Basic principles of Yoga




Let’s start with formalities. What does yoga mean? It is very important to point out from the very beginning what is considered to be yoga and what is not. The answer is the following: yoga is a system of self-exploration which has reached us from the ancient times. Actually we can only guess when this system appeared. It is definitely a long period of time, probably thousands of years. Yoga is a very interesting system of self-exploration about moral and ethical rules, so called first and second principles of yoga.

The most important thing is not to do any harm without an extreme need for that. If there is no such a possibility one has to act as their duty tells the and has to try the utmost to minimize this harm. This is the first principle of yoga.

The second one is a principle of common sense, logic, consistence that tells us to spend our vital energies on reaching our goals only. In other words, one has to use the common sense when doing all tasks. In general it refers to any task whatsoever, but if we practice yoga the main task is self-exploration.

From very beginning

Finally there is a very important concept in yoga which is harmony. Only if we practice self-exploration in harmony we can call the system “Yoga” Violence is totally unacceptable. One should realize this from the very beginning, especially those who has never practiced yoga before. Usually the word “yoga” causes some fear for the beginners. They think they’ll have to somehow torture themselves, to make enormous effort, feel discomfort. That is why it is very important from the very beginning to get clear: yoga does not accept any violence. To make an effort is another thing. Sometimes one has to make it. But even when applying efforts we should have a feeling of happiness as a background.

Approach in yoga

That is all that concerns yoga in general terms. Yoga is not something one should have any fear of. Everyone can find own path or style in yoga that would fit for this person. In this respect referring to other people and their approach in yoga should be the last thing that you should think about. Sometimes on TV we can see a person demonstrating some very complicated twisted poses. Many people think they won’t be able to do the same. The most interesting is that yoga does not require your ability to twist like that and demonstrate such miracles of flexibility. To be more exact yoga says you are able to reach these results gradually, in a natural, nonviolent way. A man should not have any fear of yoga. Unfortunately there is such tendency that many people are afraid to even start because they think they will face difficulties. You should have it clear from the very beginning – the ancient system does not ask from you to do more than your body is able to when you only begin practicing. Things will certainly change in the course of time, your body and your mind will change, your nervous system will become stronger. Now you have what you have and that’s quite good.

Let’s emphasize some points once again. Yoga is something alive, something natural, and something that we already have. If you had a chance to observe little children playing you could notice a sincere interest they have in everything they do. They can look at their little hands; they can raise their foot up and then throw it down laughing. And all the movements are so natural. Everything they do causes interest. It’s like a play. This is the ideal of yoga. You shouldn't do more than you are able to at this very moment. There can be some strict prescriptions in our mind. You could read a book that said you must do this and you must not do that, or you could see a picture with a man demonstrating an unnatural twisted pose on it. If this picture made you feel any fear or resistance - this is a sign for you to be careful - something is wrong. Yoga is harmony and if you don't feel it - there's no harmony there or it didn't open to you as people have different temperaments and tastes.

What’s the difference between hatha yoga and yoga in general?

Hatha yoga is just one of the many approaches in yoga, one of the kinds of yoga. There are many of them. It is considered that there are as many kinds of yoga as manifestations of a human being. So hatha yoga is a kind of yoga that offers a series of physical exercises which uses the ability of a human body to be in different static positions or poses. It’s enough to look at the children playing. They all play with their toys, every child takes this or that pose. It’s our ability. The same thing can be done by any adult but for certain reasons they feel shame as they regard such things to be meaningless. Sometimes we just feel so oppressed that we don’t even have time for such weird things. People get tired, they say: I only dream of going to bed and have a rest. What poses on earth are you speaking about?

Is hatha yoga difficult?

The main method of hatha yoga is based on the ability of our body to do these poses: to do one pose, then another one and stay calm and quiet in all of them. The effect of this practice is quite unusual, sometimes it just seems fantastic. These poses should not necessarily be complicated. Yoga is simple. There certainly exist some complicated poses but they only make up the top of the iceberg beyond all other poses that exist and that we can do. Many of them are very easy and natural.

Last modified: Sunday, 25 December 2016, 9:34 PM