On the surface, yoga is a system of physical movements designed to improve flexibility and balance. But through practice we discover that yoga goes much deeper than its poses – it is a virtual ocean of healing potential that benefits the human mind, body, and spirit together.
Here are several thoughts from yogis, teachers, and students on the power of yoga to shift the pathways of our entire being:
Yoga and the Mind:
Before all else, yoga reminds us to be still. Practice slowly reveals that without mental peace, no amount of physical healing will benefit us. Likewise when our minds are healthy, our physical practice mirrors our positive thoughts.
- Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind. (Patañjali)
- Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured. (B.K.S. Iyengar)
- Yoga has a sly, clever way of short-circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety. (Baxter Bell)
Yoga and the Body:
Yoga centers, challenges, and changes the human body in more ways than can be described in a single reading. Practice awakens us to how wondrously complex our physical existence is, teaching us to cherish and nourish our beings whenever we have the opportunity.
- The practice of Yoga brings us face to face with the extraordinary complexity of our own being. (Sri Aurobindo)
- You cannot do yoga. Yoga is your natural state. What you can do are yoga exercises, which may reveal to you where you are resisting your natural state. (Sharon Gannon)
- The yogi will tell you that you feel and look as young as your spine is elastic. (Richard Hittleman)
Yoga and the Spirit:
At last, yoga helps us locate the spiritual intention behind of all our earthly movements. Our practice involves the mind, body, and spirit together precisely because that is what we need to live fully in this world – a union of thinking, feeling and being all at once, and never just one alone.
- Yoga is essentially a practice for your soul, working through the medium of your body. (Tara Fraser)
- In our uniquely human capacity of connect movement with breath and spiritual meaning, yoga is born. (Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa)
- While doing yoga we are more ourselves, and more than ourselves. (Valerie Jeremijenko)