I normally never talk about the benefits of yoga, because I consider all the greatest benefits as the side effects of yoga. People may initially come for yoga because it offers a variety of health benefits and a way to become free from stress. Physical and mental benefits are definitely there – one can experience remarkable changes within their physicality and their mentality.
There are many people who have come out of their chronic ailments quite miraculously. There are definitely benefits in terms of being peaceful, joyful and healthy, but that is not the essential nature of what it is. The real thing about yoga is that it makes your experience of life so large and all-inclusive that instead of being an individual, you become a universal process.
You will see it will yield phenomenal results. When the physical dimensions of yoga were first taught, it was expounded as to how to align this human system to the cosmic geometry. We are looking at the geometry of creation. If you get the geometry right, if it is all perfectly aligned, all the friction is taken off. Internal friction means you are working against yourself; you are an issue by yourself.
When you are an issue by yourself, what other issue can you handle? Everything is stressful. You should not be an issue in your life. If you have other issues, let’s deal with it. There are many other challenges in the world. The more activity you take on, the more challenges will happen endlessly.
But your own body, mind, emotions, energy should not be stumbling blocks in your life. If these are properly aligned, suddenly this body and this mind can do things that you have not thought possible in your wildest dreams.
Suddenly people think you are superhuman. If you are aligned with the geometry – whether it is business, home, love, war, whatever it may be, you will do it with a certain level of efficiency and competence. This is because in a most essential way, somehow either consciously or unconsciously, you found the geometry of that.
On the surface it may look like understanding, but in a most fundamental way it is the geometry of the existence. Somewhere you hit it off by getting the right geometry. Yoga means the mechanics of life. Understanding how this human mechanism is made and how to use it in a way that it moves towards freedom, not towards entanglement.
Now, how to hold the body? Just learning to hold the body right is not a simple thing. You remember in the 70’s and 80’s when you got a television in your home, there was an aluminum antenna on top of your house. If it is aligned properly, the whole world pours into your sitting room because you got it into the right position. Similarly, this body has a tremendous capability.
If you hold it right, you can download the whole cosmos. This is yoga. The word yoga means union. Union means the distinction is gone between what is individual and what is universal. There is no individual and there is no universal, everything has become you – that means you are in yoga. Not because you imagined something, but because you perceived. Perception will happen only if you are in the right way, otherwise it will not happen. Learning to hold this body right is like adjusting your antenna – if you hold this right, the whole existence pours into you. It is a tremendous instrument of perception.
The Benefits of Yoga in one’s life: Yoga does not mean doing a particular practice or twisting your body. Yoga means any method that you use to reach your higher nature.
The technology that you use is referred to as yoga. Why yoga is needed in one’s life? Of course there are physical benefits. This can do many things to a person, including improving their health and making the body more flexible.
But with a healthy body you can still be a mess in your life. There are more people on this planet healthy and miserable than unhealthy and miserable. At least if you have a disease, you have a good excuse, which most people do not even have.
With yoga, health, physical and mental wellbeing will happen for a person. People can find quite miraculous health benefits by doing simple processes of yoga, but that still does not fix life.
As long as you exist here not knowing all the dimensions of what this human being is, you will live a very limited life full of struggle. Once you come into this world with a human body and intelligence, you are capable of exploring all the dimensions of what this life has to offer. If that is not done, then the being suffers because it has been restricted to physicality; it has not experienced the other dimensions of what it is. This is the nature of life.
The moment you restrict it, it struggles. Today, string theory and modern science is talking about eleven dimensions to life.
In the yogic systems we have always been talking about twenty-one dimensions to life.
If you can do so much with just the three dimensions that are available to you right now, if you had twenty-one dimensions, you would have enormous freedom with life. You would handle your life with so much ease because all the dimensions are alive and within your experience.
The real thing about yoga is, it makes you all inclusive. It makes your experience of life so large and all inclusive that instead of being an individual you become a universal process, which is a fundamental longing in every human being. Wherever you may be, you want to be something more than what you are right now. It does not matter whether you think you are at the peak or at the bottom, still you want to be little more than what you are right now.
If that little more happens, you want to be a little more and little more.
What is it that you are seeking? You are seeking boundless expansion. This boundless expansion can never happen through physical means. Physical means a defined boundary. If you remove the boundary, there is no physical. This boundlessness becomes a possibility only if a dimension beyond the physical becomes a living reality with you.
If a dimension beyond the physical is constantly there in your experience, then you are free from the physicality and you are free from the very process of life and death because all these are subject to the physical.
Freedom means what? To be boundless and boundless can never be physical. The whole process is aimed towards bringing and maintaining an experience beyond the physical within you. Once you are in touch with it, instead of being just a piece of creation, you are becoming a creator of your life.
By Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
The author is a prominent yogi and a spiritual leader. The views expressed in the article are that of the author.