One of my students told me the other day that he comes to class because he likes to practice yoga asana (the postures) but that he really does it as a means to other things. He is a very dedicated guy, comes regularly and is always centered, even though classes are not as important to him. His comments made me think a lot. Going over our conversation, I remembered something that a teacher said in a lecture I attended years ago: “Yoga is not stretching in Sanskrit” (the ancient language in which all yoga texts were written, currently being used in ceremonies and, according to some scholars, the mother tongue of all Indo-european languages).
Sooo… if yoga is not the physical postures, what is it? and What do we do in a class?
My student was right saying that yoga classes are a “means” for other stuff because, over all, yoga is a path of radical love towards existence and in this context we might approach the practice of physical exercises. As a yogi, be fully aware that your asanas are a small part of your path of self-discovery. They reveal the Divine in you, in each cell of your body and of your no-body. On the other hand, we shouldn´t underestimate yoga classes or think that they lack on transcendence. Each one is an act of consciousness and a manifestation of your union with Totality.
Yoga classes hold more spiritual value than one might think. To start, a class is a ritual in itself and an offering to the Divine. All of them follow a structure, they are infused with symbolism and rhythm. Why do you think that we chant “OM”, breathe with the intention of opening to something bigger, do certain gestures with the hands or finish up with a contemplation?
A yoga class is the recognition that you are primordially a spiritual Being. You do the effort of recognizing yourself as being Light and energy. You see yourself as something more than flesh and bones and, at the same time, the flesh and bones are also pure spirit materialized. Yogis call it sharira, vessel of Divine Light.
A yoga class is a form of meditation. The typical westerner goes through life surrounded by noise, unnatural products and hardly touching the feet to the Earth or dedicating any time to look at the sky. When you go to yoga class you create a wonderful space where you can be here and now. Social demands and expectations leave you for a while and you connect with you soul, always free and full of peace.
Stretching in Sanskrit might not be the totality of Yoga but it feels great!!!
May all beings everywhere be happy and free. May my thoughts, speech and actions serve everyone´s happiness
If you want to receive more info like this, just click the SEGUIR button (it´s free)