We are multidimensional beings. The way our teacher, Gary Kraftsow, puts it: " I've never seen a thoracic spine come into my office without a liver attached to it. Or a liver come in without an attitude."
Therefore, if we are planning to be a vibrant, healthy human beings, we need to consider all the components that make up our systems: physical structure, physiological processes, the content of our minds, our ideas and attitudes toward our surroundings and our sense of longing for connection to something greater then ourselves.
The ancients based their concept of physical health and fitness on the following criteria:
The practice of yogic postures (asanas) was meant to promote the balanced growth of the body, aid with arising physical discomforts and maintain the established balance into own age.
The health of our physiological functioning is reflected by
Yogis developed the science of Pranayama to regulate all vital functions and physiological processes in the body and to effect our energy and vitality. By paying attention to the breath we make the unconscious body function conscious and gain control over it.
By doing that we can better access our own physiological and emotional state and therefore improve the general quality of our lives.
The yogis recognized the inherent power of the mind and the tremendous influence it has over the entire human system. The mind dictates
To harness the power of the mind, we need to train the memory, gain the ability to direct and maintain attention as well as keep an open mind. Yogis used the power of chant to develop attention, memory and focus. The studying of traditional texts was used to gain the knowledge about the nature of the mind and it’s limitations.
Our character is formed in response to our experiences and frequently we feel victimized by our conditioning. Our character reflects in
The ancients encouraged us to take responsibility for our personalities. They emphasized that by applying our intelligence we can influence the direction of change and with that we can recognize, transform, evolve and refine our personalities. As a result we can achieve the yoga state - a state of clear, non-agitated mental awareness where we know the truth of any situation and are able to communicate this truth in a way that's beneficial to others. We accomplish that by the process of meditation and self-study.
We do not live in isolation. Each one of us has a relationship with oneself, with the family, society and humanity as a whole. And we all are part of something larger. Our ability to relate is reflected in
Every human being needs to be able to establish a beneficial relationship with family, society and environment as well as develop a conscious connection with our source. The ancients taught that the only hope for eternal joy is to be linked to that from which we come, our source, because when we have that, nothing can disturb us. All yoga tools, including yoga postures, breathing practices, chanting, meditation, prayer and ritual were ultimately developed to recognize, cultivate, refine and celebrate that connection.