The purpose of any true spiritual path is to raise our consciousness to the point of allowing us to directly perceive the spiritual dimension. Being spiritual means to recognize one's spiritual identity and practically see the transcendental essence of all others. It also means to see that we are all parts and parcels of God and to respect each other in that light. That is one of the goals of Yoga. But how can we be convinced that there even is a God?
This comes by a reawakening of our higher consciousness and the perception of our spiritual identity. It is through the process of yoga and the path of Sanatana-dharma that we can reach this higher awareness and perceive exactly who we are. The Yoga-sutras of Patanjali comprise the essence of yoga practice. However, yoga itself is a deep and serious process, and there are a variety of forms of yoga that can be performed. There are four main types of yoga depending on the yoga positions. There is:
Jnana-yoga, the path of intellectual development and understanding what is real and what is not.
Karma-yoga is the path of right action, detachment from the fruits of one's labor, and dedicating our activities for a higher and spiritual purpose.
Astanga or Raja-yoga is the path of inward meditation and the attainment of higher states of consciousness through various practices.
Bhakti-yoga is the path of raising our consciousness, and developing our devotion and love for God and decreasing our attraction for the various aspects of the temporary material energy. There are additional forms of yoga, but they are often considered branches of these four paths.
However, in the preliminary stages, yoga is, essentially, for controlling the flickering nature of the mind, and for developing one's finer qualities and expanding one's consciousness from material to spiritual awareness. It is explained that Yoga is the process of completely
calming the movements of the
mind, which include perceived knowledge, misconception, imagination, sleep, and memory. When these are stabilized, then it can be called yoga, which offers the opportunity for the seer to become established in his own essential and fundamental nature. Yoga is the attempt to realign our Selves with the Supreme Self, God.
When you progress in yoga you can feel the unwanted burdens of the mind fall away, such as anxiety, anger, greed, envy, hate, discontent, etc. Then other qualities like peacefulness, tranquility, contentment, and blissfulness will be felt. These are qualities everyone is trying to find and are some of the many things that can be accomplished with yoga, at least on the elementary level. As you make further progress, you may enter into the deeper levels of understanding and transcending the mind and gradually go so far as to attain realizations as to what your own spiritual identity is and what your relationship is with the Absolute. Becoming free from material life and regaining one's spiritual identity is the goal of all yoga.
But in spite of all these benefits many people find it difficult to take this path. This is only because of the lack of exercise motivation. But once you start performing Yoga on a regular basis, it will itself keep you motivated. The benefit of motivation from Yoga practice is what makes Yoga so different from all other health maintenance systems. Yoga can become a lifestyle because there is no torture.
Why do most diets
fail? Why do most exercisers quit? Lack of motivation is the reason for diet and exercise failure. People already know they should eat better, walk more, exercise, and drink more water, but they need to maintain their level of motivation, without "burning out."
In Yoga practice, positive energy is all around the classroom. Positive energy creates exercise motivation and creates powerful visions of success. The next step is to believe the powerful visions of success, which you see. Some people have a
success. Maybe they inherently feel a lack of self-worth, but Yoga also works on improving this aspect of life. It is normal for people to feel apprehensive about change, but change is often one of the gateways to success.
So we can say that consistency acts as the key as far as the benefits of yoga are concerned and we have to take care of the yoga positions. We can't benefit from yoga if we are not consistent with our routine. If we fail to do so, then it is very difficult to get the positive results and yoga can't be blamed for it. Another beneficial technology is hypnosis i.e. Hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy has proven to be very helpful in keeping us motivated. Self hypnosis is based on the formula of auto suggestion and visual imagery, and it works on deeper levels than one can imagine.
Self hypnosis for motivation converses with your unconscious
mind and urges it to alter self-perception and self-image.
Unknown to us, our unconscious is largely responsible for the way we think and react; if we train it to think along a different line,
our accompanying behavior will change too. You will want to understand the true potential that lies within us, and using hypnosis you can tap into that potential. Through gentle affirmations such as
"I can do it" along with positive visual imagery, hypnosis CDs can retrain your mind into believing that everything is possible, and nothing is impossible. This simply means that yoga in conjunction with hypnosis can help us to move towards success more quickly.
© 2008 By
Alan B. Densky, CH. This
document may NOT be re-printed. All Rights Reserved.
Alan B. Densky,
CH opened his hypnosis practice in 1978. He offers a
broad range of self-hypnosis
CDs for all aspects of self-improvement, including hypnosis
for exercise motivation.