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Yoga Education: What is one of the most important objectives during Yoga?

Saravanan

Restorative - Integrative Coach, MS Yoga, Psychology

Yoga Education, Conscious Alignment of Mind-Body with Breath is one of the most important objectives during Yoga. By aligning your body right, you align your mind and energies right. In a way, Yoga is a type of reverse engineering. You use your body to train your mind and energies systematically with guidance.

Life is a continuous movement of Consciousness. Consciousness is life. Yoga is the Practice of Consciousness. Yoga is consciousness in action, Yoga is a practice of Life. Yoga Education is being Coached for all aspects of life.

What is the goal of Yoga?

The primary goal of Yoga is to facilitate aspirants to achieve their current and future goals with ease; Achieve goals in such a way that goal achievement brings more happiness and satisfaction. 

We begin with what you are good at and what you think you should work through. We begin with the obstacles that prevent you from achieving your goals now. We thus deal with the direct life challenges. When you learn to achieve your goals in alignment with the principles of Yoga, the experience of life transforms dramatically.

A pleasant - steady - secure - continuously expansive life could be Yoga Goals.

We begin with goals that are powerful enough to transform your current experience of life. If one needs to work for more hours with focus, grow in one's career then the goal is just that. 

If one needs to shed weight and get back to shape, I have a lifestyle disease like diabetes, hypertension, hormonal imbalance, infertility, disturbed menstrual cycles then rectifying these could be the goal.

If one has a goal of improving work-life balance, improving intimacy in relationships, achieving financial goals, etc these become the goal.

What is the most important objective during yoga?

Once the goal is determined and concluded, the most important objective during yoga is to do yoga as per the instructions given. 

What do we mean by this statement?

Sit straight, with the spine erect and relaxed. As you inhale raise your right arm. Stop just before the inhalation is about to be complete. Complete the inhalation. Hold for a second. Begin to exhale and move your hand down. Complete the exhalation after your hand is at the starting point. Repeat this with the other hand. If you can do only this and nothing else then you have mastered the art of Yoga. 

Yoga is not...

doing complicated postures mechanically, forgetting the breath. Complicated postures, twists are done better in gymnastics. 

Yoga is...

....doing simple postures and movements aligned with conscious breath awareness.

By doing so Yoga as a tool helps to resolve major challenges in life.

Why do have problems in life? 

Why do we experience unpleasantness, fear, anxiety in life?

What are we not able to be happy continuously, unconditionally?

Existentially and fundamentally we are consolidated energy forms. Energy is the most subtle. Energy creates the mind. Both the energy and mind consolidate further to form the body. 

Our system functions at its best when this alignment is proper. When the alignment is proper there is comfort, satisfaction, a sense of expansiveness. This naturally creates abundance and health. when the alignment is not proper this leads to stress in the system as internal homeostasis is disturbed.

The right sequence is energy or the subtle first, physical-material manifestation second.

We have reversed this process unconsciously. We have sought material manifestation compromising the inner energies. This has confused the mind. Yet when one is young at heart, mind, and body there is excess energy with which certain achievements happen. But as one moves from teenage to adulthood and then middle age the quantum of energy supply available at one's disposal seems to be less due to various reasons.

When the body is not aligned properly it first affects the mind. Negative thoughts and impulses prevail. The brain and neurology are affected by the mind. This affects the Endocrine glands. When the neurology and endocrine glands get affected unconscious stress, anxiety and fear dominate the system. 

This leads to wrong perception or judgment, poor decision-making. unconscious and inappropriate choice of behavior and action. This shows up as stress, anxiety, fear, etc. Then it manifests as improper choices in daily life - career, behavior, relationship choices, conflicts in relationships, reduced efficiency in work, etc. This finally shows up as a disease in the body.

With Yoga, we reverse engineer. We start with what is obvious. The body and its alignment. We then bring breath and the spine as the center around which we align the body. This gradually realigns. With regular continuous practice of body-breath-spine alignment, the mind gets aligned. Since breath is directly related to the energy system also the body and spine align naturally with the energy. Experience of life stands transformed.

What is Yoga?

Technically Yoga includes Hatha Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Pranayama, Meditative Practices. 

The goal of yoga, in various forms, is alignment and union. When alignment is proper union happens. Yoga thus is a Union. When union happens you become consciousness embodied. When these three happen with ease, action happens with ease and perfection. The way it was intended to be. Then life happens.

If you sit erect and relaxed with your chin slightly turned up it may become very difficult for you to become unhappy or nurture negative thoughts. when the various parts of the body are aligned and held right both during restful state and movement most challenges in daily life get resolved because perceptive power, clarity, focus, confidence, and sense of positivity prevails. 

What is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha yoga primarily works with the body. Using the body as a tool and reference point, we work the mind and energies.

The body has a specific anatomical alignment. With right alignment, the neurology works right with the right neural chemistry. When neurology works right, then we reverse engineer to get the mind aligned right with the body. When the mind gets aligned thoughts happen right. This supports the energy by removing unwanted energy imprints. 

This leads to energy centering itself with conscious ease around the central spine. 

We cannot see or experience the mind and energy directly. we can see them only by the effect they have on the system.

So in yoga, we start with what is visible and perceptible by the senses alone. So we start with the body. This in essence is Hatha yoga.

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What is the importance of Yoga?

Artificial intelligence determines every aspect of your life. Every move is being mapped by computers that are around us in many forms. Our entire psychology is mapped, directed, and conditioned continuously. We also subject ourselves to external impact by excessive immersion in sources that keep the mind, body, and energies continuously active and agitated. 

To be free, sane, and make the right choices needs a calm, stable mind.  Yoga is a powerful tool that can help us create that.

Yoga could thus be a tool to set you free and make conscious decisions. 

There are many who claim and take to take conscious decisions that can be positive for their life as a whole, but find themselves drifting with their thoughts within a few seconds when they sit to observe their breath. It is true that they make conscious decisions in certain areas of life and that is the reason they have been successful in certain areas of life. Yet the taste of unhappiness still seems to be there as certain areas of life have been compromised.

External sources impact the food we eat, the choices of expenses we make, the careers we choose, and our choices in relationships. Continuous subliminal conditioning happens. Though we are supposed to be more free, happy, and succeed more effortlessly as we grow the reverse is happening. Is it not?

We seem to have more yet. We work more. We have more diseases. We are angrier. More insecure. We make our children's life also more complicated. Yes, only wise parenting can create wise children. Only a healthy, successful, happy adult can create healthy children.

A holistic tool like Yoga thus becomes very important. Yoga education is thus education for life. The most important objective during the practice of yoga is continuously getting back your center. This brings the energy and mind center around the body. The body is the place where life happens. Hence getting it right with the body is important.


What is not one principle taught in Yoga?

If the question is 'What is not one principle not taught in yoga', my answer would be this. 

You are not instructed to achieve no matter what. 

Yoga is a systematic process. We progress from step one to step two. We are dealing with the body. The body is a physical form. The Physical form has limitations. We respect the limitations. So we do not bypass the steps. 

You start with a starting posture. You move to the next posture, the intermediary posture. You then move forward to the next posture. When you come back you come back to the intermediary posture and then to the starting posture. You are conscious throughout the process. 

By being precise, accurate with the physical we give no room for the mind to imagine. This leads to direct experience of the non-physical without any imagination of any kind. 

What is the aim of Yoga?

The aim of Yoga is responsible unconditioning of the mind. Responsible Freedom.

Except for the exceptionally successful people, who are a handful; most of us are conditioned to be directed in life. Being told what to do and what to become, keeps us confused with many internal conflicts. 

Confusion over What is right, what is wrong? What to eat and what not? How to behave? We were forced to comply or cajoled to. This is the source of conflict. 

In yoga, we reverse this aspect. You learn to experience yourself, your choices, the results and make more choices. The ability to become spontaneous and at the same time appropriate is one of the key goals of yoga. 

When that happens you rarely plan. You are steady, perceptive with conscious ease to achieve and live life fully. We may not be able to control external situations, yet your response can be fully under your control. When your response is not under your control. you hope and pray for an ideal external situation. This leads to a permanent state of anxiety. This is what we seek to reverse with proper yoga practice.

The importance of Yoga lies in the fact that you take charge of your body, mind, and energies. Yoga is a process of self-empowerment through self discovery

What is the true meaning of Yoga?

The true meaning of yoga seems to be directly related to the duration and intensity of practice one puts in. 

Maharishi Patanjali stated,  'Yoga is stilling the movements of the mind'

To the degree to which the mind becomes still, to the same degree one can get hold of the meaning of Yoga.

As I had told earlier but for the instructions on how to do and what to do in terms of technique, nothing else is rarely told in yoga. It is left to be learned by individual experience. 

Yoga is a process by which the mind can be stilled systematically. In the process of stilling all the reasons that caused the mind to fluctuate show up. Reasons could be different for each individual. Each has to discover it for oneself.

Scientific progress towards the goal. systematic achievement and not be shortcuts.

One answer could be the Improper alignment of the body and the mind.


Originally published October 14th , 2021