“We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are.”
Anais Nin

What is Yoga? (part 1 of … as many as it takes)


Yoga is a collection of teachings that claim to offer some understanding of the nature of mind. IT does not offer any clear conclusions – instead it suggests some inspiring models that are best assimilated through experience – the practice of Yoga.

Before I go on let me re-iterate one important detail abotu which Yoga is very clear – it speaks about the MIND not about the body!

Yoga suggests that a certain and steady clarity in observation can be achieved when our senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) are not distracting our mind (are contained). With clear observation we are able to graps things for what they truly are. When observation is not clear it is replaced by pre-conceptions of the mind.

When I see Andreea, my partner in life, come home in the evening – am I seeing her as she is arriving or am I seeing her as I remember her leaving in the morning tainted by my own daily experience? 

The mind is a mechanism that can performs functions such as comprehension, memory, imagination. Each of the functions can either perform well or perform poorly and it gets even trickier when they work together – as they usually do in the mind.

Comprehenstion is often checked against memory. When considering whether or not to quit my job and become an independent worker – how can my comprehension rely on memory if I’ve never been independent. At most it can refer to fears that I have about money in my life – and even those memories are not really mine – I inherited them through my father. So what can my mind really tell me about making such a choice in my life?

When they perform well we are endowed with clear perception – the mind is said to be in a state of Yoga. This is achieved by practicing. A correct practice should bring the mind closer to a state of Yoga and over time enable the mind to remain within that state for longer periods. A Yoga practice is not a one time thing – you will not go into a single yoga practice and come out with clear perception.

A yoga practice is a long, uninterrupted process done with a positive and passionate attitude. Don’t bother dragging yourself into or through a Yoga practice – it just won’t work!

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