Lately, I have been reading a lot about Indian scriptures and Sanatana dharma and when we talk about India and its scriptures, the name of Yoga is bound to pop up.
It is something which has been originated in India almost 5000 years ago and has become utterly famous throughout the world.
But what we understand as Yoga is just a drop in the ocean. Yoga is not something we do for 15–30 min daily to keep ourselves fit. Yoga is what we become. our way of life, the very essence of it. How we breathe, how we walk, how we sit, and how we talk and every other facet of life comes under Yoga.
Yoga literally means “union”. Union of what we understand ourselves and what we actually are. Something which doesn’t require any manifestation. Which doesn’t get destroyed unlike every other thing on this planet?
In ancient times, people used to use yoga as a tool to understand the very source of existence. It was one of the most effective ways to understand deeper dimensions of life and consequently attain enlightenment or epiphany.
But since, yoga now has become a hugely lucrative business for people all over the globe. So they have started coming up with different variations of it such as recreational yoga, cycle-yoga, power yoga, or quick fix yoga which are actually unauthentic and funny at the same considering the way people are promoting it.
When we talk about yoga, it is a very broad term. We just can not do a set of exercises for 30 mins and call it a pure yoga. Because Asana — a type of yoga to keep us physically fit and what we call and understand yoga now is just one aspect of it out of many such as self-purification, breath control, moral codes, sense control, concentration, meditation, and Samadhi.
Even Asana are of 84 types categorized in 13 major categories such as Adho(downward), Ardha(half), Baddha(bound), Dvi(two), Eka(one), Parivritta (revolved), Prasarita (spread out),Salamba (supported), Supta(supine orreclining), Upavishta(seated),Urdhva(upwards), Utthita (extended), Viparita(inverted).
Even these 84 further has major variations and tweaks.
The reason why we are talking about the forms of yoga to understand the vastness of it. Downloading an app from the play store and practicing few poses 15 days straight certainly doesn’t make us an accomplished yoga practicer.
Yoga is more of an inner understanding of self. To realize that the material from which the universe and we are made of, is the same. And we don’t necessarily need to go anywhere to feel accomplished and complete as the whole universe resides within us.
There is a reason why in yoga, there was a constant emphasis on keeping oneself physically fit and healthy? and hence several poses had been introduced. Because the penance one requires to go through to achieve the ultimate liberation certainly is not a cakewalk.
And the one who is physically fit and healthy can only transcend the triviality of physicality and progress towards self-realization.
When we try to understand the subtlety of yoga and the way it has been designed by our great ancestors, we could be nothing but wonderstruck because, everything a person requires to transcend all bondages of life and become liberated, has been already considered and the tools(methods) to overcome the impediments or hurdles along the way have been given to apply (or practice).