Happy International Yoga Day to everyone! 😀
Every year on June 21, the entire world commemorates International Yoga Day. The day’s purpose is to raise awareness about the spiritual and physical advantages of a spiritual and physical practice that originated in ancient India.
In many cultures, the Summer Solstice (longest day of the year) is significant and because June 21 is the day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, it has been suggested as the best day to celebrate yoga day worldwide.
Today, we will discuss some philosophical sides of yoga and try to understand why you must consider taking your yoga beyond asana action.
So, are you ready to get into this?…. If yes…then, let’s get started!
So, What is Yoga Beyond Asana?
Yoga Beyond Asana is not just a daily exercise routine; it’s a philosophy and a way of life.
Yoga Beyond Asana goes beyond the physical practice of yoga and into the deeper aspects of the mind, body, and spirit connection.
It teaches you how to live your life more fully and with more purpose, and it’s a way of living that encompasses all aspects of your life, not just your yoga practice.
Yoga Beyond Asana is about living in balance and harmony with yourself and the world around you.
Also, it helps you connect to your true self and find your unique path in life. Also, it is about living your life with intention and living each moment to the fullest.
Thus, it’s not just a daily exercise routine; it’s a journey towards self-discovery that will change your life forever.
You can read the following perspectives to understand even better, how yoga beyond asana can awaken the true you.
1. Life Lessons: In day-to-day life, focus, ease, and calmness are essential, and we can improve these with our quality of life by combining Asana, Pranayama, and Dharana.
Every yoga asana is referenced from nature, every breath we take enlightens us towards self-discovery and every mental contemplation helps us understand life better.
Thus, yoga is the best way to learn lessons from life.
2. Self-awareness: Do you know what inspires you or what thoughts lead to your downfall?
Well, if you destroy the first self-defeating notion that comes to mind, life can be a lot easier, and this can only be done via self-awareness.
Self-awareness is necessary for cultivating growth and knowledge of oneself, which can be easily achieved with regular mindful yogic meditation.
3. Enhances your relationships with self as well as others: You can learn a LOT by listening to the significant people in your life, by practicing being silent with yourself during any type of meditation, or by paying attention to the slightest physical and emotional sensations as they emerge.
You’ll start to genuinely pay attention to what people are saying rather than becoming sidetracked or interjecting your thoughts or opinions.
You could even catch things that are left unsaid. This will significantly improve your relationships with people, not only your fellow yogis or even people. You’ll start putting the Ahimsa principle into practice and living it.
Why You Should Take Your Yoga Beyond Asana Practice?
When most of us hear the word yoga, we think of the physical aspect of the practice, the poses.
Regarding yoga, our physical practice, also known as asana, is just the tip of the iceberg.
While these physical asanas, postures, and shapes make us feel great, get our blood flowing, engage our muscles, and frequently tempt our minds, but they aren’t the only method to improve your health and expand your horizons with yoga.
It is vividly reflected in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which deal with yoga practice. Only three of Patanjali’s 196 sutras (aphorisms) deal with postures (asanas).
Hence proved that yoga is much more than just a form of physical exercise.
3 Ways to Practice Yoga Beyond Asanas
Observing the self when it is uncomfortable turns out to be a really useful technique when we start to develop our physical practice.
You can start the self-observation practice with a deep breathing exercise.
Observe while having empathy. Be kind to yourself; this is not an easy task.
Consider taking a step back and examining your actions and reactions without bias or connection to a particular result.
You will gain a better understanding of how to alter or modify your actions going forward by being a witness to your own.
Many of us naturally avoid or have negative reactions to feel when we are actually forced to be more thoughtful or start to focus on our breathing motion.
Experience and align with all that arises inside or around you, don’t be negative or push your bad thoughts. Accept the reality and let them pass through you rather than ignoring or trying to control your emotions.
This you can do with the mantra healing meditation or activation of all seven chakras in your body, which are known as seven energy channels from your head to your tailbone.
Personally, what I’ve noticed is that when I perform mantra chants, the negative thoughts automatically vanish and all my senses do is consciously feel my breath moving.
All yoga techniques are built on the principle of pranayama, or breath control.
You can practice breath control at any time, anyplace and only 5 to 10 minutes of deep breathing is more than enough.
It’s beneficial when emotions like fear, despair, and rage are present. Our sympathetic nervous system is activated during these fight-or-flight reactions.
The parasympathetic nervous system will be activated by slowing and deepening your breath, encouraging serenity and relaxation.
Watch the sensations shift as you breathe straight into them, exactly as they do on the mat.
The Key Takeaway
Living in the present moment and fully experiencing each moment is made possible only by the union of the body, breath, and mind.
And the fundamental meaning of yoga is to unite with your mind, body, and soul.
So, to achieve this, you must set up a practice that helps you work around all these aspects, not just the physical ones.
Finally, let’s end this one with a thoughtful note…
"The success of Yoga must not be measured by how flexible your body becomes but rather by how much it opens your heart." - T. K. V. Desikachar