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This post is also available in: French

photos (1578 of 1628)-1The journey of yoga begins from where you are.  Whether you are strong or flexible, it doesn’t matter.

In the Western world there is a tendency to think that yoga is about bending and twisting, that is, as physical postures only. However, the complete discipline of yoga takes the individual from the gross level of existence to the deepest silence within.

When I came to Art of Living, I was already a practicing medical doctor. I had a basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology and how the body and physiology work.  Yoga added to this knowledge.  It enhanced how I viewed my patients, how I treated them and my own health, and how I cared for people.

Yoga contributed to my own growth as a person, a parent, a spouse, and a doctor. It gave me a depth of understanding of human nature, of the way the physical body works and of the way the mind works, and how to rise above the challenges of body and mind.  The philosophy of yoga helps us understand the workings of the human mind and how the body mind complex work together.

For example, you may have a pain in your body, but that pain also causes a reaction in how you think about yourself in terms of what you feel you can do and cannot do.  That in turn results in feelings and emotions that arise about yourself and about your abilities and capabilities, so now, yoga is not only about the body, but also your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Through your interactions with people your quality of life as well as theirs is affected.

One of the first things you become aware of when doing yoga, is if there is some pain in the body.  This might, for example, be caused by imbalances in physical strength or flexibility.   Whatever is the cause, to take care of this, we need to learn how to correct it, and to stop repeating what is causing the pain. All of this is part of yoga.

When you learn Art of Living Yoga you learn to take care of your body, and you also learn how to deal with pain and with the thoughts and emotions that can arise.  If you can learn to become more understanding and aware of how the mind body complex works, you will be less fearful, anxious or worried, as a result, how you react and interact in personal and interpersonal relationships improves.

The greatest joy is in understanding that what I do or don’t do effects those around me, and that I have a choice of uplifting my self and those around me or remaining in discomfort. If I am able to take care of and have a better understanding of myself then this improves my relationships with others.

That this whole universe, this whole creation is connected is the best celebration in life.  Yoga strengthens and makes the body more flexible, it brings us to a deep state of silence, and it makes us more aware of the interrelationship between body and mind.


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