By Rachel Holmes
When we think of yoga, the physical benefits are the ones that most frequently come to mind. In the western world in particular, yoga is thought of as a physical activity that just happens to have emotional or spiritual benefits. In fact, yogic methodology is designed to produce harmonious effects in both the physical and emotional spheres.
While the outer dimension of yoga is a physical one, the inner dimension is a spiritual one. Yogic methods teach us that we are more than our bodies. Yoga training also teaches us that our bodies are an important physical tool, which can help us to reach spiritual heights; with the help of a regular practice.
Human beings are naturally aggressive creatures. We race from one objective to the next, seldom giving any thought to the people around us. While this lifestyle helped us to crawl out of the primordial swamps and survive through our primitive beginnings, it is less suitable for the modern interconnected times in which we now find ourselves.
This innate drive often causes us to forget the true nature of the universe that exists around us and of which each of us is an important part. Yogic techniques bring us back to that realization. While it may seem simple on the outside, at its core, yoga is as awe inspiring an art as any ever developed.
One of the most amazing aspects of yogic methodology is that it forces its practitioners to focus their minds and bodies on a specific task. During this period of deep breathing, stretching and changing positions, our perspectives change. The world seems to become smaller and more manageable.
Additionally as we physically transition from one asana to the next, the world seems to become more connected. Gratitude stems from the recognition of this connected nature. Helped by yoga, we begin to realize that being grateful to others is a function of being grateful to ourselves.
Yoga training reveals an entire world in which to be grateful – Starting with our yoga instructor and our classmates and moving on to our friends and families. Ultimately, yogic techniques help us to understand that even those who we consider strangers offer us something to be grateful for.
True gratitude is an aspiration; not something which is entirely obtainable. In order to acquire gratitude we must constantly reach and stretch for it. Much like the physical reaching bending and stretching found in a yoga school, finding gratitude is both a journey and a goal.
© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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