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THE PROMISE OF YOGA - Attainable through the Right Practice.

The physical practice of asanas is so widely recognised as being hugely beneficial for health - a wonderful thing! But it is important to practice all aspects of yoga. If you focus only on the physical, sooner or later you may begin to wonder why you are not feeling as balanced as you would like.

The practice of asanas is like a single strand of hair on a healthy head. Asanas are but small part of this vast science of human wellbeing. Many, many studios of ‘yoga’ claim the practice will give you what it ultimately should, ‘freedom from all limitations’ and ‘harmony for body, mind and soul,’ but the ancient practice and the formative work a student must go through is forgotten.

Naturally, all practices of yoga lead to the transformation of our character, bringing out the better side of ourselves in every situation through awareness, and by adjusting our habits, ideals and expectations. To really cause an inner transformation the teacher must be capable, alert and grounded in their path to truly serve their students, their ability depends largely upon their dedication to the path. In Yoga this always means being connected to a lineage, we can think of it like a university, the lineage is those teachers that have passed down the sum total of the teachings, and whom we remain ever connected to. Learning different techniques and styles and putting them together according to our preference is not yoga at all. 


Yoga is vast, and of the four branches asanas fit into just one of them - Raja Yoga (the Royal path). The branches of selfless service (karma yoga) divine love (bhakti yoga) and knowledge (gyana yoga) don't even touch on the practice of asanas yet each part is an essential element in our development. 

Sequences of yoga postures are put together by Masters who have understood the energy systems and anatomy of the entire human system in a very deep way, the movements then cause an upward direction of vital energy, leading to releases which open the doors of achieving higher states of consciousness in everyday life. 

Even when practiced correctly it wont work if the student is not mentally prepared. This preparation takes the form of developing a certain quality to our lives which helps maintain the inner harmony and balance with all external forces. 

The quality of our life and the clarity of our consciousness is the naturalness with which we observe the Yamas and Niyamas. 


The Yamas (virtues) and Niyamas (more internal observances)
help us understand how to adjust our behaviours in such a way that everything we do, think, and put effort into is for the highest good of our evolution. In effect, following these principles is deeply rewarding, both in our relationships with others and in our relationship with ourself. The amount of time saved when our relations are properly managed is phenomenal.

With the proper foundation, preparation and instruction we will achieve ‘freedom from limitations’ though Yoga. Most often our limitations are those we’ve imposed upon ourselves and haven’t understood how to release, proper yoga instruction gives us the way out. In time we become more gracious individuals and understand how important our life is to others, to ourselves and to nature. What we choose to do from then, is called living with purpose.

By Sadhvi Shivjyoti