Everyone begins yoga practices for different reasons. I originally began yoga after reading Be Here Now by Ram Dass and The Autobiography of a Yogi in the 70’s. Those two books lighted the fire in me. I wanted to learn how to meditate so I could die consciously. I quickly learned that first I had to learn to live consciously and discover what this means in a concrete sense. It is magical when you start to see and understand the workings of the mind and emotional nature from the distance of the ‘witness.’
Your aim and intention for practicing whatever form and style you choose will effect what you get out of your practice.
If you want a flexible and strong body, you will get it. If you want to become conscious of who you are, then yoga has many tools to help you discover the truth of your being. The world of yoga has so much to offer. A healthy body, calm mind and a joyful disposition are simply by products of regular practice. The more you give to your regular daily practice or sadhana, the greater the benefits. Baba Hari Dass writes in ‘Silence Speaks’. “A cotton thread can cut an iron bar if passed over it daily. If you work on yoga, yoga will work on you.”
Remember all classic forms of yoga are sciences that were developed thousands of years ago with the aim of Self realization. Use your own body, mind, heart and spirit as the arena for your own experiments. You don’t have to believe anything the saints, sages or teachers call truth. Check it out for yourself. Question everything!
My friend told me a quote in our yoga class recently that illustrates the above point:
“There is nothing to believe, above all, don’t believe anything: taste it.” – Satprem