Something that we often say about yoga is that it harmonizes ‘body mind and spirit’. What does this mean to you? I’d say the body is easy to define – it’s all the cells making up the organs and structures that we can see, touch and feel. In yoga, the sanskrit word for body means food. So all things physical are food, I suppose, in one way or another.
Let’s skip to spirit, because one could say that the spirit animates the body. It’s the ‘energy’ running the ‘body machine’. Some kind of life-force that ‘inspires’ us. And inspire means to breathe in. In yoga, as I have been taught it, the breath is central to the practice, as it is considered a direct link to this life-force energy.
So what is mind? The brain is an organ of the body, but the mind is not the body (or so I am presuming). And here’s an example I hope illustrates my point. My father, who has dementia, seems at the core himself, but he doesn’t smile much anymore, and his memory is failing. His brain is ill or injured in some way, but the mind, or the personality that I think of as him, seems present, and not declining as rapidly as the working of his brain. So not just the brain. Is the mind co-created by body and spirit?
This would explain why the practice of yoga is said to harmonize body mind and spirit. On the one hand, we practice the poses: improve the functioning of the body, make it as a refined and robust as possible: at the same time, focus our body on the breath, refining and increasing our capacity to receive life force. In this way the mind is clearer and stronger, with all the ability that implies.
So where are you in your practice? Have you refined both the body and the breath? You may have concentrated on the physical aspect of yoga until now. Did you know there is a practice that unites your love of a strong, relaxed and healthy body with techniques to reach the same level of refinement in your breath? If you are ready to explore a practice like that, I would love to hear from you and help you assess where you are now and plan your steps to go deeper with the breath.
Call Frances at 289-928-7292 or e-mail her here
Our studio is located at: 279 Central park Blvd. N, Oshawa Ontario