Spirituality and Yoga
August 27th, 2012 by Aldouspi

Spirituality and Yoga

Yoga has been around for thousands of years. It became known to the West early in the last century as a lifestyle to achieve the spiritual enlightenment and then became popularized as an exercise routine to improve flexibility, lose weight, improve sex and any other imaginable and unimaginable things.

This is a commercialized approach to yoga, the one that helps sell. It is covered very well in the John Phelp's documentary "Yoga Inc." and the recently published book under the same title. Search for the videos on YouTube to understand what I am talking about.

If yoga is not a set of physical exercises to improve the flexibility, a questions arises:

What is Yoga?

Yoga is primarily a spiritual practice.

There are different paths of yoga - all of them lead to enlightenment in different ways. Some of them are Jnana Yoga Path, Karma Yoga Path and Raja Yoga Path. Raja Yoga consists of seven limbs or steps that one needs to follow to attain the enlightenment.

These steps are described in "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali".

Among these steps are Asanas or physical exercises and Pranayama or breathing exercises well-known on the West. Physical and breathing exercises help to clear the mind and hence their primary purpose is to prepare the body for meditation.

While one can practice yoga to lose weight or combat insomnia or relax deeply, it is important to keep in mind the primary purpose of yoga exercises and not to degrade it to a mere flexibility training.

Even if your primary purpose is to lose weight, a short 10-15 minutes meditation immediately after the yoga can greatly facilitate the weight loss process by helping you connect with your Higher Self and start doing in life things that are for your ultimate benefit - in the case of weight loss eating healthy, exercising, detoxifying the body, etc.

Visit the http://www.squidoo.com/yoga- to read more on Yoga and Spirituality. Visit the yoga page right now to download free books.

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