A Brief Philosophy Of Yoga
The yogis consider that we are all searching for happiness and that this is everybody's main goal. It's just that most people settle for the brief, watered-down version of temporary pleasures.
The yogis state that at some stage in our spiritual evolution over many lives we will become dissatisfied with brief, temporary pleasures and start our quest for eternal bliss. Methods to achieve this were developed and perfected by the yogis thousands of years ago. They consider that nature's laws are so designed that we must evolve. The main mechanism nature uses in the early stages is pain. When we find that relationships, money or alcohol, for example, do not produce happiness or a sense of purpose, we will start looking more deeply into life. Yoga waits patiently for you to reach this stage.
In the later stages of spiritual evolution, pain is no longer needed to spur us on. Each stage of progress produces such peace and happiness that this entices us to go to a higher level of happiness. Thus, instead of pain, reward becomes the prime mover.
The above is a very brief indication of yoga philosophy, which is so comprehensive that it deals with every aspect of life and delves into the very nature of reality. It is obviously beyond the scope of this book.
In practice, yoga is an applied science of the mind and body. It comes from the Hindu vedas (scriptures). Practice and study of it help to bring about a natural balance of body and mind in which the state of health can manifest itself. Yoga itself does not create health; rather, it creates an internal environment that allows the individual to come to his own state of dynamic balance, or health. Basically, yoga teaches that a healthy person is a harmoniously integrated unit of body, mind and spirit. Therefore, good health requires a simple, natural diet, exercise in fresh air, a serene and untroubled mind and the awareness that main's deepest and highest self is identical with the spirit of God. As a result, to many devotees, yoga becomes a philosophy that offers instruction and insight into every aspect of life: the spiritual, the mental and the physical. Of course, because it is all-encompassing, people who want to pick and choose from its smorgasbord can do so without being disappointed. Yoga is equally satisfying as a physical therapy alone.
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