yoga ideals

If one is to start as a student of yoga, one must be aware of the overall purpose of the science and the sincere goals of the aspirant. Many people start out with only a fraction of an understanding of what yoga is all about, all that it offers, and all that it demands. It is a surprise to know what complete system of culture is offered through these teachings derived from the ancient Vedic philosophy.

Yoga is considered by many to be the oldest natural science, teaching the laws of nature and how to adapt them to the human art of living. Nature must be respected and friend. It is wrong to ever think of conquering Nature. Complying with the natural law is for the yogi synonymous with the Law of God. For each one to live to the fullest potential physically, mentally and spiritually is considered full human maturity and is a valid expectation and goal for all humanity.

Although the origins are obscured in antiquity, the prescribed techniques and guidelines are believed to be as old as human history and culture on earth. It is generally accepted that Yoga as a system developed in India and it is the Indians who have remained the custodians of their wisdom. Although acknowledgment of the Indian source is due, the yoga teachings, however, are not the purview of any one culture or race. Being a natural science, it has no limits, but it is universally available to everyone.

Certain adaptations of ancient techniques must be adapted to meet modern Western cultural needs, but the essence of the teaching remains. It is based on self-discipline and self-culture within a framework of ethical and moral codes. It is to be expected that physical and even psychological training programs will evolve and change, but the uniqueness of the spiritual purpose and also the techniques for spiritual awareness must be maintained, so that the exponents maintain the purity of the system.

The only spiritual goal is to consciously experience freedom from the limitations of life as an individual locked in the cell of his conscious ego and to realize the spiritual limitlessness of his own source in God or Universal Life. Attuned to this power, he then seeks to live a constructive life for the benefit of others.

Patanjali the sage was the author of the written yoga precepts that survive after some 2000 years. Until his time, the teachings were thought to be largely oral and transmitted without book learning, but in a traditional unbroken line from Master to student, or Guru to chela. To these sages of old we owe our greatest respect, as well as to the scholars and sages who have helped us interpret and understand the ancient wisdom.

Although Yoga is most often practiced within the framework of Hindu culture, it is now commonly understood that it has no connection to any religion. Yoga advises the student to follow religious practices according to the sincere beliefs of the individual, whatever may be his natural religion and his native culture. But the higher aspects of yoga develop a universality that is beyond any religion and it is common to find that the yogi is comfortable when he worships in the church or temple of all religions, or none.

The objective of Yoga is to understand both the laws of Nature that govern physical matter and the human body, as well as those that affect the subtle psyche of man and the spiritual aspect of his being. The word “yoga” implies a union or integration of man with harmony within his whole being, body, emotions, mind and spirit-a state which then represents “health”. In a higher aspect it refers to the reunification of the life of the individual with the Whole.

The healthy student who has successfully applied himself to the rigorous tests and exercises to overcome his negative self and to control, develop and then devote the positive talents of his human nature, has attained the first aspect of Union or Yoga. The second phase is to unite his individuality with the Universal Energy Source so that he can make a constructive and inspired contribution to the world around him.

Conscious understanding of yourself, others, Nature and the Universe implies an ever-increasing development of your mind and a realization that extends from the mundane world to infinity. The conscious experience of Universal Energy, Source or God is the ultimate spiritual reward.

We know that Indian sages and Western spiritual saints exist both in historical times and in our own time. Some choose to work in retirement as recluses in ashrams and monasteries. Others choose to work directly among the people and can be found in the many and varied roles they play in human civilization. Wherever they function, these individuals act as human channels for energy of a type and quality that depends on their individual spiritual development and their degree of Universality or wholeness.

In India, some choose to reside on the plains and work among the people, teaching and healing in the ashrams, as the priest does in Western countries. Others have sought the mountaintops as their homes where they can transmit, unimpeded by the mundane contamination of mind and matter, their highest quality energy to the world and humanity.

Wherever man resides on earth, there are yogis or spiritually awakened beings. They have walked the earth in the countries of the east and the west and in all times and eras. His message is always a reminder to us of the value of love, truth, beauty, goodness in the human soul and his reminders are always enough to inspire us to keep striving to cultivate these qualities.

Today we are very aware of the need for a return to these values, and yet we suffer from having few great teachers who exhibit or exemplify these qualities. We have to trust our own integrity. However, it is a natural law that allows that when humanity becomes unbalanced in its development and moves away from the spirit towards materialism and decadence, a great teacher comes to point the way. Many people hope that the new century will bring us a great teacher. Societies in all countries are showing signs of serious problems that prevent peace, love, goodness, beauty and truth from flourishing.

Practicing the disciplines to maintain good health is our personal responsibility assumed by those intelligent enough to understand it and in the yoga system this is known as Hatha Yoga, the beginning of the training when harmonization of the two main energies in the individual. .

Undertaking disciplines to develop healthy emotions is less understood, but equally important so that emotional discomfort and distortions do not plague us. The development of the love principle of devotion is known as Bhakti Yoga.

Mental disciplines to keep the mind free from negative thoughts, destructive tendencies so that creative thinking can occur and the mind capable of realizing the truth are known as Raja Yoga. Brain training is becoming important and many teaching systems exist, although more attention is paid to the principle applied to electronic computers than to the human minds that use them.

But yoga reminds us that beyond the mind is the soul. We rarely use the term in everyday life and it takes a poet to help us remember this most vital part of ourselves. The churches remain unclear and have refused to properly educate us in this regard. To clarify the term soul, we describe the deepest, deepest part of our nature to which we withdraw in moments of great distress or in moments of great happiness. It is that which is beyond the personality of thinking, feeling and acting.

The spirit is higher again. Yogis call our spark of pure spiritual energy and light qualities as our Atma. This spark in each of us cannot be contaminated or affected by all other aspects of our nature. It is beyond our comprehension and conscious grasp except in unusual circumstances.

For the yogi, living spiritually means living with the body, emotions, and mind developed and under control, so that one lives as a soul self, with the spirit-inspired soul self, as an integrated and intelligent whole of the world. to be. Let us now clarify our terms and accept the aspirant as a student of Yoga and reserve the term “Yogi” or “Master” for the one who has reached the goal of perfected man and who is to become a pure channel of Light to the world.

Following Yoga techniques can bring the rewards of a healthier body, happy emotions, a peaceful state of mind, and a successful life.

Discipline yourself to control appetites, build a healthy body with God-given natural foods, control thoughts, and develop mental attributes so that the mind can be strong to guide you toward your spiritual goal.

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