Le filosofie orientali
It is clearly visible that we are facing a crisis of values which the old religions cannot face and Yoga is gaining space in our modern society.
This is confirmed by several magazines dedicated to yoga, by publicity which is borrowing yoga’s images, by the several yoga festivals organized in every part of the world and finally by the always new yoga methods which are introduced almost every week in the yoga panorama from the United States.
Someone who is approaching yoga for the first time will be completely disoriented among the various schools and methods of yoga existing nowadays.
Yoga is the field where the desire of staying young, of maintaining the body in good shape, of being part of a community practicing a soft spirituality or a psychotherapy come together.
First we must agree that yoga dates back 3000 years B.C. The drawing of a man in a classic meditation position was discovered in Mohenjo-Daro ruins. Consequently the true origin of Yoga are the Dravida civilization which disappeared with the Arian invasion in 1000 B.C. who influenced Yoga with their religion.
Yoga is often associated with the Yoga sutra of Patanjali (800 B.C.) or with the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna teaches yoga to Arjuna. These two texts are influenced by the Arian Culture. Other important texts such as Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita and Shiva Samhita show on the other hand the influence of the Dravida civilization.
Therefore with those influences throughout the ages, what is yoga today?
You can approach yoga at different levels and each teacher will tell you “if you don’t see any benefit with the practice stop it”. The Yoga student must do some practical experience; yoga is not an act of faith.
Patanjali defines yoga with this sentence: “ Yoga is citta-vritti-nirodha” (cessation of mental modifications).
Yoga means also union: union between mind and body, union between individual and universal. Yoga is a path towards the liberation from the conditioning of the body and mind.
In this approach Yoga seems to be a psycho therapy very close to a Jung therapy; it allows you to find your place in the world and this process is made in an unconscious way.
Working on the body and on the breath (this last one is considered to be the bridge between body and mind) you will change your attitude towards your environment.
The breath is linked to emotions and to energy. By controlling your body with asana and your prana (energy) with pranayana exercises you learn how to control your mind and to have a positive attitude toward things: your personality will reflect the conquests made with your body and breath. Balance, calm, serenity will impress your everyday mood and you will enter in contact with your true “Self”, your divine nature; experiencing the lost of time and space in Samadhi.
The sound of mantra and kirtan contributes to wake up your energy and clean your mind and your subconscious in a more rapid way than a psychotherapy, allowing you to gain some instants of peace and tranquility. Your subconscious contains the seeds of your past actions (karma) that will be ready to grow up and come out.
First the practitioner must have good principles and secondarily must be able to discipline his action. Without these bases he cannot even start the path called ashtanga composed by 8 steps: yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi.
The different schools of yoga have the same aim but propose different paths to discover the true divine nature of human being. Some schools focus either on the body work, or on the breathing work, or on the meditation or in the study of sacred texts (svadhyaya).
Each individual chooses his own path according to his attitude, character and personality and in any case, Yoga will show him the path for wellness and for a peacefulness mind.