"Yoga is the quieting of the fluctuations of the mind".
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
WHAT IS YOGA?
Yoga is derived from the sanskrit word “yuj” meaning “union”. “Union” with what? Through the practice of Yoga, union is experienced through the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. Union is achieved through experiencing oneness with the universe and all of its creations. The union with love, compassion, awareness, breath and many other qualities. So Yoga is beyond a physical posture called “asana”. It is a way of being that can be incorporated into all aspects of our life if we choose to do so. This is a natural evolution and does not necessarily have to be your intention the first time you sit on a mat or try to do an asana. As long as you are open to experiencing Yoga, your first purpose may just be physical. And perhaps when you experience the physical benefits, you may be curious as to the other facets of yoga. Or maybe your practice will begin and end with asanas. Either way is wonderful, it is your own practice.
What is the Purpose of Yoga?
The purpose of yoga can vary from person to person. Everyone’s personal purpose may be different and that is our specialty. We work with many individuals who may have not been inclined to step foot in a yoga studio but are looking for a transformation in their life. When you type “yoga” into Google, there are many results that are found with individuals in extreme postures and individuals in many choices of provocative clothing. Yoga is the humbling of “ego”, it is not for attention. It is not the competition between others seeing who can do the most extreme posture. It is for everyone to travel their own path and do what is most comfortable. And as long as you practice, you will see your own progress. Yoga is not about attention to clothing or self. This misrepresentation or misunderstanding of Yoga leads many that are searching for a deeper connection or personal transformation to dismiss Yoga as an option because of the way it is commercialized.
Our purpose is to preserve the authentic teachings of Yoga and teach others the essence of what yoga is so everyone can benefit from this practice, whether you are an experienced yogi searching for a deeper connection or you are a novice. Yoga is an eight step path with the ultimate purpose being “samadhi” or union with the universe. This is not something that is achieved overnight but it is important to note what is now called “Yoga” is a reference to the asanas (or postures). The asanas are not the first nor final step of Yoga. So what are these eight steps of Yoga? The first two steps provide a foundation to the asanas, which is actually the third step. If your foundation is strong, then everything that grows from this foundation will also be strong. If your foundation is weak then everything that grows from this foundation may fall. To learn more, please read our article “Yoga: Beyond Asanas”.
Interested in experiencing Yoga and learning how to apply it to your life? Please contact Pura Veda: Center for Ayurveda, Mindfulness, and Archery for more information about your personalized, small group retreat, or if you would like to host a retreat at Pura Veda.
Until the next now, much light, love and peace.
Pura Veda, home to En Light’s Gurukulam, was created to preserve the authentic teachings of yoga and ayurveda for our modern times. We request that you choose modest, comfortable and loose clothing for your yoga, pranayama and mediation classes.