I went on Wikipedia, and I checked what was said about the word yoga. I was pleasantly surprised with the elaborate description which hardly touches the topic of physical exercises, (that’s what most people think of when they hear “yoga”) and focuses mostly on spiritual development. The exercises are seen as secondary – helpers in attaining what really yoga is. The word yoga is from Sanskrit and it means “union” or “to unite”, and it is meant to help the spirit soul who is each one of us, link up to the Supreme Being, God. So, every action that is meant to lead us to rebuild our broken relationship with God, will define yoga. There are many paths of yoga e.g. kundalini-yoga, astanga-yoga, gyana-yoga, karma yoga etc., and they are all present their own way to achieve the same goal. One of these activities is keeping the body in a good condition, so that it helps us attain our goal. This type of activity is called hatha-yoga, and this is what we’ll mostly talk but here. If we understand that we are temporarily present in this world, and we have this body for our vehicle, which we own temporarily, it is very natural that we should take care of it, so that it works properly. I like the analogy about a car. If you have a new car, but I don’t care about it at all, which means I don’t use it properly: I fill it with the wrong petrol, I don’t wash it, don’t change the used parts, but only exploit it, it will soon become a growling, rickety ruin, which will not travel far. The material body has a wonderful self-cleansing system, however, if you give it the wrong “petrol” for many years, poison with bad substances, and don’t give it enough rest, it will very soon pay you back with a sick liver, kidneys and other clogged up body filters. In other words, you’ll get sick with the so called civilization problems so fashionable today. It is not true that the human form is meant for sense gratification. The human body is a very delicate machine: it’s naked, tender, and a lot more vulnerable than the forms of the lower species. Therefore it needs appropriate care: suitable fuel and enough amounts of rest and movement. Only then will it function properly, not making bigger problems to its owner. And when it’s working efficiently, one can use it for various activities meant for this form. We attempt to use our body according to its purpose, which is reestablishing our yoga. We follow an unchanged motto for years: “No eating without exercising”, which encourages (saying forcesJ) one to do at least a 10 minute gymnastics, or if one doesn’t want to exercise, then you can fast even for 2 weeks! :-)
Recently, jogging has gained popularity among us. Right after getting up, we run out to the fresh air, not caring whether it is raining, snowing or the morning sun is shining. Such 20 minute warm up nicely wakes the body up, oxygenates through faster blood circulation, and the rhythmical running causes healing weightlessness of the internal organs and cures many spinal problems. I really recommend it! Maybe we’ll meet somewhere on the route! :-)
But I was supposed to write about hatha-yoga! In the next post on this blog, we’ll present our favorite asanas together with short description of how does the given position affect our body.