|Yoga with Ved|
|Yoga with Ved|
What does it mean to be conscious?
If we look at our experience of living, we will see that we are conscious of various dimensions of life. We are conscious of a physical experience - that is we have a physical body and all the physical sensations. We also have an experience in the physical world, the world of matter, that is immediately tangible.
Digging deeper we see that we also are conscious of emotions and thoughts. That is we have an experience of different emotions within us. We also have our mental experience, of the workings of the mind, of thinking, of ideas. We are actually able to be conscious of so many different areas of life! We can be socially conscious, environmentally conscious, we can be financially conscious!
When we say that we are conscious we mean that we are having some experience of life.
We are also unconscious in many ways...
Certainly for many people after just doing a single Hatha Yoga class, practicing postures and breathing, they realize how unconsciously the body is operating. We do not feel all the parts of our body. We do not know the quality of our breathing. But after just a little bit of practice, suddenly we start feeling more. We actually begin having a deeper experience of the physical body. We comment "wow I feel so good. I can really feel that in my back." Whereas before there was no real feeling.
There are many other examples I can give, but I am sure we can appreciate that there are parts of us and our lives that are unconscious. We simply do not know about it.
Yoga is about becoming MORE conscious
Through the practice of yoga we can systematically become more conscious. Remember that we do more than work with the body in yoga. That is just the beginning. There is much more to the practice than simply doing some postures. We actually engage with the mind, the emotions, and even more than that as we progress.
How do we know that we have become more conscious? It is that we begin experiencing more in our lives. We know that we are becoming more physically conscious because we actually feel more in the body. We know that we are becoming more emotionally conscious because we begin experience greater emotional range and depth. We also have a better understanding of our emotions.
And certainly we can tell that we are becoming more mentally conscious. Because we can keep track of what is happening in our minds more easily. We find it easier to harness the power of the focus and to manage the mind.
Yoga is helping us to expand our consciousness. We can become more and more conscious with each day. Every dimension of life can be explored and experienced with greater and greater depth.
Can we become more spiritually conscious...
More than just helping us to develop the areas of life that we may be familiar with. Yoga is about becoming more spiritually conscious. That means exploring a dimension of life that is unknown to us.
A simple way to understand what is meant by spiritually in this context is that it is dealing with what is NOT physical, emotional, and mental. It is dealing with something outside of that realm.
How do we even begin becoming conscious of a dimension of life that we may have no connection with or experience of? That is the mystery of life, and it is the mystery that yoga unravels. Through systematic practice, through a clearly defined path, yoga expands our consciousness more and more, until suddenly we realize, there is more to life.
We suddenly realize there is whole dimension to life that is beyond body, beyond emotion, beyond thought. This is the goal of Yoga. To take us from something very familiar and ordinary, into an experience that is mysterious and extraordinary.