Yoga and Spirituality

Yoga is not a religion but science. The science of overall wellbeing, the science of living healthy, the science of mindfulness. It helps you increase concentration, focus and memory. It is a true rejuvenating experience. The origin of yoga dates back to 2700 BC, the time of Indus Saraswati Civilisation about 5000 years ago. There have been evidences of presence of yoga during the pre-vidic period, however during the Vedic period Sage Maharshi Patanjali systemised and codified this science so that this knowledge can be preserved and distributed to future generations. Sage Patanjali played a key role in documenting and yogic practices and preserving the literature.

Yogic literature was further developed during the classical period between 500 BC to 800 AD. During this period Yoga Sutras and Bhagwad Gita came into existence. This period is when Lord Mahavira and Gautam Buddha started to spread awareness about yoga, meditation and self realization. Bhagwad Gita gave rise to the concept of Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga.

There is a huge misconception that yoga is restricted to asanas or postures. However according to yoga sutras only three sutras are dedicated to asanas. Fundamentally hatha yoga is a path to prepare the body to sustain high levels of energy. The process begins with preparing your body, focusing on your breath to attain the path of inner self. While physical fitness and mental health are natural outcomes of yoga, the goal of yoga is far more significant. Yoga is about realization of your inner self. Its about finding the purpose of your existence.  

Yoga does not adhere to any particular religion, belief system or community. It has always been approached as a journey to inner self. The tradition or lineages of guru-shishya (teacher-student) system led the the emergence of various types of yogas like Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma-yoga, Jain-yoga, Buddha yoga, patanjali-yoga and the like.

The mind always swings back and forth in past and future. Regretting the past and worrying about the future. It never stays in the present moment. Anxiety, stress, fear and desire takes control over your mind. Yoga cleanses the body and mind. It keeps you away from negative thoughts. Pranayama is developing awareness to one’s breathing regulating the flow of breath. Pranayama brings calmness and peace to the mind. Thus the body and mind become capable of the journey of inner discovery.

Spirituality, to me is living in the present moment without being distracted about the past and the future. I have seen a massive transformation in myself after I started practicing yoga. Often, I used to get disturbed by trivial things. Series of such unpleasant events led to outburst of my anger, causing pain to my inner self. This left me depressed and de-motivated. I started implementing spiritual learnings of Ahimsa (non-violence), forgiveness, aparigraha (non-possesiveness) I.e. letting go of the grudges, contentment, self-acceptance and connection to the divine. This has given me peace of mind and a blissful life.

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Aditi is a certified Yoga Instructor for Power Yoga from Akshar Power Yoga. She teaches Hatha yoga, Power Yoga, Meditative Yoga and Yoga Therapy. She has experience in teaching and practicing yoga for about 4 years.