“What is your intention to do yoga?”
When you start a yoga class, the teacher usually told us to set the purpose or intention to whom or to what for you do that. Most of us doing it to our beloved one, to increased strength and flexibility or heart health and many people doing yoga to heal themselves. Or, maybe you do the best yoga pose to please yourself and the rest of the class.
If we looking forward for the word of yoga means union, as a very old science and its main purpose is to bring higher enlightenment to all mankind. The individual consciousness expands gradually and becomes infinite. Awareness of our body is the main purpose of yoga. Not everybody is ready for this aim, and thus we have many option of yoga style, beginner can do pranayama, gentle yoga, yin yoga, or basic yoga, and when you feel ready to move a little further; hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga and power yoga can be the option.
When you listen to someone speak, your awareness is associated with the flow of words and sounds. If you plug your ears, your awareness is disconnected. You don’t hear any more, but you have the experience or impression in your mind of all the words which you have heard. If you withdraw your consciousness from the mind, then all the words you have heard in the past and all the knowledge you have gathered through the ears is completely disassociated from your awareness. This is how yoga works on you.
But, how to set your awareness in yoga class?
In one hour yoga class, we usually begin with pranayama. Prana means life force, which is the breath. Yama means control. So pranayama is any type of breath control, used on or off the mat to uplift your life force. Pranayama is also a limb of yoga, which is more than just the physical practice, which is called asana, which is also a limb of yoga.
So I became a believer in pranayama. Looking further research and practice, I really came to know how breath play and control could uplift someone, and now as a teacher, when it feels right, I really love to strategically place pranayama in my classes and always remain the class to back to your breath in doing intense pose. As long as you can breathe deeply and slowly, with relaxing your mind and your body, you can do the pose.
No need to force your body to do it, take the option, use the prop (belt, block, wall, blanket, roller, etc), appreciate every effort you can do and enjoy the process, what you can do today as a result of your practice. When life challenge you, make yourself ready first and beat it.
So, when your intention to do yoga is to please yourself and the rest of the class, think again.
“There is no standard or absolute, what is health for one person may be sickness in another. There is no notion of “normal” Yin- Yang, only unique challenges and possibilities of each human life” , Ted J.Kaptchuk, O.M.D.
By Fransiska, Jagannatha Yoga Shala Alumni 2011.