Is Ashtanga Yoga for everyone?
Everybody can practice Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga if they put their minds to it, it doesn’t matter if you are 8 or 80 years old. Although the primary series looks intimidating because the postures are very demanding, it can be modified so that anyone can do it. All it takes is an experienced teacher and a motivated student. Like the Vedas: one cannot learn about it just by reading it or practicing on one’s own: it is important to learn from someone with knowledge.
The most important thing during a class is to feel your body and keep your mind focused. The goal of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is for the student to meditate while moving, therefore, getting to know his or her own body. Practicing just for the sake of exercise or learning to do a posture is limiting the experience.
To be able to meditate while moving is important to prepare yourself. Discipline is crucial if you want to succeed in anything you do. Eat well and sleep well and prepare your mind for the next day practice will boost the benefits of it.
Love is not attachment: all the great masters said it, from Jesus to the Old Sages of India: you should love expecting nothing in return. When we have expectations about something, for example, when we love seeking love in return, we do not truly love. This is just desire, and desire is the root of misery. When you hope for nothing, then nothing can make you suffer. It is only natural to seek things for ourselves: we love to be loved, we work to live comfortably. But true liberation urges us to work against our impulses. Be selfless; give yourself to others without expecting anything in return and you will be set free.
What is Love?
Swami Vivekananda, an old sage from the late 1800 in India asked this question: have you seen God? But God doesn’t appear in front you saying I’m God, worship me. So, how would you know if you had seen him? Through meditation you can learn that God is in everyone and everything and the state of liberation is to feel him all around you, and inside you. The Moksha is the realization of one’s own divine nature. But there is no space for laziness, to achieve the Jivamukti state, one must practice: meditate and meditate some more.
Have you seen God?
Yoga has many benefits that can be summed in 3: physical, therapeutic and spiritual. The physical benefits are the first to come, for they come after any physical effort: they are the same of aerobics or running: more strength and flexibility. The practice of Hatha Yoga can cure several diseases, and many doctors recommend it to help the muscles heal from injuries. It also soothes the mind and helps with depression and anxiety among other affections. Those are the therapeutic benefits. But the most important benefit is the spiritual one. Any exercise can increase your stamina, strength and flexibility and many medicines can cure diseases. But the union of body and mind is the one goal that can only be reached through Yoga, no matter what type you practice.
The benefits of Yoga
Renounce does not mean being easy going or let yourself be pushover. Renounce is accepting the things that can’t possibly be changed with a good attitude: is keeping your mind calm and not allow it to go crazy with thoughts. The important thing is keep your mind calm, not letting the outside alter your inside. You might be running, busy with your daily obligations, but your mind is calm and your soul is happy. That is what detachment means. “Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” The Dalai Lama