The ultimate goal of yoga practice is understanding the true nature of who we are. This can seem abstract--how could we possibly be anything other that who we are?--but it has to do with the ego and the mind's creation of an identity. To realize our true self we strip away the mental constructions and are left only with our deepest "self."
The first step in this process is the body, since we identity our "self" with the body and its actions. So we teach ourselves that our body and its actions are malleable and impermanent. Since they are being controlled by a deeper power, they cannot possibly be the truest form of the self.
We do this by controlling the body with yoga postures and alternating with stillness. This alternation between effort and rest, action and non-action, the posture and not the posture, gradually teaches us that even when we are not doing anything we are still ourselves.
Again, this may seem obvious or abstract, but you may be surprised how hard it is to do nothing. Our minds and bodies are constantly drawn toward action, as if their very existence relied upon it. When we force the body to be completely still we can face something of an existential crisis, fearing that we will cease to exist of we cease to act. This is why alternating action and inaction--the posture and not the posture--is so profound.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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- 5 Reasons To Backbend
- Origins of Standing Bow
- The Traditional Yoga In Bikram's Class
- What About the Women?!
- Through Bishnu's Eyes
- Why Teaching Is Not a Personal Practice