Yoga mystical or scientific?
Yoga is seen by most people as just another form of exercice or ln the other end like some mystical practice out of reach for common people. Well it is none of the above. Yoga is the science of breathing, the science of life.
The main purpose of the asana is to optimise breathing. In other terms, asanas or postures serve the breath. By bending and twisted in all direction, the oxygen inhaled, will be directed to some specific areas of the body in relation and clean every bits and pieces of your body, going into the deepest and out of reach areas. The greater supply of oxygen in the targeted areas helps the tissues and cells to regenerate and stay strong and healthy.
On a more subtle level it helps you to stay connected with yourself in the here and now, grounded within the boundaries of the physical body. So nothing mystical about it, nothing that cannot be found within the body. That's where yoga starts and where the approach differes to other external sports. Yoga is an internal art, the starting point of any movement is found deep inside.
Also, rather than using brute force, or too much effort to oblige the body to expand to twist and bend into a bretzel like shape, mindfulness of breath is the key to unlock any physical, mental or emotional knots. The mindfulness of the breath leads to the awakening awareness of the body. You build a sensitivity to your own entire body, feeling muscles, joints, tendons, blood rushing inside of you, so that you know where you are at and where to go. From that deep connection and one pointed concentration with your own body, you gain a direct experience of yourself in the deepest sense of the way, simply being present now. Many of the concepts cannot be translated into words but can only be understood by direct experience.
Once you focus your attention to the breath, you will naturally flow and stay within the perfect alignement for yourself, rather than trying to reach an imposed form. With that in mind , next time you get on the mat, shift your awareness to the natural flow of breath rather than focusing on reaching a shape that look good, feel and experience the posture form the inside out. Over time as the mind quietens down, the body follows and becomes stable and supple.
The breath is your master, learn from it. All the answers are already given to you. Only YOU knows what is going on inside and only YOU have the key to unlock the 'mistery' of your life.
Start the practice by taking a moment to center on your breath, feeling the natural rising and falling of the breath. Thoughts will pass by, let them be and keep your point of attention to the breath. Connect the sensation of the breath with the body, focusing on the space deep within the body. Keep the entire body relaxed and alert, the mind equanimous and centered. It will set up the foundation of your asana practice. Keep that mind body and breath connection strong thoughout the entire practice.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the practice!