By Sangeetha Saran
Yoga is one of the most ancient forms of spiritual practice on the planet. In essence, Hatha Yoga is a way to combine or bring the mind, body and soul into harmony. Further, it is a mode of exercise and stretching that incorporates the influence and control of breathing techniques to bring the body, mind and soul in a harmonious peace. In addition, people practice Yogic methods as a means of therapy to heal or cure negative thoughts, emotions and feelings. It is in this sense of the definition that makes Yoga a spiritual act.
By spiritual, I mean the act of guiding inner emotions, thoughts, and feelings into harmony with one individual. To be sure, you may see group sessions take place, and in some cases you may even see people gathered in a circle practicing asanas, but one thing is certain in all circumstances of Yoga practice. Essentially, Yogic methodology is an individual practice, a one-on-one session with one’s self. This may seem confusing, but on the whole it is a simple concept to embrace. In other words, Yoga training may seem like a group activity, for instance people go to a class, which readily assumes a group session. This may be true but in reality, Yoga is the practice, not unlike running, for example that is done within the individual.
Moreover, the individual who is practicing Yogic techniques is trying to harmonize inner qualities. By inner qualities, it is generally understood as changing one’s mood, feeling, emotions and thoughts to correspond with a more positive one. Spirituality also signifies a positive interaction or change. In essence, what Yogic methods strive to manifest in the individual is a positive change or reaction with the human spirit. That being said, the emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual landscape of the individual is changed through the process of Yogic methodology.
Many people have commented on the successful attributes of how Yoga has affected and changed their life for the better. In other circumstances you may hear of people who have done Yoga and did not like it and prefer another, more athletic activity, such as running or tennis. However, when was the last time you heard someone say, “I do not like Yoga because it encourages and inspires negative thoughts, emotions, and feelings.” The answer is probably never, because Yoga strives to inspire the opposite reaction, a more positive state of being, which makes it wholly spiritual and worth trying.
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