Movement or asana (physical positioning) is just one of the 8 limbs of yoga. (Click Here to view a description of the 8 Limbs of Yoga). There are literally 7 more limbs (such as breath work) which provide us with ways to better our perspective and general well-being. They often say that yoga is not about self-improvement but self-awareness, but because we do become more self-aware, and aware of our thoughts and surroundings, we often improve our lives just by connecting the two in a more positive light.
Through yoga practice we develop these limbs, which helps with perspective, focus, and just a healthier lifestyle in general. Even though we reach out to love others, the introspective part is what grounds us first, to be able to go out and love others. After all, once we have compassion for ourselves, then we can have compassion for others. We must first observe and recognize what we currently are being and doing in order to realize areas where we can be more helpful.
The time we take as an outsider observing our inner thoughts without judgement is what helps us to change the inner dialog of our thoughts. Once we realize the effects of those thoughts and inner conversation on our emotions and health, we can then refocus on things that will impact our lives in a more positive light (letting go of what no longer serves us – as we say). After all, thoughts determine our choices and choices determine our actions and actions determine our lives. As I say “seek positivity, use control, and focus on God”.
Author: Karen Garrett