Is Yoga a Spiritual Discipline?

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Is Yoga a Spiritual Discipline?
Is Yoga a Spiritual Discipline?

Yoga is a Practical Way to Experience Everyday Spirituality

Yoga is more than a means of increasing flexibility. Beyond physical fitness and emotional calm, it has therapeutic benefits. Yoga is fundamentally a spiritual practice.

Yoga has been practiced for centuries, not just for the physical benefits but also for mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. Spirituality can be experienced through yoga practice by a yogi belonging to any religion.

What is Spirituality?

Spirituality does not necessarily mean a renunciation of material wealth or shunning relationships, or abandoning the pleasures of the world, for the life of a saint. Everyday spirituality entails a sense of fulfilment via physical health, mental acuity, emotional harmony, and ultimately financial success. Spiritual individuals see the lack of deep-seated fanaticism or despair, as well as fear or rage expressions. Yoga may assist in navigating the divine within. Spirituality begins with “feeling good” or self-love.

The Meaning of the Word “Yoga”

Yoga means “Union”. Some texts interpret this as the union of the body, mind, and spirit. Some others interpret this as a journey towards the union of the soul of man with God’s soul. Yoga is not solely a set of physical exercises, even though “Hatha Yoga” is the discipline most commonly referred to when Yoga is mentioned. The other branches of Yoga include Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga.

Yoga and Breath

Yoga and breath are like two sides of the same coin. Yoga practice is incomplete without the correct breathwork. It is because breath is also referred to as the life force or “Prana“. Yogic exercises have been carefully designed to awaken the invisible energy centers in the body to ease the movement of prana to all the cells, thus promoting health and vitality. A healthy mind can only reside in a healthy body. A relaxed mind can contemplate the non-mundane. Since thoughts of lower vibrations-like anger, jealousy, frustration, and blame-are out of the range of a relaxed mind, it’s easier to feel practical and personal spirituality during one’s yoga practice.

Can Any Physical Exercise be Considered Spiritual?

Most physical exercises make the practitioner feel good after the workout is complete. For example, resistance training or crunches may not be enjoyable to all when they are being performed, but they bring physical benefits in the long run. Yoga, on the other hand, is both a pleasant journey and a destination. Yoga helps the practitioner feel good and feel God, even as the practitioner eases into the relaxing stretches.

Since it can be tailored to fit any age or level of fitness, it can be considered universal and all-encompassing, which is a chief requirement of anything spiritual. Yoga is inexpensive enough to practice at home with minimum space in its most basic form with some initial training.

Every Yoga Moment is a Spiritual Moment.

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