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WHAT IS TRUE YOGA?

 

Yogi Cameron: Hi everyone, this is Yogi Cameron.

Yogini Jaima: And I'm Yogini Jaima.

Yogi Cameron: This is Inspire Living. The topic we're going to discuss is true yoga. Everybody who does yoga is involved in yoga in some way, goes to classes, wants to know, what is true yoga? And this, we really want to talk about it being the origin of yoga. It's not asana. I really wanted to do this piece because so many of you keep asking me, I've been doing yoga for a long time and I keep hitting a wall, or where do I start? I hear you have to do asanas and you have to do all this complicated stuff.

Yogi Cameron: That's not true yoga. True yoga is about where your breath starts and beyond that, so eventually meditation and focusing practices and all of those higher practices, but not asana. Asana today is like a gymnasium. Everybody's kind of bouncing around trying to get into a posture and bend yourself backwards. Of course, if your body is older, you can't bend yourself into all these crazy postures, but that has nothing to do with consciousness. Consciousness is about reaching a higher state of awareness and that's really where yoga is taking us.

Yogi Cameron: So what do we do the postures for? We're doing them to open the body, make ourselves more flexible, stronger, and then we can sit down and we can start to do our breath work. We can do our focusing, we can do our meditation, we can do our mantras and all of those practices, but we need a strong body. So we make ourselves a strong body by doing asanas, but we don't need to do hundreds of them. We just need to do very basic practice. And of course as your body opens up more and more, you can keep going with the body more and more.

Yogi Cameron: But if your body doesn't open up, don't push it. That's not really yoga. So really, true yoga is about being true to this body, healthy, being true to this mind, starting to focus, and then starting to do the higher practices.

Yogini Jaima: Yeah, there's a lot of confusion about yoga and the confusion ranges from people who attend yoga classes to even teachers that are teaching yoga itself. And when you do study in India with a guru, as Yogi and I have been very blessed to have done, and to live there, you understand the origin of yoga. And this goes back thousands and thousands of years ago. And why was yoga created? Because the sages and the [inaudible 00:02:49] of yore saw that we would be suffering in this era that we're living in now.

Yogini Jaima: And yoga was meant to relieve us of that suffering. So yoga was to change the quality of our life, to relieve us from that suffering. How do you change the quality of your life? You change the quality of your mind. So yoga begins actually when you start to do practices that are directly connected to the mind to change the quality of the mind. So there is a range of different yoga systems to practice that can deal with addressing that quality of mind aspect.

Yogini Jaima: Okay? So first you've heard of [inaudible 00:03:36] yoga and karma yoga. These are for people that are more emotional or want to get more active. It takes on a more physical aspect of practice. Then it goes into hatha yoga and then raja yoga. Hatha yoga is where asanas originate from. Hatha yoga has five parts to it. The first is body purifications, called shock karmas, the second is asana, the third is pranayama, fourth is mudra, fifth is vanda. So these last three are breath related practices because breath and mind are directly connected.

Yogini Jaima: The moment that we start to control our breath, the moment that we start to mudras, we start to direct the breath and the prana, the moment that we start to do [inaudible 00:04:34] and bandhas, which are retention, we start to change the brain waves, and alter the brain waves, and expand our consciousness. And then previous two, asana, which is what most are familiar with, is the body purifications because the body needs to be pure in order to then go to the following steps.

Yogini Jaima: So yoga asana, which dominates the western practice of yoga, is but a fragment of the complete science of energy, this science of body and mind that it comes from. But all asanas do originate from hatha yoga. And you have to take in mind that when these practices came into being, they were not yoga flow. That's also not how they trained in India back hundreds of years ago.

Yogi Cameron: The traditional way.

Yogini Jaima: The traditional way. Asanas were held. They became a meditation in their self. In fact, the way that we were trained, when we were put in an asana, [Guda 00:05:38] would walk around and go from student to student to student. You would have to hold that asana sometimes for 15, 20 minutes, 30 minutes. Asana became a meditation. One asana, why? You started then, through asana when you hold the position, to deal with mind because the mind became one point focused. The mind started to slow the brain waves down.

Yogini Jaima: When the brain waves start to slow, you start to experience the alpha waves and this is when the condition of mind starts to change, and thus the condition of your life will start to change. Then you also, after hatha yoga, which deals more with the physical aspect, it moves onto raja yoga. Raja yoga was a complete science by the great sage Patanjali and he took the asanas ... Well, he first started with yama and niyama, which was a code of conduct because how do we live off the yoga mat, everyone?

Yogini Jaima: We experience this peace, we lie in shavasana, we do all these asanas, we lie in shavasana, we feel good for a moment, and then we go for the rest of the day and the days of our life and our practice ends. The sage Patanjali said, "We'll deal with the mind even before starting asana by living a practice of ethics and of conduct that keep your mind in its positive power that's operating in bhuti and a stage of awareness in the days of your life so you're awakening your highest potential of compassion, of patience, of selflessness in the actions that you perform all day long.

Yogini Jaima: Then it goes onto asana, pranayama, [inaudible 00:07:24], breath withdrawal, and then dyana and dharna focus practices and dyana meditation. It's a step-by-step practice that was total and complete. So you start to see how asana is just that one little fragment that we're actually dealing with. So if you can remember one thing, that yoga begins with the breath. So after you've finished with any physical asana practice, begin your breath work because breath and mind are directly connected.

Yogini Jaima: Pranayama means breath control. When you start to control the breath, you start to control the brain waves of the mind. This is when you start to be able to change the quality of your mind and the quality of your days.

Yogi Cameron: Yeah. So there is so much to yoga. Don't get hung up or caught up in-

Yogini Jaima: We could go on about this for a long time.

Yogi Cameron: OH, we will. We'll do many pieces and longer pieces about the tradition of yoga, history of yoga. We teach people this, but when you're looking at your asana practice, your physical practice, just know it's a small part. Don't give it so much importance. Sometimes do it more, sometimes do it less, but the point is, like Yogini said, you're holding those asanas for a long time.

Yogi Cameron: Why? Because eventually, you're going to sit in cross-legged position and sit in meditation for a long time. That's what you're training for. You're training the body so it's flexible. It can sit for long periods of time without aches and pain. If you're in pain and you're trying to meditate, then all your meditation will go on your pain and not on your object of meditation.

Yogini Jaima: This is really about encouraging you to experience the complete yoga practice. Why? So that you will experience it in the days of your life so that it will be happier, more peaceful, more harmonious and balanced, and that begins to then expand your practice beyond asana into breath work and a meditative practice.

Yogi Cameron: Yeah. If you want more information on it, come to our website. You can learn a lot more about it, but the point is, practice. Go into the deeper practices and know that asana is just a tiny bit and get into all the other practices. That's really where consciousness comes your way.

Yogini Jaima: Sure.

Yogi Cameron: Hope it helps you out. Namaste. See you next time.

 

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