The original intention to practice physical yoga (i.e. asanas) was to limber up and strengthen the body sufficiently to be able to sit in seated meditation for extended periods.
To commune with cosmic consciousness through stillness and presence. Read on to discover more, or remind yourself of some of the other benefits of yoga, including the physical, mental, and emotional. Remember – everything is connected and separation is an illusion.
Five Spiritual Benefits of Yoga
LEVEL: Subtlest, ethereal, universal.
1. Ego reduction
As you begin to deepen your yoga practice, you will feel a balancing of emotions and mental state, opening up your mind to a perception of yourself that is less constrained by the accumulation of conditioned behaviours and beliefs. It may be that you find your opinions on certain topics are not so concrete or you are able to entertain ideas without accepting them. Similarly you may feel a reduced desire to conflict with others on irrelevant topics to the point where you are avoiding confrontation altogether. This is a liberating process of letting go as you understand on the experiential level that you are less of an isolated island of awareness than you originally considered. This broadening of perspective helps to develop compassion within yourself and to connect with others more deeply.
2. Aligning with higher purpose
Although we may not all be destined to come up with a ground-breaking invention or win a Nobel Prize, we equally are not all fated to a life of mediocrity. Quite often it can feel as though we are not hitting our potential in life – be it in a career trajectory or in our day to day personal wellbeing. Practicing yoga and coming to understand yourself on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels can elevate you from your old lifestyle and onto a new path – deeper and richer in meaning, happiness, and creativity. Loosening your grip on who you think you are gives you the space to explore new ventures, to realise what it is you want from your life, and gift you with the courage and mindfulness to attract your destiny through your own personal evolution.
3. Inner transformation
Because we learn from the past, it is so easy to pigeonhole ourselves and repeat stale patterns over and over again. There is nothing more nourishing to the spirit that to witness your own transformation. See the boundaries you had encased yourself in dissolve. Feel old pain and outdated beliefs leaving the body. Witness the expansion of your mind and get to know your joyful self. You will find more ease in your mind and body and less emotional fluctuations as you out grow your old self. Yoga will leave you experiencing more happiness and freedom than you ever dared to dream.
4. Expanded awareness
Yoga provides the tools for discovery into the nature of your human existence. When you are able to let go of your conditioned mind, you surrender to a deeper sense of reality, where the relationship between the external landscape and your internal world is known. Yoga teaches us to be more acutely aware of the interconnected nature of reality, to feel the subtle flow of energy through the body, to witness the quality and frequency of thoughts, and to remain mindful of how events and relationships around us reflect what is occurring on the inside. We are always evolving, growing, and changing, and we can learn to guide this process consciously and with compassion. Yoga opens the mind to a multi-dimensional existence where an understanding of time and our place in the universe is known.
Although Gautama, the Buddha, is often considered to be one of the original enlightened human beings, attaining spiritual knowledge is available to everyone. The monk’s teachings permeate modern day culture and it turns out that most of us are searching for happiness in all the wrong places. Addiction to external stimulation such as entertainment, consumerism, drugs, and participation in unwholesome and unconscious acts typically lead to dissatisfaction, depression, or pain. Yoga cultivates an awareness of a more tangible sense of peace, free from desire and suffering – a state that is anchored in a reality where we can abide in what is – rather than striving for what is not. This total and uncompromising acceptance of the now is the basis of enlightenment, and yoga is an invaluable tool for developing moment-to-moment awareness and reconditioning our minds and bodies to live in the present – freely, joyfully, and peacefully.
There are countless benefits to be had from practicing yoga, so why not see for yourself?