Yoga means to Unite. Yoga comes from the Sanskrit term, yog. This was anglicized into the word, yoke; An apparatus designed to unite/join together oxen for pulling heavy loads. Yoga is the practice of Unity. This expresses itself in many shapes and sizes. On the physical level, we are uniting the breath with the body. On the psychological level, we are uniting the mind with the body and breath. On the spiritual level, we are uniting individual (ego) consciousness with universal (Unity) consciousness. The practice of Unity is occurring on multiple levels simultaneously within our Yoga practice.
In the West, we generally associate physical asana practice with the term Yoga. Asana literally translates as ‘seat’ in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. We refer to yogic postures and movements collectively as asanas. These are performed in a specific manner, timing, and sequence, often accompanied by music. Yoga asana practice is ancient, dating back many thousands of years. Within recent decades, the scientific community has gained the capacity to study the physiological and neurological effects of Yoga. Through both experiential validation and that of the scientific community, physical yoga practices have been thoroughly and exponentially received by Western mainstream culture. Why? Yoga is undeniably beneficial for our physical health, mental wellbeing, emotional intelligence, self-esteem, and awesome relationships. When you practice yoga consistently, the effects will inevitably flood into the other areas of your life. This is a very good thing.
What is a wave? It’s a unique expression of the One, underlying Ocean. The wave is always the Ocean, and yet it expresses particular qualities and characteristics that are uniquely individual. Just like that, our mind/body individuality is the wave, and Consciousness itself is the Ocean. Our evolutionary journey is about Awakening oceanic consciousness within our individuality. This is the spiritual transformation that is facilitated through and supported by our Yogic practices. From the highest vantage point, when we practice Yoga, we are merging individual (ego) consciousness with universal consciousness. We are transcending (going beyond) our current self to connect with our Self. This evolution of identity, from limited wave consciousness to vast Oceanic consciousness, is at the heart of our Spiritual Yoga practice.
Yoga Is Life
Many practices and modalities fall under the heading of ‘Yoga’. Meditation is a form of Yoga. Breathwork is a form of Yoga. Service to other humans, devotion to deities, one’s personal diet, human relationships, reading, dancing, journaling. These can all be forms/expressions of Yoga. What is your intent when you engage in an activity? How are you using your Awareness and in service of what? Yoga is found anytime mindfulness meets intention. I encourage you to discover and practice Yoga in unconventional moments. When you are listening to someone speak. When you’re making your bed. When you’re running or taking a walk. When you are preparing food. The quality of your attention turns the activity into a Yogic practice. While none of these other activities are meant to substitute your literal Yoga practice, they serve as opportunities to practice Unity throughout the day. Unity with yourself, your Beingness, your activities, your immediate environment, and your community. Yoga is Life if you choose it and practice it. Namaste!