What is Yoga?
At Prana Veda Bali we practice traditional Yoga with a holistic and profound approach, aimed at creating and sustaining balance between body and mind and unveiling the layers most of us have built around our heart.
We are living a yogic and ayurvedic lifestyle in community, practicing loving kindness, awareness and consciousness.
What does the word Yoga actually mean?
The word “Yoga” comes from Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, in which all Indian philosophy as well as all yogic texts are written. The basic yogic text (196 Yoga sutras) was created by the sage Patanjali, about 2500 years ago.
The meaning of “Yoga” in Sanskrit is “union” or “to join” or “to yoke”. Joining means merging two or more into one.
But what kind of union?
There are different levels to the idea of union.
It can refer to union between people. This is manifested by practicing Yoga as a community, encountering each other with compassion and without judgment, seeing the light within others and in ourselves, learning egolessness and realizing that, together, we are part of something bigger. Usually we begin and end each class with “Namaste”, which means “the divine in me greets the divine in you and thus, I know that we are one”. This ritual also promotes universal sister- and brotherhood.
On a second level, Yoga is about self-development and self-realization. The tools we have for this are the body and the mind. Since physical imbalances are mostly related to mental imbalances and vice versa, understanding that body and mind are correlated and creating balance within these dimensions is key. Conscious breathing is a tool to connect body and mind.
Another level promotes the fusion of universal consciousness with individual consciousness, the body-mind-complex. In other words, the individual, as energy, aims at become one with the divine energy. Thus, the ultimate goal of Yoga is to reach wholeness, fulfillment, happiness, unconditional love for oneself and for others, and freedom and peace leading to enlightenment or to awakening.
So, in a nutshell, what is the goal of Yoga?
It can be said that the goal of yogic practices is a smooth energy flow within our body, which allows us to direct our attention inwards. By observing our thoughts, we become aware of them, reflect on them and are able to let go of old belief systems and develop new perspectives. Thanks to the balance between our mind and our body, we reveal our true nature, regain our sense of basic trust and unfold self-love – which is the basis of all love.
What does Yoga as a holicstic approach comprise?
Yoga goes far beyond the physical level. It’s a way of living life and comprises self-reflection, self-awareness, mindfulness, health conscious nutrition (Ayurveda), maintaining physical and mental health through asana practice (physical movements), meditation, breathing techniques, cleansing techniques and mantra chanting. Yoga is a holistic approach and unites every aspect of life.