With Yoga your possibilities are endless. You enjoy the stretch and become mindful of your bodies natural abilities as your mobility improves.
You can say a few Om's and place your hands at your heart in Anjali (prayer pose) and then, one day, you might become curious.
You begin to explore mudras and mantras and open your heart up to God.
You might have more questions like: Why do we say OM? What does Anjali mean? When my teacher talks about God, is it a hindu God? I am Christian, is this okay? What does Namaste mean?
I was at the library the other day and say a book that made me a little bit sad. It was the 'No Om' Yoga Book. I honestly believe that you can not call it Yoga if there isn't at least a little bit of tradition in it. Respect for a practice that has been passed down for thousands of years deserves a little something, no?
I think that there are a lot of people that would like to try yoga but are not sure about the ins and outs. So instead of eliminating something as simple and yet as profound as OM, I would like to help you understand.
“Om is the imperishable word. Om is the universe, and this is the exposition of om. The past, the present, and the future, all that was, all that is, all that will be is om. Likewise, all else that may exist beyond the bounds of time, that too is om.” – Upanishads
OM is a Sanskrit word that is used in yoga and in Tibetan Buddhism. It is more of a feeling than a translatable word. The ancient rishis felt it during their meditations. In thier silence, dwelling in caves and remote places, this sound eminated.
Reciting OM is not a religious practice. OM is said to be the seed of all creation, it represents everything. It contains the power of the universe. It is the past, present and future. It is the beginning, middle and end.
Chanting OM gives one the ability to become aware of your physical and mental state and personal beliefs.
OM is actually broken up into four parts: A(ahhhh), U(ohhhh), M(mmmm) and the fourth is silence or anagata.
A- Brahma, heaven
U- Vishnu, earth
M- Shiva, underworld
You may begin to look a little deeper. Deeper into your practice, which might lead to changes. Every teacher you meet along the road is different. And you will take something different from each class.
I have learned that I love the challenge of Power Yoga but I love spirituality and incorporating mantras and mudras - so when I attend any class - I push myself to my limits. I challenge myself to do better! I am not only doing my class for myself but for God and Guru within.
What is Anjali?
Anjali is known as prayer pose. It is a sanskrit word that means 'divine offering'. It is used in your class to offer respect and thanks to your teachers, yourself and God.
I am Christian, can I do Anjali in yoga? Can I even do yoga?
Yoga itself is not a religion. It has its roots steeped in Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist tradition. Utilising the languageof ancient Sanskrit, it speaks of God and the divine. Use Anjali to offer yourself up to your beliefs. You put into - and take out of - the class what you need to. Your class might have an image or statue of Ganesh (the elephant) or another Hindu God - but it you don't have to worship. We can all easily cultivate an understanding and respect for other cutures. Practicing yoga is not akin to worshipping a God.
Yoga is about opening yourself up to experience, understanding and appreciation of all that is in you and around you. A pose is just a pose if that is all you want it to be. If you want it to be more - I hope you will find your way. And maybe if I am lucky, you will find your way to me.
Pranams to all!