As we understand who we are, where we come from, and what we are moving towards, Yoga illuminates our minds and hearts with light, transformation, union, and love.
Any student who studies with sincerity and humility rediscovers within himself and in the world at large, the existence of an Original Consciousness, a point beyond time and space, a dialogue beyond words, which gives the heart and mind the answers that each individual has been looking for.
Since antiquity, sages and scientists belonging to the greatest traditions on the planet have reported their versions and treatises that have helped human beings in search of spirit and matter. From east to west, reality has been described with a variety of words and metaphors that can fool the mind. However, true intelligence is able to decode the message that lie behind them. In truth, there is a single-faceted reality that every individual can contemplate on and study from his own level of consciousness, in which differences and similarities find a common point in the deep feeling of being.
The reality is one and it can be known through various routes.
Ancient Eastern philosophical scriptures (Samkhya) explain the presence of spirit and matter (Prakriti and Purusha), what is it like when they meet, their relationship to each other and how they are separate.
It’s on the basis of this knowledge that the most relevant schools and philosophical lines find their structure, likewise so does part of science.
The path of Yoga is perhaps one of the oldest of these schools. The word Yoga literally means union or communion.
In the sacred text of the Bhagavat-Gita, which dates back around 5000 years ago, mentions, along with other disciplines, “Ashtanga Yoga.” “Ashta” in Sanskrit means eight and “anga” means parts or components. There are eight components to achieve the goal of yoga, which is the union of the self to the higher self, man to the Cosmos, or in religious terms, man to God. Patanjali’s Sutras explain exactly how to undertake the journey and how to carry it out.
In the course of time, especially in the West, Yoga has been reduced almost exclusively to a physical practice, performing postures that make the body more flexible and that open its energy meridians. Countless ways of doing asanas and several classifications with different names have been developed under these principles.
However, Yoga is one and it allows for the transformation of the mental structures that block us from recognizing who we really are. Patanjali in his second sutra defines it:
“ yoga- citta -vritti –nirodha”
With this transformation we can see reality beyond appearances. It’s a journey back to the roots and occurs when you truly, sincerely desire it. Nobody forces us to meditate; or to understand the world in which we live, the body in which we reside, the ideas of freedom and imprisonment, love and hate, and so on. Man is his desire, he becomes what he wants (Upanishads).
So in addition to the physical practice there are other things to consider, such as adopting a vegetarian diet, not to harming others (ahimsa). Violence is a major obstacle, and we do not mean only the physical but also the subtle, such as hurting someone with words.
So Yoga is not limited to physical work, but also refers to the psychic and emotional ones. Opening our hearts to the Universe or God, we activate a deeper consciousness that helps us clean up the toxic character and emotions that do not enable us to live happily.
False ego, lack of humility, envy, and so on, are aspects that must transform if we really wish light into our lives, allowing us to become responsible human beings that care not just for ourselves but also those around us and the planet at large.
For this reason Yoga was practiced in ancient times and was handed down up to the present because it is a method that works, yesterday, today and tomorrow. In this dual dimension we can only choose to be in balance or imbalance with the governing laws. Yoga is the key for the transition of consciousness from one dimension to another, if practiced in its entirety.
After acquiring the first levels of the discipline, we are ready for the next stages such as absorbing the senses within ourselves, focusing the mind and meditating.
If the mind is not able to concentrate, meditation is not to possible. To promote it, the sages, especially in India, used holy forms, which inspired empathy and reminded practitioners of the inner and outer deity; or the presence of a spiritual master, or the recitation of sacred mantras and names that refer to God, calling His power and presence in the heart in order to contemplate and blend with Him. There are two main ways of perceiving the deity from this earthly level: One is perceived as the Universal Energy, the cause of all Causes, Brahman, what pervades everything and every being, silence over the world, Supreme Ecstasy in which we merge and become.
The other is perceived as the Supreme Personality of the Worlds, the Father-Mother of all what exists, He or She to whom resemble, the Friend of the heart to dialogue and play with and return to eternally in a pure loving relationship (Prema-Bhakti), remaining one in the feeling but being two to be able to give and receive it. (The soul and the Supreme Soul, Atma and Paramatma).
These two perceptions of Reality are both correct (in Sanskrit, it is called “Tattva,” the Truth) and both lead to the same place. Acintya bheda abheda tattva: simultaneous oneness and difference.
The mantras or Divine Names in their sound form lead the meditator in the deepest spheres of consciousness if recited with care and devotion.
There is a metaphysical space at the center of our body, where the soul resides, made of knowledge, eternity and happiness (Sat-Cid-Ananda). Mystics defined it as Body of Light (Sva-Rupa), where our true identity lies. Every being has a unique and unrepeatable matrix, so that everyone is united to the Divinity by an exclusive and original relationship of love.
The way of Yoga it’s not only about the spirit matter but it consider the situation in a large way: as we grow in spirituality we have to grow as human being responsible of ourselves, of the planet where we live and taking care and serve others living entity. Every aspect is included in the science of Yoga.