However, most of us perceive yoga in a very limited way. It is so much more than a system of physical postures and OM chanting. As a practitioner, teacher and perpetual student of yoga, I truly value its spiritual significance; often lost in today’s superficial world. Yoga, to understand its true essence, is a derivative of the Sanskrit root Yuj, meaning union. It is the union of the body, mind, emotions and intellect. At a higher level, it is the union of the Individual Self with the Universal Self.
Mystic of our times, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says it best. “Yoga does not mean twisting of body, tying limbs into knots, holding of breath or doing some other circus. It is a system of raising human ability to perceive, to enhance individual human beings to realize their ultimate nature. Yoga is the most profound exploration of the very mechanics of life.”
The Significance of 21stJune
Besides being the longest day of the year, not many are aware of the spiritual significance of this day. The summer solstice occurs in mid June in the northern hemisphere. For the uninitiated, a solstice is a planetary event marking the sun’s seasonal movement each year. During the summer solstice the sun reaches its highest point in the sky. The mystics and yogis see a much deeper relevance than mere solar movements. The changing seasons are connected to one’s inner spiritual journey. Physically too, the solstice has an impact on the human system. By no terms, a human being can escape anything that happens to the planet. However, only yogis have the sensitivity and receptivity to experience the different dimensions of planetary actions. The first six months of the year are considered masculine in nature while the second half, feminine. Spiritual aspirants accordingly conduct their tone of activity. According to our realized masters, the human body, if properly attuned to the Universal energy, is nothing but a reflection of the cosmos. What happens on the big, mighty canvas also manifests in the body, albeit subtly. Being a yogi is not the only way to experience this fantastic solar shift. With a modest bit of yoga sadhana, a little awareness and understanding of our interiority, we can strive towards a higher realm of consciousness and mindful living. After all, yoga is always work in progress. It is a way of life.
This solstice, you don’t have to look up at the sky to wish for a positive change. Look within. That’s YOGA!
The writer is a yoga sadhak and freelance writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yasmin Remedios has been learning, practicing and teaching yoga for over a decade. She was a full-time writer and editor in a corporate set up but after suffering from serious health issues such as slipped disc, severe anemia and arthritis, she took up yoga and changed her life around. Today, at 43, she says she feels her fittest best. She runs marathons, often cycles over a 100k, hikes every month and last but not the least, practices yoga every day. She hopes to inspire everyone into making yoga a way of life.
UN Pic Credit to Shri Syed Akbaruddin (India’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations)