Yoga is hyped in today's world where people are longing to reconnect and find balance. Therefore it's subject to a wide range of interpretations and different practices.
Classical Yoga tradition, however, is a vast subject of centuries of research in the physical, mental and spiritual domain and the final goal is to release oneself from the misery and pains in life. In this tradition, the "physical part of Yoga" is a way to clean our bodies from disturbances ( physical and mental ) as a preparation for deep meditation ...
But to release our bodies from back, shoulder and neck pain and all kinds of physical and mental problems we don't need to dive into the full exploration of this rich field that Yoga offers as a way to become "Enlightened". When practised in the right way, soon benefits and relief will be experienced. Step by step ...
In Hatha Yoga we use our body as a tool, to become more aware of who we are, the connection to ourselves (body awareness) and our connection to the world around us.
We practise asanas ( poses ) to be able to experience the body deeply and relax in that experience.
The result is a calmer, more relaxed, body and mind and a nervous system that supports a healthy body.
Hatha Yoga, as taught by my teacher, Sharat Arora, is a precise and rational yoga method. By performing certain asanas ( poses ) we allow space and balance in the body.
When this happens we generate proper circulation ( breath, blood, lymph, energy, ... ) in the body and physical tension is released.
As we dive deeper in this exploration we'll soon find out that balance in the body is also depending on balance in the mind. The body is an expression of the mind. A result of how we live, think and feel. Body and mind are intertwined in constant interaction. Body and mind are one.
In today's world we unlearned how to feel and listen to the language of our bodies. We live mostly in our thoughts and are not aware of the constant signals our bodies send us. The core of what we do in Hatha Yoga, is to be able to feel the body and how it expresses itself and relax in it, unconditionally, without any judgement. We challenge the body, but we never exaggerate and stay within the limit of where we are still able to feel, objectively.
The aim never is to make the body more flexible or stronger, it's a result.
When we force ourselves to do certain poses, we can't relax, we're not in the moment, but in a state of trying to "achieve" something and creating more tension.
So HaTha Yoga is really the art of finding balance between "doing/action"(Ha) and "non-doing/letting go"(Tha). This precise and fragile balance brings peace, physically and mentally and thus, connection with the body. Deep connection with the self, leads to an open, healthy and positive connection with the world around us and the relationships we have.
During this process, your breath is the most important parameter. We just observe and feel how it flows in the pose without trying to change anything.
Yoga and meditation can be practised by anyone at any age.
Meditation is to be present in the moment. Being aware of what's happening inside our own bodily structure, physically and mentally. When we learn to do this, unconditionally, like a scientist, not looking for certain outcomes, just observing, focusing, in a rational, objective and nonjudgemental way, the body and mind will start to relax. So the goal of meditation is not to become calm or quiet, it's a result.
When we are Being Connected and really see, feel and resonate with ourselves, each other and the world around us, our bodies, our relationships and the world around us will heal and become healthy again.
But, this is all theory, and there's no reason you should just believe anything you haven't experienced yourself. So let's start to explore for ourselves, in the laboratories of our own bodies. Step by step ...
Find out more about my Yoga teacher Sharat Arora here