Namaste from Pondicherry, India
Beautiful Ripple Yoga Community!
We have a saying here at the Ashram. Where the mind goes, Prana flows. Prana is energy. Where is your mind? Are you focused on the chaos of daily city life? Are you surrounded by drama? Does your mind constantly race uncontrollably? Does it seem like there is never peace? Are you focused on some form of constant physical discomfort? Are your emotions all over the place? All these questions are common in today’s society; we become mentally and physically conditioned to accept them. Whether it be from the constant barrage of advertising specifically designed to elicit an emotion reaction or the need to constantly multi-task caused by the type of work that we perform to earn a living. The reality is that first and foremost we attract all of this chaos, usually from some form of social conditioning deep in our subconscious. Some of it is deep in our subconscious just from being a human being! And then our mind continually goes to these traumas of the mind, and that is where all our Prana goes.
There is good news, these conditions can all be overcome – with Yoga!
In this week’s lesson, we explore the definition of Yoga, and there are many. These are the definitions as taught by our Rishis and have been used for thousands of years, and will be the two definitions that we will use as the Ripple Yoga community grows and flourishes.
Yoga is a Way of Life. Yoga is not just something that we do once or twice a week where we get together and make different shapes with our bodies to a rocking playlist. Some believe that is yoga, it is not. Our guru calls it “Neoyoga” or “yoga calisthentics”. In either case it is not yoga, it is something that people are calling yoga because they have not been taught correctly what yoga is. Even people that own studios and teach! If we want to call ourselves a yogi, then we must be honest with ourselves about what it is. That means “living it” or “walking the walk” to the best of our ability. This means having awareness in our actions and deeds, and thinking through and making decisions based on right action, right ethics, right time with the right people. It means performing service for others with the expectations of nothing in return. It means striving every day to evolve into the best version of you that you can be. Which brings us to the next definition of yoga!
Yoga is Conscious Evolution. To understand this, we must understand how the brain works. We have 3 primary centers in the brain. The reflexive portion of the brain which is at the base of the skull on the back. This part of the brain controls animalistic functions and behaviors including all involuntary functions such as breathing. Above that is the Limpic system. This is where all of our emotions reside. And on the front of the head behind the forehead is the neo-cortex. This is where our higher conscious exists, our humanness. The purpose of Yoga is to develop the neo-cortex to take over the other 2 parts of the brain, and it has been medically proven to do just that. However, our animal and emotional instinct is strong, this is why we see such drama and emotionalism in the world. This is why we see advertisers and politicians, to name a few, aiming their messaging to this part of the brain. Higher evolved humans wouldn’t tolerate such nonsense!!! As we advance in Yoga, and this does not mean advancing to the ability to a handstand), we increase our conscious awareness of self. The practice of Yoga is the set of tools that allows us to consciously evolve.
Enjoy, keep practicing, keep evolving and so much more to come!! As always if you have any questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.