Our right brain concentrates in itself the function of the consciousness that is called the mind (Manas). This feature allows us to distinguish between what we like and what we dislike. A left brain concentrates the functions of consciousness that is called the intelligence (Buddhi). This feature allows us to distinguish the useful from the useless. And between the two brains, between these two components of consciousness is a constant struggle for power over the body. That’s where the real politics happens – in our own head.
There are various yogic treatises. With one, you can tune/customize the space in which we find ourselves – a treatise on yoga of architecture, Vastu Shastra, or Feng Shui. There are books of the body – it is Ayurvedic treatises on health. There treatises that study the psychology, mind – it is Jyotish or astrological treatises. And the Bhagavad-Gita – a treatise for the development of the intelligence. This is the treatise for the winners, the treatise for those who understand that in the mind, like the two armies facing each other, there are two opposites: positive and negative, low and sublime, material and spiritual.
Here there are so many yoga studios that I drive by on the way to practically anywhere. In most places instructors only teach postures and flexibility of the body (asana), in some places they add breathing technics (part of pranayama).
But the word yoga does not mean bodily exercises, it means connection. Connection to the Absolute. Yoga, as it is known here, is a part of a system that has 8 parts. Hence the name Ashtanga, ashta means eight and anga means part.
Here they are:
1- Yama : Restricting rules of behavior (don’ts) – has 5 parts
2- Niyama : Inner qualities or personal code (do’s) – has 5 parts as well
3- Asanas : Body postures
4- Pranayama : Breathing exercises, and control of prana (life energy)
5- Pratyahara : Control of the senses
6- Dharana : Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
7- Dhyana : Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
8- Samadhi : Union with the Divine
I am very happy for people who support or regain their physical health by doing “yoga” and encourage to learn more about yoga and get benefits of the whole system – for their body, mind and soul (and karma)!