Let’s talk yoga – great expressions from the world of yoga
Why is it important for you to understand?
You can mumble namaste at the end of the class and hurry to the changing room without this blog but I promise you it will feel much different once you know what it means.
You’ll most probably come across the next expressions if you start yoga and this edition of my blog will help you to feel them, grasp them and use them properly if need be.
Let’s start with the basics.
It’s a sanscrit work, meaning unify, connect, yoke.
The word means the unification of body, mind and soul, which is the personal fulfilment but also connection with the divine. According to yogic literature through practicing yoga we get to know our own original self. Have you encountered something more beautiful?
Yoking refers primarily to our attention and conscience, since we can direct and use them for our benefit if we learn to control them.
Say a sentence with yoga.
Since I know what yoga actually means I don’t think of it as stretching.
Mantras are sounds, words, expression or sentences that we repeat at the beginning or mostly at the end of classes. Their other usage is during meditation when we repeat them to focus our attention.
Say a sentence with mantra.
My meditation mantra for today is: I am enough.
Known as om or aum you will hear it often during classes. In yoga they believe this is the sound of the universe, the first sound there has ever been. The whole universe in one single mantra. Repeating it is a way to connect to the universe during your practice. When we make this sound together and it melts into one single vibration you can experience being one with the others and the universe surrounding you.
Say a sentence with om.
Today repeating the om mantra helped me ground to the present and calm myself at the beginning of my practice.
Yoga poses, the elements of physical practice are called this.
Say a sentence with asana.
Downward facing dog is an asana which requires your focused attention to activate your arms and keep your back straight.
Centre of energy. In yoga theory vitality in our body flows through energy channels and where these meet energy centres are formed, these are the chakras. Chakras regulate energy flow making sure it vitality reaches all parts where it is needed. When energy flow doesn’t work right it leads to physical or spiritual illnesses but with breathing exercises and asanas you can restore your chakras. Colours, scents and crystals are also connected to chakras, pure magic isn’t it?
Say a sentence with chakra.
In Chinese medicine chakras are acupuncture points.
Breathing exercises. Prana means vitality, yama means extension. It means the extension of your vitality through breathing exercises.
Say a sentence with pranayama.
Today we’ll learn a new pranayama and this breathing exercise will help you calm down in stressful situations.
Look. Focusing your look on a single point, which can have a calming effect and help your focus during meditation.
Say a sentence with it.
In this pose focus your drishti on your toes.
You’ll hear this typically at the end of yoga classes when we raise our hands in front of our hearts in prayer and bow while saying namaste. It means the light within me bows before the light within you. It is also sometimes referred as acknowledging the divide energy inherent in all of us and all things surrounding us. A connecting force which we tend to forget about but it is common in us despite our differences. This is one of my favorite rituals from the world of yoga.
Enough spirituality Eszter
By now you might know I have a strong attraction to scientifically founded things and in contrast many of the above expressions may seem abstract. I would like to stress here that yoga is not a religion much rather a philosophy and a lifestyle that stems from it. According to my credo if you allow any part of it into your life you’ll experience its wonders and get closer to yourself. The most adventurous self-knowledge journey I’ve ever been on.
When someone still asks me if I believe in chakras, crystals of the energy of the universe that connects all of us I always answer the same. It doesn’t matter if I believe in it or not, it matters if you believe in it or not. If you believe in it and it serves you well then it doesn’t matter that energy channels aren’t visible in your managerial health screening. If saying namaste at the end of your class helps you connect to other people then you shan’t care that this connecting energy is invisible to the eye. It’s how you experience it what counts.