Ce este Yoga? / What is Yoga?


योग

[scroll for English]

Ce este Yoga? Primesc intrebarea aceasta foarte des. Sau mai degraba ”Ce e yoga asta?”

Conform definitiei din manualul cursului de instructor de yoga, si definitia care imi place personal cel mai mult, pentru ca prinde esenta acestei practici, yoga este o stiinta veche de mii de ani, care cauta sa aduca in echilibru mintea, corpul si spiritul.

Cum functioneaza mai exact? Ce inseamna asta? sunt alte intrebari pe care le primesc des.

In primul rand, yoga nu este un sport. Subliniez - Nu este un sport. Partea fizica este cea mai vizibila, cea mai usor de accesat si in mare parte din cazuri, prima parte cu care o persoana are contact din tot ceea ce inseamna yoga. Gandeste-te la la posturile din yoga ca la varful vizibil al unui iceberg - sub apa exista exponential mai multa gheata in comparatie varful de la suprafata.

Yoga inseamna mult mai mult decat posturi ce par imposibile. Probabil toate stilurile de yoga din lume (si ”probabil” inseamna ”foarte posibil”) se ghideaza dupa sistemul lui Patanjali sau yoga lui Patanjali. Cine e Patanjali? Este un om care a trait cu peste 2200 de ani in urma si care a fost primul ce a sistematizat yoga. Din milioanele de invatarturi yoghine, el a reusit sa compuna un sistem scurt si simplu, ce curpinde intreaga profunzime a yogai.

Conform lui Patanjali, yoga are opt piloni:

  • Yamas - reguli etice, morale

  • Niyamas - valori interne, personale

  • Asanas - posturile

  • Pranayama - respiratia

  • Pratyahara - retragerea simturilor; canalizarea lor catre interior

  • Dharana - concentratia

  • Dhyana - meditatia

  • Samadhi - uniunea

Yamas sunt in numar de cinci:

  • non-violenta - sa nu faci rau niciunei fiinte. Aste incluzandu-te si pe tine insuti si rasfrangandu-se asupra oricarui aspect al vietii, oricare ar fi acesta. De exemplu, orice gand ca meriti ceva rau sau ca nu esti destul se incadreaza aici.

  • adevarul, non-falsitate. Pe langa adevarul in relatie cu alte persoane, este la fel de important sa fim sinceri si cu noi insine. De cate ori nu te-ai mintit? De cate ori ti-ai spus ca vrei ceva, cand de fapt nu vroiai? Sau ca ai nevoie de ceva, cand nu aveai?

  • sa nu furi. Aceasta este si una dintre cele 10 prounci din crestinism. Multi dintre noi am crescut cu aceasta regula, dar cati o punem in aplicare atunci cand nu este vorba de lucruri materiale?

  • castitate, fidelitate, restrictie sexuala. Aceasta regula pune in dificultate multi proaspeti yoghini, atunci cand o aud pentru prima oara. Ce inseamna mai exact? Mai ales intr-o lume in care sexul vinde si este peste tot? Inseamna sa te respecti pe tine si persoana de langa tine; inseamna sa nu te lasi condus de pofte si dorinte, la fel ca in cazul celorlalte Yamas. Toate aceste infranari ale dorintelor au un scop, pe care il vei descoperi citind mai departe.

  • non-atasament sau detasare. Aceasta este probabil cea mai eliberatoare ca senzatie oferita. Sa nu fii atasat de persoane, de obiective, de vicii, de comportamente, iti ofera un sentiment de libertate neegalat. Nefiind atasat, pacea ta interioara nu poate fi stricata de nimic exterior sau interior. Necesita multa practica si vine la pachet cu toate celelalte Yamas, insa odata ce ii simti gustul, va fi de neuitat.

Niyamas sunt tot in numar de cinci:

  • puritate - curatenia corpului, a gandurilor, a vorbelor. Ce inseamna curatenia corpului? Stii vorba ”corpul meu, templul meu”? Avem un singur corp, care ne mentine in viata si ne ajuta sa ne atingem obiectivele. Trebuie iubit si respectat. Vorba cu templul este cat se poate de adevarata. Aceeasi puritate trebuie sa o avem si in ganduri. Stii legea atractiei, ce gandesti aia primesti? Exista carti intregi pe acest subiect; nu voi dezvolta mai departe. Si puritatea vorbelor - cuvintele ranesc, starnesc, pornesc, creeaza. Au o putere foarte mare. Ai grija ce eliberezi in Univers, pentru ca se va intoarce la tine.

  • acceptare - a tot ceea ce este. Bun, rau, enervant, stresant, deprimant, devastator, sclipitor, imbucurator, iubitor. Nu te lupta cu ceea ce nu poti controla. Si in viata asta nu te poti controla decat pe tine, asta daca esti norocos si reusesti. Accepta, impaca-te cu ceea ce este. Impaca-te cu adevarul.

  • persistenta, perseverenta, austeritate - in tot ceea ce faci, nu te da batut, nu face excese.

  • studiul de sine, introspectia - pentru a fi unul dintre norocosii care se pot controla, nu o poti faci in niciun alt mod, in afara de a te cunoaste. Universul exterior este infinit, la fel ca si cel interior. Nu te teme si scufunda-te!

  • contemplarea lui Dumnezeu, oricare ar fi El.

Acum urmeaza posturile. Dupa toate aceste reguli, apar posturile. Asanele.

De ce acum? Pentru ca dupa ce viata ta a fost pusa in ordine prin aceste reguli (de la care probabil vei calca stramb toata viata, insa important este sa le pastrezi mereu in minte), iar mintea a ajuns la un anumit nivel de liniste si ordine, atat ea, cat si corpul si spiritul trebuie pregatite pentru nemiscare! Exact, nemiscare. Toate aceste posturi sunt menite sa ne pregateasca pentru urmatorii pasi, ce presupun nemiscare totala.

Orice persoana care se va pune pentru prima data in meditatie, nu va avea stare. I se va parea ca il mananca nasul, ca il dor oasele, ca are un junghi, ca il gadila ceva si tot asa. Asta in primele secunde, poate minute, dupa care postura de meditatie va parea ingrozitoare. Corpul, dar si mintea trebuie pregatite. De ce spun si mintea? Pentru ca in posturi, asane, ar trebui sa fim intr-o stare meditativa, prezenti, constienti, absorbiti total in momentul prezent.

Urmatoarea pe lista este Pranayama - controlul respiratiei. La fel ca asanele, respiratia este un domeniu caruia i se poate dedica intreaga viata. Respiratia este legatura noastra cu divinul; atunci cand o primim, primim viata, iar atunci cand o pierdem, ne pierdem si viata. Respiratia influenteaza emotiile, si invers, influenteaza mintea, metabolizarea nutrientilor, sistemul respirator, circulator si sistemul imunitar. Exista o zicala in yoga - controleaza-ti respiratia si vei controla totul. Despre respiratie voi scrie un articol dedicat, in care voi intra mai in detaliu despre importanta ei.

Pratyahara, pe scurt, inseamna retragerea simturilor. Este primul pas spre meditatie. Sa iti retragi simtul auzului si sa asculti in interior; sa iti retragi simtul vazului si sa vezi in interior; sa iti retragi simtul tactil din degete si sa simti interiorul corpului; si tot asa. Si mai pe scurt - sa intrii cu totul in universul interior.

Dharana este concentratia - sa iti concentrezi mintea asupra unui singur lucru, obiect, concept timp de secunde, minute, ore. Incearca sa te gandesti neintrerupt la un mar timp de 2 minute. De cate ori ti-a fugit minte in alta parte?

Dhyana este cea care urmeaza - meditatia. Pentru ea sunt toate celelalte. Yamas, Niyamas, miile de posturi, sutele de tehnici de respiratie, retragerea simturilor si concentratia. Toate aceste ne pregatesc din toate punctele de vedere pentru meditatie. Si prin meditatie ajungem la Samadhi.

Dar nu putem sa meditam direct? Ba da, sunt oameni care pot, insa Patanjali si toti inteleptii yoghini, desi au trait acum mii de ani, cunoasteau natura umana cu toate slabiciunile, defectele, nevoile, dorintele, tentatiile. Asa ca au oferit un sistem prin care prin ani si ani de practica se poate ajunge la obiectivul suprem: constiinta pura, unde totul este infinit si perfect.

Suna abstract, insa nu spune nimeni ca toti trebuie sa ajungem acolo. Dar cu siguranta oricine a incercat cu adevarat sa puna in practica in viata sa de zi cu zi invataruile yoghine, iti va spune ca este mai linistit, mai fericit, mai prezent, mai bucuros de viata.

Nu trebuie sa le faci pe toate, sa le iei in ordine sau sa le respecti cu strictete. Alege ce ai nevoie si incearca sa aplici. Vezi cum te simti.

[English]

योग

What is Yoga?

What is yoga? I receive this question often. Or better said What is this thing, yoga?

According to the definition from the teacher training course, and also the definition which I personally like the most because it captures the essence of this practice, yoga is an ancient science which aims to bring to balance the mind, the body and the spirit.

How exactly does it work? What that means? are other question which I receive often.

First of all, yoga is not a sport. I say that again - it is not a sport. The physical part is the most visible, the easiest to access and most of the cases, it is the first part which a person comes in contact with from all of what yoga means. Think about yoga postures as being the visible tip of an iceberg - under water there is exponentially more ice compared with the tip from the surface.

Yoga means much more then impossible looking postures. Probably all yoga styles existing in the world (and when I say ”probably” I mean ”very possible”) have at the base Patanjali`s system or Patanjali`s yoga. Who is Patanjali? He is sage which lived more then 2200 years ago and was the first to systematize yoga. From the millions of yogic teachings, he managed to make a short and simple system, which contains all yogic wisdom.

According to Patanjali, yoga has eight pillars:

  • Yamas - ethical and moral rules

  • Niyamas - internal and personal values

  • Asanas - the postures

  • Pranayama - breathing

  • Pratyahara - withdrawal of senses

  • Dharana - concentration

  • Dhyana - meditation

  • Samadhi - the union

Yamas are five:

  • non-violence - not harming any being. This includes yourself and it reflects over every aspect of life. For example, any thought about yourself that you are not enough or deserve something bad is included here.

  • truthfulness, non-falsehood. Besides the truth in every relationship with other persons, is equally important to be onest with ourselves. How many times have you lied to yourself? How many time you said to yourself that you want something, when you didn’t? Or that you need something, when you didn’t?

  • non-stealing. This is also one of the Ten Commandments in Christianity. Many of us were raised with this commandment, but how many of us put it into practice when it comes to non-material stuff?

  • chastity, fidelity, sexual restraint. This rule challenges many fresh yogis when they hear it for the first time. What exactly does it mean? Especially in a world where sex sells and is everywhere? It means to respect yourself and the person next to you; it means not letting yourself driven by lusts and desires, just like what the other Yamas mean. All these defections of desire have a purpose, which you will discover by reading further.

  • non-attachment or detachment. This is probably the most liberating as a sensation when put into practice. Not being attached to persons, goals, vices, behaviors, gives you an unparalleled sense of freedom. Not attached, your inner peace can not be ruined by anything outside or inside. It takes a lot of practice and comes packed with all the other Yamas, but once you experience it will be unforgettable.

Niyamas are also five:

  • purity - cleaning of body, thoughts, and speech. What does body cleanness mean? Do you know the saying "my body, my temple"? We have only one body that keeps us alive and helps us achieve our goals throughout life. It must be loved and respected. The saying with the temple is as real as it could be. We must have the same purity in our thoughts. You know the law of attraction, what do you think you get? There are whole books on this subject; I will not develop further. And the purity of words - the words hurt, arouse, start, create. They have a great power. Take care of what you release in the Universe, because it will return to you.

  • acceptance - of all that is. Good, bad, annoying, stressful, depressing, devastating, brilliant, grateful, loving. Do not fight what you can not control. And in this life you can only control yourself, if you are lucky and persevering. Accept and deal with what it is. Get in touch with the truth.

  • perseverance, austerity - in everything you do, do not give up, do not do excesses.

  • self-study, introspection - in order to be one of the lucky ones that can control themselves, you can not do it in any other way than knowing yourself..The outer Univers is infinite, as is the inner universe. Do not be afraid and dive in!

  • the contemplation of God, whoever He is.

Now the poses come. After all these rules, poses appear. Asanas.

Why now? Because after your life has been put in order by these rules (which probably your whole life will struggle to respect but never being able to fully obey, but it is important to keep them in mind), and the mind has reached a certain level of peace and order, the mind, the body and spirit must be prepared for stillness! Exactly, stillness. All these poses are meant to prepare us for the next steps, which implies total stillness.

Any person who will try to meditate for the first time will not be able to sit still. His nose will be itching, his bones will hurt, some parts of the body will be tickling,, and so on and so forth. This in the first seconds, maybe minutes, after which the posture of meditation will become unbearable. The body, but also the mind, must be prepared. Why do I say the mind? Because when in a pose, we should be in a meditative state, present, conscious, totally absorbed in the present moment.

The next on the list is Pranayama - control of the breath. As with asanas, breathing is a domain to which one can devote his whole life. Breath is our connection with the divine; when we receive it, we receive life, and when we lose it, we lose our lives. Breathing affects emotions, and vice versa, influences the mind, the metabolism of nutrients, the respiratory system, the circulatory system and immune system. There is a yoga adage - control your breath and you will control everything. About breathing I will write a dedicated article, in which I will go into more details about the its’ importance..

Pratyahara, in short, means the withdrawal of the senses. It is the first step towards meditation. To withdraw your sense of hearing and to listen within; to withdraw your sense of vision and to see inside; to withdraw your feel of tough from your fingers and feel the inside of your body; and so on. Shortly said - to dive into the inner universe.

Dharana is concentration - focusing your mind on one thing, object, concept for seconds, minutes, hours. Try to think uninterruptedly on an apple for 2 minutes. How many times has you mind fled elsewhere?

Dhyana is the next pillar- meditation. For it are all the above. Yamas, Niyamas, thousands of poses, hundreds of breathing techniques, sensory withdrawal and concentration. All of these are preparing us from all points of view for meditation. And through meditation we reach Samadhi.

But can’t we meditate directly? Yes, there are people who can, but Patanjali and all the yogi sages, though they lived thousands of years ago, knew human nature with all its’ weaknesses, flaws, needs, desires, temptations. So they offered us a system through which over years and years of practice one can reach the ultimate goal: pure consciousness, where everything is infinite and perfect -Samadhi.

It sounds abstract, but no one says we all have to get there. But surely anyone who has really tried to put into practice in his daily life the yogic teachings, will tell you that he is more quiet, happier, more present, more joyful in life.

You do not have to do it all, take them in order or strictly respect them. Choose what you need and try to apply. See how you feel.

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