Relaxation of the mind
One of the main goals of yoga is to calm and clarify the mind. The human brain is constantly active, filled with emotions and thoughts which, moreover, can often become overwhelming. At all times, people have needed moments to isolate themselves, to take a step back, to calm down …
It is all the more necessary today that we live in a modern hyper-connected and hyper-productive world, where we are constantly overwhelmed by information. So sometimes we would like to let go, but it is not that simple: it is not enough to collapse on the canpe on the way home. The stress of the day at work, the errands to be done, the papers to be filled out, etc., all thoughts continue to pass tirelessly, like the world in which we live. And this is where yoga, a practice that has evolved for centuries, offers us accessible methods to calm the mind, to free ourselves from the stressful aspects of the world today, to in a sense let go. Giving time to practice yoga means taking time to learn to cultivate more harmony, calm and serenity on a daily basis, and this through many techniques such as breathing, contemplation or even meditation and positive thinking.
Take care of your body, temple of the soul
To regain serenity, yoga is not only interested in releasing tension in the mind, but also in the body. Indeed, the philosophy of yoga is as well “spiritual” as concrete, it consists in particular in practicing very specific physical exercises to reach a state of general appeasement. Prior to the basics of breathing and concentration, they have been known to stimulate acupressure points for health. And, contrary to what one might think, these exercises are accessible to all. Yoga is not made only for those who are already calm and flexible, on the contrary. Today, there are styles of yoga for all tastes, from the milder to the more athletic, and they offer movements and postures for all levels, from the beginner yogi to the expert. And if the notions of action and effort are central, on the other hand, the performances do not matter, the goal being precisely to release the pressure. But the body does not exist only through exercise. Thus, traditionally, the yogi is also interested in his diet and is concerned with maintaining an overall hygiene of life. He avoids processed products and eats mainly vegetables and fruits; he is especially careful to eat only what he really needs. For us Westerners accustomed to a certain way of life, it is not a question of completely depriving ourselves of aperitifs, barbecues and raclettes. We can simply take inspiration from the yogi to learn to respect our body a little more, in its entirety. As an Indian proverb says: “Take care of your body so that your soul wants to stay there.”
A harmonious whole
In the Sanskrit language, the term yoga would come from the word “jug” which means “to put together, to join, to connect”. The ultimate goal of yoga is indeed to show us how to take care of body and mind in order to balance and unite them to find harmony leading to inner peace. But yogi philosophy is not only about connecting body and mind, it is also about finding the right balance between positive and negative, between what we can control and what we cannot. So there is never any question of denying the existence of everyday hazards, real problems, negative emotions, intrusive thoughts, etc. On the contrary, yoga takes into consideration all aspects of existence: body and mind, strengths and faults, relationship to oneself and to others, restlessness and calm … Yoga is about above all, observe without judging. Yes, the problems exist, we will not make them go away, but that should not prevent us from releasing the pressure from time to time to devote ourselves to pleasant activities; for example, take breaks, let go of your worries by telling them “go on, live our life, I am resting, here, I am going to do a yoga session”. It is on this principle that yoga proposes to refocus to let go, to release the pressure that we put on ourselves, to take a step back from the constant tensions generated by our lives and our world.