How often do you stop to breathe and experience stillness on a daily basis? Is your life solely made up of the crucial yet meaningless patterns: eat, sleep, work, repeat?
If you feel like you’re stuck in this stressful world of constant deadlines and sense a rising tension in your body, maybe it’s finally time to examine yoga as an option.
As well as being a form of exercise for the body, yoga can be a valuable tool for the mind. In fact, My Nation describes how “the word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite.”
The scriptures of yoga describe how its practice “leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, Man & Nature.”
To give you a more solid idea of how your personal consciousness can lead to greater harmony between your mind and body, Dr. Robin Berzin describes her personal path towards her yogic journey.
In her article on Parsley Health, Dr. Berzin reminisces how a chance encounter between her and a cheap yoga class changed her life. Yoga, in more ways than one, has honed her into becoming the doctor she is today, and above all made her fully aware of “being in the present and finding now.”
She describes how after hearing those words from her yoga teacher, “a light bulb went off and I realized I had been walking around with a concrete wall between my head and my body, totally out of touch with my own physical being and needs, seeing my body as a source of stress and something to punish, not something to listen to.”
As a result, her advice to others in similar situations is this:
“If you can get out of your head and into your body instead of ignoring it or punishing it you will find a way to be what you want – for me that’s fit, poised, confident, and comfortable in my skin.”
What about uniting with Universal Consciousness through yoga? Well, according to an article from Thrive Global, this consciousness is actually an “inner presence of a cosmic intelligence… we’ve called God, Brahman, Wakan-Tanka, Tao and many other names.”
However, it remains inaccessible to our thinking minds because we need to specifically tune into it through meditation. This is done by focusing our attention inwards, allowing external distractions to float away.
“When we lose this inner connection, we can often see ourselves as separate from the world and from other people, apparently alone inside the boundaries of our own mind, experiencing the world through the lens of a personal and insecure ego-self.”
However, certain meditative yogic practices enable us to expand our minds, acknowledging this innate interconnectedness between us all. As such, yoga can help us “find a way of seeing the world which helps us care for each other and our planet.”
If you’re aiming to expand your inner consciousness through yoga, our previous article on the ‘5 Benefits of Tsa Lung Trul Khor – Tibetan Yoga Practice of Breath and Movement’ covers several exercises that can help you achieve mental and physical freedom.