I’m not sure when yoga became a fashion trend, so much so that the media diligently write about it. One celebrity doing yoga at home and who easily gives the impression of being a goddess; Meghan Markle, His Royal Highness Prince Harry’s girlfriend, looks stunning, hot, and a fine figure, whose good genes come from her mother-a Yoga instructor….
In order to get more readers, the media favors eye-catching cool and advanced poses and some yogis have started to pursue these very challenging styles too. Some yoga images have been edited to show the body in better shape than it is – I.e. flatter belly and back bend. This has resulted in some new yoga practitioners wishing to pursue these gorgeous poses as fast as buying LV bags.
I am often asked, “Does practicing yoga make you feel like a goddess, and how long can we reach this goal?”
My dear friends, to me yoga is a way of life, a philosophy and lifestyle. If we do not really understand the true meaning of yoga, how can we begin this journey?
Yoga originated in India circa 3000 B.C. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, an early Indian yoga scholar, is considered to be the earliest yoga classic of ancient Indian philosophy.
Patanjali expounds on exactly what yoga is and how to attain it or practice it. His method, called Ashtanga Yoga, refers to eight limbs of yoga – as in limbs on a tree.
Yoga has become increasingly popular outside of India and in so many widely varying cultures, and the practice has a variety of schools. However, I have become more pious about yoga Sutra through my years of yoga practice. I have kept thinking on the true meaning of yoga and the implications of eight limbs of yoga.
This is a gradual process. I do feel it a bit challenging but to clarify here I have attached a chart that I would normally use as a management accountant in the hope of expressing it more clearly (see the attached table: (Study Note on Eight Limbs of Yoga).
Like some of yoga practitioners, my initial recognition of yoga stayed on Stage 1. Seriously practice various styles, pay attention to breathing, and enjoy meditation. However, there are some limitations in exploring ways to achieve the unity and tranquility of yoga.
Training as a yoga teacher was the first time I heard of the concept of eight limbs of yoga . The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali guides that the sincere practitioner begins their commitment to the Yoga practice by observing the yamas and niyamas, moral restraints, and observations. These common spiritual traditions include no-violence, truthfulness, no stealing, no lust, no possessiveness, and purity, contentment, austerity, self-study, and surrender of personal desires and ego to Divine Spirit.
Once the body has been prepared through asana and pranayama, the practitioner is ready to move to a more inward experience of Yoga with pratyahara, the withdrawal from the senses. The nervous system has been further purified with a continued practice of pranayama, and habitual mental patterning may have become more passive at this point. So, begins the exploration into inner consciousness that is dharana or focused concentration.
Dharana leads into dhyana, or the deeply meditative state, where the meditator becomes absorbed fully into the experience of the object of focus. The very blessed and ardent practitioner may move into the state of samadhi, complete absorption into the Divine.
No doubt knowing the Yoga Sutra as to have a key for the yoga practice. Each of these limbs offers guidance on how to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Therefore, how to apply yoga philosophy to asana practice and beyond. Stage 3 is my personal studying notes; I am still on the road.
What does It fell like to be a Goddess? Ernest Miller Hemingway, an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist defines true nobility well. “There is nothing noble in being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.”
In my class, other than stressing on the combination of breath and movement, I would also like to share yoga philosophy, inspire students to bring the insight and awareness of yoga into everyday life. As yoga gets internalized in life, the spiritual side of yoga can then slowly be accessed from within.
“Namaste” each time with warm greetings, I may see the changes in students, such as improve their physical condition, become better shape and looking much fresher, especially the self-confidence smiles. This is the best reward for me. Together we achieved a bit of “Samadhi” Happiness.
If you still insist to ask me how long can we reach this goal? I prefer Pattabhi Jois’ words – “practice and all is coming”.