The science of yoga is slowly being embedded into the life of many of us. Thank goodness! More and more entities across the globe are directing towards the science of yoga for healing and transformation evolving into mindful, compassionate, and spiritual selves. However, a majority of them still view the art of yoga as the physical practice of asanas good for cultivating body powers and natural flexibility.
But, the age-old truth is that this 5000-year old discipline was never about contorting the body into perfect poses and backbends. For millennia, the ancient method of yoga has been in practice by the yogis, sages, and seers for experiencing a limitless self. It has been a technique of residing in a realm of contentment and peace.
Even the physical practices of Asanas are designated towards spiritual goals. The performance of Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, and other yoga forms unite the mind, body, and soul leading us towards true self-knowledge.
“The deeper you get into Yoga, you realize it is a Spiritual Practice.”
Discover the Spiritual Side of Yoga.
- Spiritual Upliftment: The sacred Sanskrit threads– the Yoga Sutras that outline the eight limbs imparted down by the great sage Patanjali offer guidelines for fostering spiritual qualities for the individuals to attain inner wisdom and lead a meaningful life. The Chapter II Sutra and Chapter III Sutra contains the eight-limbed practice for clearing the impurities of the body and mind leading the disciple on the path of luminous wisdom to eventually experience profound discernment and clarity (Viveka-Khyateh).
Yamas: The principles governing our attitude towards others and the environment. (Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, Aparigraha).
Niyamas: Attitude towards Ourselves (Shaucha, Santosha, Tapah, Svadhaya, Ishvara Pranidhana).
Asanas: Physical Postures for building discipline and concentration, the essential elements required for meditation.
Pranayama: The breath-control technique for establishing and recognizing a connection between the breath, mind, and emotions.
Pratyahara: The withdrawal from the external world. A conscious effort of delving inside and knowing oneself better.
Dharana: Concentration. The practice of pushing the mind by focusing on a single object. It is the stage that precedes Dhayana.
Dhyana: Meditation. The state of being aware without focus. The mind is calm and higher consciousness develops.
Samadhi: The state of Ecstasy. A profound connection with the divine happens in this state.
- Cultivating Awareness: Balance and activate both sides of the brain, strengthen the inner wisdom, feel empowered to take the challenges of life, and awaken the consciousness with yoga. When practitioners show up on a yoga mat consistently, they slowly develop awareness of what the body is like, how to react to the challenges of life in a positive manner transforming their experiences with the self and those around. The practice of Yoga Nidra can be used for learning the subtleties of life and the dimensions of life that are not explored during waking, dreaming, walking, and sleeping states. Yoga Retreat in India is the way to understand and practice the Yoga Nidra.
- Psychical Positivity and Clarity: Yoga as a spiritual practice aims to cease all the negative thoughts by calming the mind and promoting a positive atmosphere. The holding of the postures through awareness transports our mind into a peaceful state. Additionally, doing Mantra Chanting while in meditation is a spiritual practice of self-transformation. Repeating the divine sounds (Mantras) of OM, OM Shanti, Gayatri Mantra help quiet the aggressive mind and brings it to a present moment. The mantras carry divine energies that significantly benefits the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of the practitioners. Also, the soulful frequency of the mantras alters the vibrations of the life, for good. Spiritual retreats in India focus on Mantra Meditation and benefits of Mantra chanting.
- Spiritual Stretch: During the spiritual retreats in India,the Physical practice of yoga styles consisting of diverse yoga asanas is for physical and psychical fitness for sure, but it is more for spiritual goals that add depth to our practice. Yoga asanas teach us the art of self-compassion, through which the performers can establish a strong connection with the inner being thus leading them to mindfulness. The third limb of yoga asanas of Sage Patanjali is practiced for spiritual care and experiencing each sensation with the consciousness that is highly essential for attaining Pratyahara and Meditation (fifth and seventh limb of Yoga respectively).
- Quiet Mind: Most of the time, our mind is involved in unwanted thoughts instead of simply being in the current moment. And, there are several of them asking the ways to develop calmness and to connect deeper within the self. The yogic practice of Meditation gives us the opportunity to silence the fluctuations of the mind and transport us into the sacred inner space. Meditation teaches us to be aware of our experiences and be grateful. It develops an attitude of gratitude within us, which makes yoga a spiritual practice.
The multiple Yogic Methods are the way to journey the interior path to meet the true self– and that is truly the aim of Yoga.