The yogi strives to open the gift of life and discover his fullest possibilities. A yogi endeavors to discover the higher consciousness and how the body, mind, and emotional nature can be truly fulfilled through unifying their purposes — rather than living in constant interior civil war.
Yoga is not a religion. People of many different faiths — Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews — as well as agnostics and atheists, practice yoga because of its numerous benefits and life-enrichment. Many millions practice yoga for its asanas, its physical exercises, which are regularly acclaimed to be extraordinarily health-giving by many doctors around the world. And, too, many millions practice some form of yoga meditation in order to contact their higher consciousness, or commune deeply with the Lord. Many who practice yoga meditation are deeply religious, while many others who practice these meditations are agnostics seeking verifiable experience and personal transformation.
A yoga devotee strives to live in an ongoing and progressively more joyous state of harmony. Body, mind, and emotions are brought into attunement with one another and with one’s soul, or spiritual self. The devotee finds this ongoing state of harmony not only to be a wonderful way to live but an essential factor in becoming enlightened — living in higher consciousness.
But How Do Most People Live?
The average person lives in a mental hurricane, with a mind so turbulent that the usual concentration span is only six seconds! Most people live in a storm of ideas: constructive thoughts war against biases, superstitions, fantasies, unremitting memories, dreads, doubts, and occasional frustrating blankness. People become so accustomed to the hurricane they think it’s normal!
And, the emotions are storming within almost everyone, too. Anger, jealousy, grief, fear, and guilt create anxieties which often drown peace, joy, and love.
The Yoga Solution
Yogis discover and affirm life’s great possibilities by freeing the body of tension and the ravages of stress, and progressively releasing mental and emotional turbulence. The resulting well being is often considered miraculous; and the new unity which occurs between the individual and others is like the dawn of a new life.
If yoga appeals to you, you will need to find a good teacher who can help you practice correctly and thrive. No chapter or book on yoga can replace personal coaching, but hopefully your study of this chapter will give you a basic understanding of the great enrichment yoga studies will offer you when the opportunity arises.
There are eight main kinds of yoga, each having its own distinct form of meditation. Generally you practice yoga based on your distinct nature. If you seek to be a yoga meditator and use yoga as a means for the discovery of the higher consciousness, you must first examine your own qualities.
Are You Mainly Emotional, Mental, or Will-Centered?
In order to ultimately select the form of yoga which you will find easiest and most beneficial, you should first determine whether you are mainly:
- an emotional person seeking above all an emotional fulfillment,
- a thinking person seeking deep, satisfying and provable experiences to solve your deep questions about life,
- a volitional person seeking the attunement of your will with God’s will, or the higher will of your spiritual self.