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Understanding Ourselves Through Yoga

What is the Purpose of Yoga? Yoga is the Art and Science of living connected; it is a spiritual discipline based on a highly subtle science that focuses on bringing harmony between your mind, body and surroundings, leading to the union of your Consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness of man and nature. '

Yoga' is derived from the Sanskrit root 'YUJ', meaning 'to join', ' yoke', or 'to unite'. The aim of Yoga is Self-Realization, to overcome suffering, in turn leading to 'the state of liberation'. Yoga is considered one of the oldest sciences in the world; it originated in India and was first found in Hindu scriptures, leading to the connection of Yoga and Religion, which is often misunderstood.

As we embark on Yoga, we realize that the journey, much like life, is filled with ups and downs. The ego mainly causes the trip to be happy as we progress and frustrating as progress becomes slower (all happens to teach us a lesson, of course).

Through the web, pictures and social media, we have become aware of what a yoga pose should be like or look like. However, as we begin to practice, we realize that our bodies may not depict the "traditional" way the pose looks on magazines and TV; as humans, this allows our ego to come into play in the form of judgement. We begin to tell ourselves that if we do not look like that, we must not be doing it right, or if we practice for a while and do not achieve what our pre-determined expectations were, then we judge ourselves as not good enough or failing.

Yoga aims to help you unlock better versions of yourself by allowing you the space to reflect on what is not what is expected. When we start to dive down deep into the purpose of the practice and begin to release our ego's expectation, only then can we indeed be in Yoga (regardless of what the poses look like). When we allow ourselves to become aware of our bodies, minds, habits and pre-conceptions, only then can we start accepting what is and embarking on a journey of becoming better versions of ourselves.

Based on The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali- (1.2 . Yoga Chitta Vritti Nirodha), Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. Yoga is a path to help you understand your true self and the purpose of your existence. When we realize that our differences are as apparent outward as they are inward, we can know that the journey of Yoga is a journey of the self and is as individual as we are. I know that it seems like an enormous undertaking, but to be happy, you must first understand why you are anything but happy.

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