As published in Le monde au natural health magazine, September 2017
Yoga is a practice widely spread in America today. The yoga studios are multiplying and are found not only in the big cities but also in the region. Yoga was taken to America in the early 20th century by great masters including Swami Vivekananka and Paramahansa Yogananda who wrote the spiritual classic Autobiography of a Yogi. But it was only in the 1970s that yoga became more prevalent in the West with such masters as B.K.S. Iyengar and Sri K. Pathabis Joïs. Although yoga has been practiced for nearly 100 years in america, yoga remains somewhat enigmatic for the majority of the population, the preconceived idea being that yoga is a form of exercise that works flexibility and helps relaxation.
I myself heard about yoga towards the end of the last century when seeing images of Madonna exercising advanced postures of Ashtanga Yoga. I did not know anything about it at the time and I preferred to practice a sport of endurance, the triathlon. But, I must admit, Madonna made me want to try yoga. She had an athletic body and well sculpted and seeing her put her foot behind her head, I thought that yoga could help me in my sport. So I enrolled in a Viniyoga class with a girlfriend because it was yoga available near home and simply for these reasons, improve the appearance and effectiveness of my body. But I discovered a whole other world and the beauty of the business is that without even thinking about it, without realizing it, the practice of yoga has done its work at all levels either at the level of the body sure that has relaxed and strengthened, but also at the level of mind and soul. Yoga, little by little, has become a way of life for me.
THE YOGA PRINCIPLES, HOW IT WORKS
My personal story makes you perplexed? For more rational minds, know that yoga is a science. It is not an esoteric realm or a religion, it is really a method that allows individuals to practice it on a regular basis to have access to their deepest nature. And just practice it a few minutes a day to understand the benefits. The principles and functioning of yoga go back thousands of years and have been preserved thanks to the painstaking and hard work of Pantanjali who wrote the Yoga Sutras 200 years before D-C.
Sri K. Pathabis Joïs, master of Ashtanga yoga, who discovered this technique in the West, said: "Practice, practice, practice, and everything will come to you." What he meant by this phrase, which has become famous in the world of Ashtanga Yoga, is that practice itself brings what the soul desires, a connection with our deep self, inner well-being, positive changes in his lifestyle, what we choose to eat for example and how we interact with others. All this will tell you, by contorting on a rubber mat! Well yes, indeed, and it works!
The benefits of yoga are studied by academic researchers, doctors and psychologists and research has shown that regular practice brings many benefits to the body and mind, including:
Improves respiratory capacity
Increases overall strength
Weight control aid
Improves heart health
Allows to realize the present moment
Promotes inner peace
DEFINITION OF THE YOGA
The word Yoga is a Sanskrit word, a very ancient Indian language, which means connection. The root of the word "yoga" "yuj" (meaning "unity") indicates that the purpose of yoga is to unite us to our highest nature. The most important teaching of yoga concerns our nature as human beings. He affirms that our "true nature" goes well beyond the limits of the human mind and personality, that our human potential is infinite and transcends our individual minds and our sense of self.
So it would be a shame to limit the practice of yoga to a simple form of physical exercise. There are today a variety of forms of yoga. Choose with your heart, leave performance and goals aside, be patient as yoga is a long process and enjoy silence ... because it is in silence that the answers are found.