Whole Life Magazine

August/September 2012

Issue link: https://digital.copcomm.com/i/76686

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 51

yoga's Power to Heal Mindfully integrating duality over the last two decades, the number of people practicing yoga in the united states has multiplied exponentially, from one million to 30 million. While some may have a complete understanding of the practice, for many there is still confusion. for ex- ample, we hear about the eight limbs, but most of us have two arms and two legs, to- taling four. there seems to be a connection to meditation, but what is it? and we're told over and over that yoga means "union," but what is it that is being united? the following is intended to bring clarity to what exactly this practice of yoga is.—ed. with the potentiality of entering into a harmonious relationship. to make this union take place, at least one of the two principles has to make the initial move toward the other. this may not always be easy, thus requir- ing the application of force of will (hatha). But no force of will can keep principles that are incompatible in a permanently harmonious relationship. consider oil and water. Being incompatible, they will always separate when the force is removed (the shaking of the container). But qualities such as those of hot and cold that seem diametrically opposed are actually only the extremes of a pendulum, and when centered, they conjunct in perfect temperature. in the philosophy of yoga, the two principles that need to come to- the ultimate healing. for there to be union, there must be at least two distinct principles Y oga, or union, is functionallY a healing art. Whether viewed as a philosophy, a science or an art form, the assumption we are making is that in the end "union" is in itself gether are the finite and the infinite.* the belief that powers this move is that the infinite exists. as finite human beings, we tend to move toward the infinite. if we are successful, our belief is validated, with a side benefit of ultimate bliss in the ultimate union. as a science, yoga seeks self-realization. it is based upon the theory tions. any restlessness or dullness causes disturbance in the clear flow of these channels. thus the first two limbs, of restraints (yama) and ob- servances (niyama), are about containing and purifying this energy. to- gether they have the potential of healing the distressed mind and creating a healthy body. the body flows in energies of wind, temperature and fluidity. it exist when the philosopher's pendulum becomes still, it becomes apparent that all qualities are measured solely in relationship to their opposite. thus the infinite is where individual and opposite qualities cease to exist and merge into stillness. all distractions arising from ignorance, desire, aversion, egoism and clinging are gone. as an art form, though, yoga is a practice in healing. it is structured in eight sequential parts or limbs and is concerned with the flow of energy. the mind flows in energies of thoughts, sensations, feelings and emo- By Arun Deva that there are three energies that fuel our mental faculties: clarity, restless- ness and dullness. the latter two cause mental anguish, whereas in realizing the first, the causes of our suffering are removed. if self-realization is the goal and is equated with clarity, then we must assume that we are lacking clarity. Working backwards, if the innumerable qualities of the self cease to flows primarily through seven channels that nourish, vitalize, strength- en, lubricate, create structure, communicate information and increase fertility. any waste is disposed through channels of elimination. Dis- tress in these bodily channels—initiated by excesses or deficiencies in wind, heat and fluidity—causes first the appearance of "dis-ease" and then disease. Bodily exercises known as asana are the third limb and address these by regulating their flow. all asana are designed to create an efficient confluence of strength and flexibility. We bring together two mutually attractable qualities to create a harmonious flow of well-being in a free flow of motion. this is the beauty of any art, more so one that is dedicated to healing. and as with all art, the end result is always stillness. 34 wholelifetimesmagazine.com

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Whole Life Magazine - August/September 2012