Yogis, yoga practitioners who practice yoga in its fullness, body, mind and spirit, understand the practice and its connection to and ability to enhance a spiritual life. We also understand that the practice of yoga does not belong to any one religion or philosophy in particular; no matter what form of religion or spirituality you practice, yoga can become spiritually beneficial to your life.
Living life as a human being means living a life of duality. There is the physical life that should be cherished, and there is the spiritual life, dealing with the aspects of yourself that are non- physical. Yoga teaches you to have peace in both bodies – the physical and the spiritual. The spiritual body is considered to be eternal – the one body that cannot be destroyed.
There is no need of being afraid of becoming a yoga practitioner. Beginners are encouraged by most teachers to set their own personal intention for their practice. If for you, yoga is only a great form of physical exercise with no care to concern yourself with its spiritual benefits, that is your choice. There is no right or wrong way to approach yoga practice.
Many yoga experts believe that one will benefit from practicing yoga, regardless of how the student approaches it. The yoga documentary, Enlighten Up, follows a yoga skeptic across the globe on his search for the validity of practicing yoga for spiritual purposes. The film begins with the main subject believing that yoga was a wonderful form of exercise, one that helps its practitioners to become strong and flexible. However, he did not believe that yoga practice could change your life. At the end of the film, his life changed in ways he previously couldn’t imagine.
Many modern day yoga practitioners are in it for the physical and health benefits, which are great reasons to practice. However, there are still many others who have embraced yoga’s fullness and philosophy throughout their practice. Personal stories are proving that it really doesn’t matter why you begin doing yoga; it has proven itself to be a spiritual benefit in every aspect of your being.
Like the young yoga skeptic in the film, one can take any view or perspective they choose when it comes to their yoga practice. Yoga seems to impart its life enhancing benefits, no matter what the student’s intentions are.
To benefit from this ancient body, mind, and spirit practice, all it takes is to begin, engage and be mindful of the moment.