The Union Of Body and Mind. Yoga along with a variety of postures is not just limited to the body. Today’s hot topic is the comparison of Yoga with Gymnastics. While in reality, they both possess different ways of working on the body. Hence, they both can never be compared. Gymnastics work on the muscular system of our body. Yoga works on the 7 systems of the body. They are not a substitute for one another. You must be wondering, what are these 7 systems of the body. Well, 7 Systems of the body includes your Physical Body, Breathe, Mind, Intellect, Memory, Ego, and Self. Yoga itself means Union. Union of all these 7 systems is what ACTUALLY is “Yoga”. When you are able to find stability within yourself, that is when Yoga has happened. Else it’s just the postures and exercise that was done.
Patanjali was the one who gave this world, the knowledge of Yoga. He has mentioned 8 limbs of Yoga. Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi. All these 8 limbs are not the stairs one after another. NO! All the 8 limbs are connected to another and they develop simultaneously in you. They all go together. Otherwise, he would be said “8 steps of Yoga”. So never misunderstand these 8 limbs as 8 steps. A baby never develops first legs and then arms and then develop the head (But it does happen in Movies but!). Whole development happens simultaneously!
Benefits of Yoga
More the proficiency in 8 limbs, Deeper the state of Meditation that can be attained. Deeper the meditation, deeper is the state of Non-Violence, Truth. Various Postures, when done with proper breathing, become “Yoga Asanas”. Asanas are not just postures but observing the breath as well. Once you take up a posture, you stay for a while in the same posture and relax THERE; Keep Breathing. As soon as you surrender yourselves to that Yoga Asana, the beautiful union of body, breathe and mind happens. That is when your breaths also become Happy Breaths. Patanjali has described 5 Sutras that help you experience yoga in a completely new dimension.
Out of which the first one is “Sthira Sukham Asanam”.
sthira = steady; sukham = comfortable; asanam = posture.. When you let your body stabilize in one posture (for a while!), (keep breathing), You are Erect, Steady and Comfortable at the same time! That is what is the Goal of Asanas to teach us.
So next time when you do Yoga, concentrate on this first sutra foremost all. Sthira Sukham Asanam.