If you are new to Yoga, you might think: How can all this stretching and bending be in any way spiritual? Let’s first understand what Yoga is. Let me take you on a short journey into the history of Yoga and show you how it all started.
What is Spiritual Yoga
We have to understand what Yoga is. It is more than just physical postures. Yoga is a complete system that will lead you to higher levels of being. It is an ancient science which slowly allows you to raise your consciousness and reach liberation Liberation is that massive thing every religion is talking about. The Christians call it heaven; the ancient Vikings named it Valhalla, and it is known as Moksha in the Hindu tradition. It is not a place we will go to when we die; it is a state of consciousness which we can achieve through different approaches. You don’t have to follow a religion to achieve liberation. The three main transformative sciences of humanity are Alchemy, Shamanism, and, you guessed it, Yoga.
The Roots of Spiritual Yoga
Yoga has its roots in the Himalayan Mountains. According to lore Lord Shiva, also known as Adiyogi, the first Yogi, passed on the knowledge of Yoga to seven of his students, also known as the saptarishis, over 15 thousand years ago.
Shiva was the first Yogi and received this knowledge through his self-realisation. The Saptarishis, the seven saints, then spread the science of Yoga into all corners of the world.
What is in it for me?
But why should you be interested in liberation? Life is pretty good, so why strive for more? Because it can be better. And to tell you the truth, you will evolve and raise your consciousness anyways. No matter if you do Yoga or not, BUT with the help of Yoga, you can speed up the process and reach higher levels of consciousness faster and easier. This will allow you to experience life more intensely. You will become aware of who you are and what you want in life and discover and develop incredible abilities.
What is spirituality
The question remains – How can you make your Yoga Practice more spiritual? Ok, I will tell you in the blink of an eye. But let’s first see what spirituality is. The easiest way to define spirituality is by comparing it to religion. Religion hands you a set of truths, and you believe in it. There is always an intermediate through which you can communicate with God, a priest, for instance. Now spirituality hands you a set of tools to discover your truth by yourself through experience. In short: Religion is the belief in what others say, and Spirituality is the experience of your reality. The goal is to connect to something bigger than you. You can call it Devine power, Supreme soul, God, Allah, Brahma or whatever feels right for you.
5 Ways to make your Yoga Practice more spiritual
Finally, let’s talk about how you can infuse more spirituality into your Yoga practice. I have five easy ways to bring more depth and meaning into your practice:
- Practice all techniques: Yoga is a holistic system that includes Asanas (physical posture), Pranayama (breathing techniques), Mudras (gestures), Bandhas (energetical locks) and Mantra Chanting (singing).
- Practice daily – continuity is key to seeing progress – physically, mentally, energetically and spiritually.
- Study the ancient texts to understand the subject of Yoga and yourself better. For the beginning, I recommend „Autobiography of a Yogi“ by Paramahansa Yogananda.
- Live like a Yogi – no, you don’t have to move into a cave. Instead, simply integrate the Moral Codes of Yama and Niyama into your daily life. That includes cleanliness, truthfulness, contentment and many other challenging but rewarding aspects.
- Keep an open mind for new things, new people and new situations. This is how we learn and experience life fully; this is how we grow spiritually.
Yoga is nothing you DO – Yoga is something you LIVE.
Yoga is by itself spiritual; even if you only perform Asanas, you will get some advantages for your spiritual journey. Follow the whole path and enter the express lane of spiritual growth.
Yoga allows you to grow, little by little, every day. The key to success is compassion, openness and regularity. Practising Yoga once a week will only have minimal effect. Yoga is nothing you do – Yoga is something you live. Let it infuse your life and lift you into higher vibrations. Experience life to its fullest and dive into the deep love of the Devine.
You are reading these lines because you want to change something in your life – you are thirsty for more, a deeper connection to yourself and others; you might even ask yourself what your purpose is in this world. I have an answer for you: YOGA.