You sometimes get asked about your yoga devotion and what yoga really is for. The resurgence of Yoga as a personal activity is due to its total approach to good health. However, we must always take note that the true purpose of Yoga is to put a stop to anguish in this life. Yoga is a program wherein a practitioner is free to establish an aware and deliberate method.
Yoga infuses a practitioner with total empowerment. Ending suffering in this world is ideal, although history has shown that somehow or another, humankind seems to always manage to come up with new ways of hurting one’s self.
The various styles of Yoga are unique in themselves. They have one thing in common, though, the pursuit of total health. There is no such thing as the best style because all the courses of Yoga are directed to improvement of mental, spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
A limited view of Yoga sort of pushes one to sort, prioritize and judge every Yoga style. Actually, this is not a rare occurrence, from an untrained mind and narrow comprehension.
With that kind of mindset, just short of ignorance, it is highly probable to fail to be aware of Yoga in its totality. It is quite impossible for a learner to acquire or develop self-discipline without a Yoga instructor to guide him or her.
The raw, untrained mind, called “monkey mind” will never be brought to heel in the absence of the breathing methods of Yoga, called pranayama, and meditation and mantra, called japa. Anyone can embark on a program of Yoga by himself or herself, but this is not a holistic style.
A yoga newbie will be unable to surpass the external characteristics of Yoga. Promoting Yoga to the “ignorant” public calls for its display. However, images of higher levels of yoga postures are quite intimidating to the general public.
The Western world’s image of a Yoga instructor is emaciatedly thin, young, exceedingly pliant, muscular and physically endowed. This is also the same view of the “ignorant” public. Hatha yoga students themselves, are guilty of this same notion. There are even Yoga instructors with a perspective of Yoga limited to a purely physical recreation, akin to gymnastics.
One Yoga lecturer was asked as to the most important physical style of Yoga, to which he replied with the Pranayama.Adding that Yoga is much more than a physical endeavor. Still, the ensuing long explanation on the matter seemed to fall on uncomprehending ears because another opinion was expressed, on the Headstand (Salamba sirsasana) being the most important characteristic of Yoga.
It turned out that that member of the audience hadn’t ever taken any Yoga class at all, because of a fear of having to perform the headstand.
It is very important for Yoga instructors, practitioners and advocates to explain and promote the total health benefits from a consistent performance of Yoga. If not, then the “ignorant” public would just increase in number with their misguided and untrained notions of Yoga.