view of YogaBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

An objective view of Yoga will vary from one person to another. When you think of Yoga, what is the picture you see within your “mind’s eye?” Many people still think of Hatha, and its many sub-styles, as the only style around. This is due to the fact that outside India, Hatha Yoga (Union by Physical Mastery), is most commonly seen. Therefore, this is understandable – except there are many forms of Yoga training, and many are much less physical forms that are sometimes misunderstood. Yogic techniques do not have to be practiced in an ashram or on a mat. To be beneficial, Yogic methodology can be practiced anywhere, at any time, in any shape or form.

Just by giving people help, without asking for anything in return, you are practicing Karma Yoga. By praying, you are practicing a Yogic form of Bhakti. Also, by seeking and finding the pure, but unobvious truth, you may be practicing Jnana (Union by Knowledge). As every teacher knows, Yoga literally means “Unity” or “Union,” but each Yogic style has within itself a unique way to achieve the union of mind, body, and spirit. Yogic methodology is non-confronting, non-conflicting, and can be integrated with many physical disciplines and religious practices. Any Yogic style will integrate with other Yogic styles and healing methods.

Teachers “spread the word,” and they teach their personal view of Yoga, but they must teach the more popular physical aspects of Yogic practices, if they want to keep their students and studios. This is why many people get an incomplete picture of a complete health maintenance system for the three aspects of mind, body, and spirit. All three aspects of health are of equal importance, but the physical aspect is more easily realized. People believe in physical perception because they can see, feel, smell, and taste it. The physical result of practice is what a beginner will recognize first. After years of practice, an experienced practitioner recognizes all the aspects and benefits of practice.

Whether you are a beginner, long-time practitioner, or a Yoga instructor, your knowledge will make a difference for the best. Just by showing loving kindness and mindfulness to your friends, co-workers, and family, you will alter this world. Therefore, the proliferation of Yogic practices is a miracle and a gift to mankind. By helping others, you will feel gratification that is helpful to your own mental, physical, and spiritual health. In turn, you, and your actions, will evolve, with loving kindness as your guide. This is the fundamental key to good health and well being: Give to others and you will feel much better about yourself. There is a teacher within all of us, even if you only share the gift of Yogic practices with one friend and an objective view of Yoga practice will vary within each of us.


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