I was doing Yoga this morning (you should try doing yoga in the morning it’ll make your day approximately 129321x better) and I was reflecting on how much better my practice was because I knew the meaning of the word Yoga. Understanding the root of it helped me experience it more deeply because I knew where to put my focus.
Here’s the definition of Yoga from Yogapedia:
“The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke,” or “to unite”. The practice aims to create union between body, mind and spirit, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness. Such a union tends to neutralize ego-driven thoughts and behaviours, creating a sense of spiritual awakening.”
So Yoga is about aligning your mind, body, and spirit. What are the implications for you? It means you can practice Yoga without having a perfect downward dog. In my experience and as cited in many texts, the act mindful breathing possesses the power to unite your mind, body, and spirit. You can pair mindful breathing with anything, really…
A jog. A seated meditation. Writing an article. A hike. A walk around the block. Sex.
Just focus on your breath going into your body, then hold your awareness in your body. As you exhale, focus on the breath leaving your body. Stay present and observe other thoughts in your brain without letting them take your focus away from your breath.
By focusing on your breath, you bring awareness into your body. Uniting the mind and body. If you want to go a level deeper, you can focus on the space around your body to expand your awareness.
But here’s the point:
- Practicing “Yoga” means practicing to unite your mind, body, and spirit. For me, it’s an essential practice to help generate and maintain positive energy and meaning in life.
- There are a vast variety of ways to practice yoga. The essence is that you’re mindfully breathing and consciously bringing your awareness into your body to observe without distraction from your thoughts. Uniting your mind, body, and spirit.
- The funny thing is, you can be doing “Yoga poses” but not really practicing Yoga if your awareness isn’t focused on your breath and uniting your body and mind.
How do you practice Yoga in your daily life? What opportunities do you have to unite your mind, body, and spirit? Let me know or reflect on these yourself 🙂