately I do hope to pass down whatever I’ve learnt to people, and bring a form of enlightenment and another type of higher perspectives into their lives. It would be so good if I could change the common misconceptions of what Yoga is to many who don’t know what Yoga truly encompasses. But first Yoga has to sneak into their life somehow. And hopefully I’ll be part of theirs.