Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Universal Laws of Yoga - Part 1

What is Yoga? Why do some religious fundamentalists fear Yoga? What is the objective of Yoga? These questions about the true purpose of Yoga always arise, but the answers are not quite clear. So, let’s get to the heart of the matter.

Yoga is many things and there are many forms of Yoga. For example: Bhakti Yoga (Yoga of devotion) is commonly practiced in India, but is rarely practiced in the West. The most popular form of Yoga in the West is Hatha Yoga (Yoga of physical mastery).

It is understandable that Hatha Yoga and its many sub-styles would take hold in the West, especially on the American continents. Physical mastery, in and of itself, is much easier to absorb than over 5,000 years of Indian culture. The physical aspect of Yoga is the easiest to master, but the study of Yoga is a long journey.

Bhakti Yoga, as mentioned earlier, is the Yoga of Devotion and more emphasis is placed on spiritual and mental health. Religious practices, of any faith, will be much more pronounced within a group of Bhakti Yoga practitioners.

To put it simply, Yoga is the union of mind, body, and spirit for complete health. There are far more benefits to be realized through the constant practice of Hatha Yoga, or any other kind of Yoga, but this is the foundation of “unity.” Physical mastery is constructive and, at the very least, keeps us healthy.

Please bear in mind that all forms of Yoga may overlap in aspects of complete and whole health, but the emphasis within each style will be different. For example: In a Hatha Yoga class, physical, mental, and spiritual mastery may be practiced. The aspects taught depend on the curriculum, the exact style of Hatha Yoga, and the Yoga teacher.

Once a Yoga practitioner embarks on the path of unity, self realization and tranquility are acquired. The Yogic path is filled with many steps before self realization, tranquility, and oneness with God. The following are some of the steps we should take toward self-improvement.

Purify your inner being by freeing yourself from vanity, intolerance, anger, attachment to material, and the ego. We are only human and self-perfection is a difficult road to travel, but we must keep going one step at a time. What do we do when we make a mistake or sin? We pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes, and amend our behavior.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Paul Jerard is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in North Providence, RI. He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. He is a master instructor of martial arts, with multiple Black Belts, four martial arts teaching credentials, and was recently inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He teaches Yoga, martial arts, and fitness to children, adults, and seniors in the greater Providence area. Recently he wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students, who may be considering a new career as a Yoga teacher. http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html

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