The Promise of Yoga

Have you reached the point of no return yet?

When I first started out with Yoga it was mainly to help me release stress and tensions. I always noticed how the breathing and the asanas (physical postures) made me feel calmer and more relaxed. I loved the feeling of stretching every part of my body, developing more strength and flexibility. My body felt more energized and balanced at the same time. And I used to get muscle aches in parts I didn’t even know I had muscles!

It was only after years of practice that I understood that the asanas were just a first step. Yoga, in its true sense has its root in two Sanskrit words, one meaning concentration and the other one union or “to yoke”.

Their purpose of the asanas is to unblock the physical and energy body and to harmonize the flow of blood and energy, cleaning and expanding the meridians. This is the first level of union between the earthly particles of the body with the energetic particles coming from the soul. This is Hatha – the balancing of the moon and the sun.

Pranayama, the control and manipulation of breath, is another way to cleanse and energize the physical and energy body. It is often seen as a separate practice, yet I have learned that it is just another preparation for the main component of Yoga as well which is meditation. The essential part of yoga was somehow left aside when Yoga became popular in the West.

Don’t we all crave this feeling of dissolving into something bigger, the expansion of consciousness that connects us not only to our own true essence but also to others around us and ultimately to that essence of the divine within everything? The promise of Yoga and the purpose of meditation is union – first with our own higher self, with that divine spark within and ultimately union with God and union with all.

 Yet, there is a difference between acknowledging that we are all connected, that the universe is made of love, that in essence, we are all one – and having experienced it. The experience changes everything.

Once you have truly experienced that you are more than just your physical body, that on a spiritual level we are all connected and all one, well, then there are certain things you cannot do anymore. You cannot disrespect nature and all living beings, animals and plants alike, anymore. Once you see the light and vibration and energy in everything around you – even so called inanimate objects – you can’t but bow your head. Once you have experienced this, you have reached what I call the point of no return.

I have caught glimpses of this state of oneness and my outlook on life has changed tremendously since then. I think my focus has also changed from Me to Us. It is like having dipped myself into an ocean of light and now my calling is to bring back a drop of light and sprinkle it on everyone and everything around me.

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