Traditional yoga has little to do with what is generally practised today around the world.
Perceived as a mere physical activity, yoga is now far from its real scope: that is, to deify the human being through meditation. Yoga, to be clear, is a means, not a goal, but the modern tendency, increasingly in search of aesthetics, forgets the origins.
Authentic yoga, as developed in India, is a mystical practice. This means that it seeks to guide us towards our true nature, beyond the limited concerns of religion. It seeks to provide us with the key to an enlightenment that transcends mind and self, awakening us from the dream of conventional existence. Through this, it gives us the opportunity to achieve true self-control and, once achieved, it empowers us to become constructively innovative.
There are three fundamental aspects to yoga: the physical, the psychological, and the therapeutic. Only putting together all three can we say that we are executing the true doctrine that our ancestors taught us. The physical aspect is only a small percentage. The psychological part is used to train thoughts, personality and emotions. The therapeutic part, on the other hand, helps us healing diseases in our minds.
The asanas are the positions taken in the practice of yoga. Their purpose is to stimulate blood circulation, freeing the body from toxins and its rigidity. On top of these physical benefits, mental ones can be obtained, especially when it comes to anxiety and negative thoughts. This mix of external and internal aid would bring you back into harmony with yourself.
According to the ancient tantric tradition, asanas would help to awaken Kundalini, a divine energy of the human being located at the base of the spine. This force, through the execution of yoga positions, would stimulate the chakras and would awaken the points that regulate human consciousness. According to Indian tradition, the chakras are the energy centres that govern certain areas of the body and mind.
Pranayama, or different breathing techniques, are also very important in yoga. The Sanskrit term pranayama is composed of two words: prana and ayama. The first word means «energy, life force», and the second «extension, expansion», so together it can literally be translated as «expansion of life force» or «extension of breath».
The Indian philosopher Patanjali, who is considered one of the fathers of yoga and author of Yoga Sutra – where he explains how with self-control and mastery of the mind an intimate union with the inner divinity can be achieved -, describes pranayama as the set of techniques of regulation of inhalation, exhalation and retention (the period between inhalation and exhalation) through which the life force is activated and regulated. Therefore, pranayama is much more than a set of simple breathing exercises. Perfection in practice, in fact, would be achieved by bringing awareness to the breath throughout the day, and this knowledge would open the possibility of being able to use the increased vital energy to go beyond our limits and to obtain a higher level of physical, emotional and spiritual energy, increasing self-awareness.
TRADITIONAL YOGA, WHY?
Yoga today seems to have become a fashion that makes you buy the most expensive mats and clothing to practise it, a real business. But it doesn’t need to be like that, and here at the Warriors’ House we want to go back to the real essence. Its inner essence.