Yoga; a philosophy of life, a way of life

SIS Spa in Spain, Yoga is a philosophy of life

Read what Yoga means to our very own yoga teacher and dearest colleague Marta:

When I was asked to write a blog about yoga, my initial thoughts were, “ Ummm…. What have I got to say about yoga?? It´s like trying to describe the universe in only a few lines”. My second thoughts were, “Ok, but I can only write from my personal and intimate vision of yoga, and maybe this does not fit with what people want to hear or maybe I have it all wrong and I end up confusing readers more than clarifying… and in fact I am sure that I am not the most qualified to be writing about something so significant, feeling and practising yoga have always been enough for me. “There´s no need to over complicate it”, I was advised, “Write what you want, how you want, your own personal vision”.  So here I am, trying to put my ideas and thoughts on paper and at the same time discovering what Yoga means to me.

As a short introduction, I have been practising yoga for over 15 years now and I trained as a yoga teacher, certified by the Yoga Alliance 5 years ago, since then I share my experience by giving small classes 4 times a week. I am trained in classic Hatha yoga and meditation, I believe that you can´t have one without the other and they complement each other to create something unique. Yoga does not exist without meditation.

Having heard all this I am sure that it is now clear that I cannot be objective on this topic and instead speak from within, from my personal and intimate relationship with consciousness and awareness.

For me, Yoga is not the typical staged photo you see of the perfect postures or contortions on the beach, flat tummies and toned bodies, maybe all of this is collateral damage to your Yoga Sadhana (daily spiritual practice, personal and individual sacrifice). Yoga is not fitness.

Yoga is union, union with life, with energy, with the universe, with your consciousness and awareness, with yourself. Yoga is compassion, endless love, reality, dreams, happiness, laughter, music, singing, if you have all of this in your life maybe you live in a state of yoga, of union. Yoga is a path of consciousness and awareness is a quality of consciousness which means that yoga is also awareness of your consciousness! (If this has left you confused think of it more like this: think it through and you will see that it makes sense).

One of the beautiful qualities of yoga is that it doesn´t matter what brought you to it or why, it doesn´t matter if you started because your Doctor recommended it to you after recurring back problems, or if a friend told you about it and as there was a class nearby you decided to sign up, maybe it was one of these stunning sunset yoga shots or even that you just liked the outfit, it really doesn´t matter because the result is nearly always the same. Having got over the initial hurdle of “This all seems a bit weird”, having got over the giggles of finding yourself in such strange positions and thinking, “What I am doing here with all these crazy people!”, and having got over the last cultural hurdle which might lead you to think, “Is this not some weird sect type thing?” Well if you can get over all of that (believe me, you will), this is when the magic starts to happen.

Yoga teacher Marta, SIS Spa in Spain

Some of the physical effects that you might experience when you start practising yoga is that your spine elongates and decompresses which generates a deep sensation of well-being and happiness, so much so that many people leave their first yoga classes feeling like they are floating, and this is just the start of a long journey, over time your spine becomes more flexible, it stays decompressed and your muscles become stronger creating a liberating effect on your central nervous system. I have to say that over time this feeling becomes more blurred and becomes normal and constant in your life, it´s like you don´t even notice it anymore, you just feel good and content.

Further short-term effects are that your general physical condition improves, your joints loosen up, you become more flexible, your muscles become more toned, even those you didn´t even know you had! But all of this is just scratching the surface, as I said before, collateral damage or side effects of yoga.

And inside….

And here comes the really good part, and what makes yoga so profound. Up until now we have been describing the effects of the physical discipline just like you could have with Zumba, Pilates, Step, Aerobics etc and I must say that yoga without consciousness would simply be another sport or physical activity and it is here that we have to focus our attention. Yoga invites us to remain attentive in everything that we do, each small movement is carried out with care, using the rhythm of your breathing as the common thread, each inhalation and exhalation incorporates a movement, breathing and movement become one, without even thinking, it just happens… The simple fact that you become so connected with your breathing produces a deeply calming effect in the mind and it is this distance from the constant traffic of the mind from past to future that helps to alleviate stress and anxiety in our lives.

With time and practice

Your anxieties are calmed as you can become so much more present / conscious in everything that you do, maybe for the same reason the colours around you become brighter. As you become more connected with different sensations you learn how to give your body what it needs, maybe you eat less, maybe you eat more healthily. Without really understanding how or why you start to look for more, maybe you feel that you are missing something and this search inevitably brings you towards mediation and with this new discovery the whole universe is opened up to you, you find yourself, the real you, and it is here that the real journey begins, the connection with nature, with others, with the planet, the universe, with yourself, it is a very intense feeling, and very very real.

Hatha Yoga with Marta, SIS Spa in Spain, Mallorca

Practicing Hatha yoga o postural yoga allows you to embrace yourself, to recognise, appreciate and respect your body (Asana), to tidy /control/ calm your mind by using breathing exercises (Pranayamas), leading you to a state of Pratyahara or abstraction of your senses, complete attention; these new experiences may lead you to something more, finding it in meditation, where you learn initially to develop and expand your capacity of concentration (Dharana), maybe with the use of mantras (Mantra means through the mind), reaching a state of meditation, a state of awareness (Dhyana) and who knows if one day you will reach the state of Shamadi, the ultimate goal of yoga, total connection, total union between the individual and the universe, becoming one in total consciousness.

Yoga is a philosophy of life, a way of life, a commitment to yourself and to the world around you.

Maybe yoga is something like this…

For an overview of all our Yoga programs, click here: http://www.spa-in-spain.com/yoga-holidays/

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We are Spa In Spain, a booking agency for inspirational Spa & Wellness breaks in Spain. We love Spa, we love Wellness and everything which has to do with the theme and we love to write about it!

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