Was ist Yoga und welche Bedeutung haben die Asanas im Yoga?
Yoga is a philosophical and spiritual practice originating from India that seeks to establish a connection between body, mind, and soul. The term “yoga” comes from Sanskrit and means “union,” referring to the unity of the individual with the universe.
Asanas are one of the eight limbs of yoga and refer to the physical postures taken in yoga practice. Asanas are intended to help the practitioner improve physical health and flexibility, calm the mind, and promote concentration.
There are hundreds of different asanas, ranging from simple to very challenging postures. Each asana has its own effect on the body and mind. Some asanas are particularly useful for strengthening certain muscle groups, while others focus on improving breathing or flexibility.
It is important to note that asanas are only a part of the yoga practice and that the philosophy of yoga includes many other elements, such as breathing exercises, meditation, and ethical principles. In the Western world, yoga is primarily known as a physical practice, but in India, yoga is considered a holistic practice that encompasses the body, mind, and soul.
Our conscious mind is not what it seems to be. It is an illusion, comparable to the ego as described by Freud. After our earthly death, we will regain full consciousness in the spiritual realm and have a complete mind. The traditional spiritual practices aim to achieve this level of consciousness in our present lives.
Note: Please be aware that we are not using the same categories as Freud with his concepts of the ego, id, and superego.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
If you live your life in constant fear, it shapes your brain in certain ways and creates neural patterns that dictate your way of thinking and acting. These patterns can be thought of as your “software.” The asanas in yoga help to dissolve these patterns and restore your natural way of living and thinking, much like a computer that is freed from viruses and starts functioning optimally again.
Meditation can be seen as a kind of system cleaning that helps to clear the brain and calm the mind.
If you sit down like a meditating Buddha and think too much because you believe you have to control your mind and your breath, then this control will prevent anything from working.
When you practice the asanas, you are changing your hormone system, your respiratory system, and your oxygen supply. Slowly flowing from a passive asana to an active one and then back to Shavasana, your body releases hormones, including endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Serotonin acts as a happiness hormone. The interaction of these hormones brings you into a happy Shavasana. In this way, you help yourself solve your problems. Hormonal patterns of fear and anger are erased. These burdensome states of consciousness are hormonally based and can be dissolved. You just have to allow it!
In tantric thought, meditation is described as dissolving the virus-infected software and revealing your true software. This allows your true potential to emerge. In tantric yoga, meditation is practised with the goal of experiencing it continuously and maintaining it in daily life. Other tools such as mantras and puja are used to expand and integrate this practice into our entire lives. This corresponds to mental hygiene.
If something unfortunate happens in life, you say, “Okay, how do I move forward now?” You have no anger towards the event. You do not judge anyone. Furthermore, you only think, “I have brought myself into this unfortunate situation.” You do not judge, you do not blame. Your personal software allows you enormous freedom that you can express and live. What else could meditation achieve?
Meditation is not an isolated process that disconnects you from the world. On the contrary, meditation can be integrated into every moment of your day. You are allowed to be relaxed and to welcome daydreams and other impressions that your subconscious mind offers you. You live a wonderful life, and every experience in every moment can be a source of joy and growth for you. Dreams are a summary of your impressions and can provide valuable insights into yourself and the world around you. Let’s discover these experiences together and use meditation to achieve a fulfilling and conscious life.
When driving a car, you don’t consciously think about every action, but instead act automatically based on your experience and practice. Similarly, meditation can help your mind automatically stay in a state of relaxation and clarity, without consciously thinking about it. By cultivating your subconscious, you can free yourself from self-manipulative behaviour, conscious calculations, and control that often lead to fear and anxiety. These ideas and mental constructs are not true and do not belong to your true nature.
What I am sharing here comes from a Tantric perspective. In Tantric philosophy, for example, there is no seated meditation as we know it through statues of Buddha. From the Tantric Yoga system’s perspective, this way of meditation is a useful and meaningful way to relax. The goal of Tantric Yoga is to rid our software of viruses so that we can move through life with this virus-free software.