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The Science of Yoga

June 1, 2010

It intrigues me that some souls adamantly want to associate a religion with the science of yoga.

That many souls decide not to embark on the yoga journey that will bring them ultimately to the source of self respect and joy… because they feel it conflicts with their religion?

It makes me want to share my philosophy and understanding of what yoga is about and what I believe each religion aspires to and why yoga assists you no matter what religion you may follow.

For me each religion is about worshipping God, the Creator, the Source…it is about tapping into a positive energy source and devoting our actions and lives towards evolving our being-ness on the planet towards being more god-like.

The way in which we choose to worship, show reverence to and call upon our creator differs from one religion to another, however the essential base of each, is a love for God.

However in order to love someone else we first need to truly love ourselves, we need to start with self-discipline, self-respect and gratitude.

The way I understand the science of yoga, is this:

We use the Asana (Physical Practice and Postures) to develop balance between strength and flexibility in the body, thus creating harmony and balance on the physical plane. This is a way of showing gratitude for the uniqueness of the body we each have, we take responsibility for it and nurture it to keep our systems within working efficiently and smoothly, enhancing health and wellness.

We use Pranayama (Breathing techniques) to develop balance in the emotional body, we can use a different technique to excite the system and another to calm it down, there are also huge amounts of physical benefits to the body. Being able to manage the energy flow in the body will undoubtedly assist us in maintaining our self respect in times of conflict and friction.

We use Meditation to create harmony in the mind, by training the mind to focus, to let go of thoughts that plague us and worries that bring us down, to be present and to be still. This is the ultimate demonstration of trust, surrender, gratitude and acceptance.

I believe yoga prepares each of us, on every level, to be more of an asset to whatever religion we choose.

The fact that the science of yoga originated in the East, in India. The confusion for some perhaps may be that many of the first teachers who practiced this discipline to keep them healthy and balanced, also continued to follow their chosen religion (potentially Hinduism or Buddhism), and for some there may have even tried to integrate the two.

However in my understanding Yoga offers a sound base for any and every religion on our planet.

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Maria Taylor: Maria teaches breath synchronized yoga to spiritually inspired music. Her primary intention is that each person, through their yoga experience, connects with their inner being on a deep spiritual level, leaving the yoga room yearning for more moments spent in the blissful union that is so divinely unique to each one of us.  Classes challenge each person individually to explore their own potential. Everyone is encouraged to let go of limiting ideas and to trust and allow their true essence of light to shine. www.africayoga.co.za

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