Do you have a question in your mind “WHAT IS YOGA?” Here is the right answer.
“Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees,” says Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar in his famous book- Light on Life. It is a truth that yoga is much beyond than a complete workout.
It is the way of living life. And not just living life, rather, a way of leading a much better life. Yoga helps induce both physical and mental developments in a person so that not only his body but also his mind, soul and quality of life get improved. Here’s a deep study on the question “What Is Yoga.”
Some of us go to the gym to stay fit. Some of us run to stay young. And some of us do ‘yoga’, a workout, a lifestyle, a process of meditation! Though yoga can be defined through many great definitions, we have a tale for you that describe yoga at its best.
Once, during a lecture, a man asked a guru the question about life. He simply asked,” Can you explain the meaning of life?”. The guru took out a tiny piece of mirror and caught a beam of light with the help of that mirror and then, focused that beam of light on the face of that man. The guru asked everyone to notice that he has caught the light and has redirected it on the face of that man.
The guru then explained. The meaning of life “is to gather Light and to take it where it’s needed the most. Your purpose is to capture some Light and take it to some dark place in the world.” And certainly yoga helps us do that! It helps us to think in a better way. It helps us to become better human beings, both physically as well as mentally.
Origin of Yoga
The word ‘yoga’ comes from ‘yuj’ which is a Sanskrit word. It means ‘union’ or ‘bind.’ It is a method of discipline. Yoga finds its base and origin in Hinduism and Brahminism. Sources suggest that yoga got developed in the India’s southern region. The ‘rishis’ or the seers were exploring spirituality.
In this process, they got to live very closely with nature. They got an opportunity to study and analyze nature in depth. This helped them develop self-discipline, intelligence, and elegance. It was from here where yoga originated as a method of life and self-control.
5 Important Principles of Yoga
Many people have experienced that how yoga has become their way of life. Yoga is not only about making different postures. It is much, much more than that. Yoga teaches us lifestyle changes that help us boost our mental health. The yoga lifestyle imbibes valuable principles that guide us for a better social behavior.
The five rules of social conduct in yoga lifestyle include:
non-violence – known as Ahimsa
truthfulness – known as Satya
non-stealing – known as Asteya
faithfulness – known as Brahmcharya
non-greed – Aparigrah
Yoga Helps Us to Lead a More Mindful Life
It is a truth that when we practice yoga for a regular period, we start feeling that we are now living a religious life. The five rules of social conduct, when followed with heart, help us lead conscious life. The reason behind is that when we improve our social behavior, the transformation occurs in our way of thinking. We become more accepting, less critical! We watch our deeds and think mindfully before performing anything.
Yoga helps us become more careful about our deeds.
We become more accepting, less judgmental.
We perform our actions carefully.
Yoga Helps Us Breathe Properly & Breathing is Life – Not Just an Exercise!
Breathing has been given great significance in yoga. Swami Sivananda says that a yogi measures his life by some breaths, not by a number of years! Yoga teaches us conscious breathing. It also teaches us about the speed of breathing and how to breathe. Yoga gurus say that most of the diseases can be treated with the help of right breathing.
Yoga Teaches Us to Concentrate
Swami Satchidananda on yoga lifestyle says, “When you do something, do it with one hundred percent of the mind. Don’t do it halfway. Whatever you do, do it with full concentration. That is Yoga.” And this is the right way to explain what is yoga.
Yoga teaches us to concentrate. When we sit and meditate, we learn to focus. Moreover, more important than that, we learn to focus on our best available capability! Once we start concentrating in its best possible manner, we focus on our best in everything we do. And not just when doing yoga!
Bhagvad Gita says, “Yogaha karmasu kaushalam.” It is a great saying and defines yoga at its best. It means that perfection in your every action is yoga. So when you do any task, do that task only. Forget about everything else. So that’s what yoga teaches us! Therefore, concentration becomes a part of our life.
Yoga Teaches Us Self Discipline
Though yoga can be done at any comfortable time what is important is that you should do it every day at the same time. The reason behind is that your body clock gets set accordingly and helps you learn faster. The yoga lifestyle does not teach you self-discipline all of a sudden. When you do yoga regularly, you start experiencing self-discipline with time.
Yoga helps us learn self-discipline through these simple ways:
It helps us learn self-discipline in our practice – Every day we get up to do our yoga sessions at a set time. We get stuck to a fixed schedule. We perform all our tasks in a way so that our daily goals are achieved in time. Hence, practicing yoga helps us to live life as per a fixed schedule.
It helps us learn self-discipline in our mind – Meditation has been described as the seventh out of eight limbs of yoga. It is told that when you are unable to do yoga asanas, you can meditate, and that will fulfill your yoga practice for that day. During meditation, yoga teaches us to give a halt to our thoughts and then breathe in a soothing, thought-free condition.
It helps us learn self-discipline in our food habits – The yoga experts advise to eat food a little less than your appetite. Also, they recommend eating vegetarian food. Eating less than taste saves us from feeling heavy or sleepy. Again, we get disciplined in our food habits.
Many of you might be having your experiences with yoga. We would love to hear from you on how yoga helped you attain a better life. If you like the answer on “what is yoga”, then write to us and share your thoughts with!