About Yoga

What is Yoga?

--Yoga is Science

Yoga is a means to grasp hold of yourself, the real you, true health, and true happiness with your own hands.  

It is not something which you "learn/study" or something which can be "taught".  
Like a scientist who searches for and discover new laws of nature or truth,
it is something you find out on your own, through your daily routines.

Some people may say that, "then, you won't need a teacher".  

The essential tool in practicing yoga, is the discipline of one's heart.  
As you know, it is not easy to be disciplinary to yourself.
That is why a  teacher(guru) who can guide you in your disciplinary, who understands the student's habits,  state of mind and body is necessary.

--Yoga is Life
Living is Yoga.
In other words, you do not receive a diploma, certificate for "having accomplished this far",  Yoga is something which you start the moment you are born, until you die.  Everyone is practicing yoga on a daily basis, even those who do not go to yoga classes.  

To understand this, please have a look at Yoga Sutra's ashtanga(law of practice).  

1. Yama
2. Niyama
3. Asana
4. Pranayama
5. Pratyahara
6. Dharana
7. Dhyana
8. Samadhi

First, there is Yama (the 5 teachings of what you should not do) and Niyama(the 5 teachings of what you should do).  These rules are about ordinary ethics which are taught at school and at your home.  It is something you always try to abide by in daily life.  

Next, Asana is about posture, Pranayama is about breathing.  As you can see, wether or not you go to yoga classes or not, you are practicing asana and pranayama all the time in your daily life.    

Then comes Pratyahara, which is self control.  Say you have a delicious looking cake right in front of you, but you are trying to stop eating it, possibly because you just had a big meal with a slice of chocolate cake already.  This self control is Pratyahara (control of 5 senses).  You should be practicing this on a daily basis too.

How about the 3 stages of meditation; Dharna(concentration), Dhyana(stronger concentration), and Samadhi(the strongest form of concentration = which is enlightenment).   

First of all, you practice concentration at school and at work.  You need concentration in order to study for the exams and pass them.  

How about samadhi(enlightenment)?   This is about discovering something.  
You must have come across a discovery, become aware of something in daily life, whether it be small or big.  This is samadhi(enlightenment).  

So, in fact, yoga is a practice which is executed throughout your entire life.  
That is why it is most important to do it the right way.  

You might be accustomed to sit in a sofa in a crooked posture, breath shallow in daily life.  
All of this is wrong.  

Also, it is not easy to teach yourself.  For example, it is not easy to teach yourself "not to lie" or "control your senses without stress".  In these cases, you need a teacher to guide you in the right direction.

Yoga classes are a place to learn the "proper" way.  
A guiding tool to keep your mind, posture, breathing and concentration in the right direction. 
It will show you a way to lead a happier easier way of living.  

Next, we shall look at the 5 principals(5P) of Nirmal Yoga.