There are many benefits that yoga brings. Most people begin yoga for the physical benefits: increased strength and flexibility; improved posture; greater breathing capacity; enhanced vitality and fitness; and a balance of energy that creates an overall sense of well-being. Students then often experience emotional and mental benefits such as a clear and calm mind. They begin to see how their yoga practice enhances their daily life. Then yoga becomes a life-long path of self-reflection and awakening on all levels of our being.
This awakening happens naturally as we make contact with our own direct experience. We witness thoughts, sensations, emotions, habits, just as they are. When we are willing to meet with full acceptance, whatever is waiting for us when we practice, then, paradoxically, transformation naturally occurs. We move beyond entrenched conditioning and rest in a ground of being that is open, spacious and authentic. Holding on to our conditioning becomes like trying to touch a cloud. Instead we reach into the vastness of the sky. That sky is our own beingness.
Yoga encourages us to reside in the natural silence of our being. This silence can be sensed as a continuous presence of aliveness that underlies our daily life. Through yoga we awaken and strengthen the body, surrender to the breath, expand our awareness and enter silence itself. As we develop a relationship with silence, we experience meditation, the heart of yoga. Meditation is the witnessing of the whole, in this moment, without conditions. As we allow this undivided, vibrant presence to permeate our lives, we can directly experience a deep communion with all of life. This brings nourishment, meaning and inspiration. From a deep well of quiet within, a natural ease and buoyancy in life arises.
I practise yoga to enter this river of being, To taste the essence of things, To be moved by this world, To sink into the luminous presence that is right here.
– Anahata Giri