Yoga is More Than Asana

By Swami Nirmalananda & Rukmini Abbruzzi

You are so much greater than you could ever imagine!  Yoga’s sages say your inherent essence is the whole of Divine Consciousness.  How great is that?  Yet your Divine Essence is hidden within and must be unveiled. The human condition is that you don’t know your own Self.  The ultimate task of every human life is to discover who you really are.  Yoga’s stated goal and purpose is to unveil your spiritual greatness to you.  The sages gave us the asanas (yoga poses) as a way to start that process.

While recent research studies prove yoga’s value, those studies are not proving that yoga is better than exercise. Sometimes exercise beats out yoga in the studies, though sometimes yoga beats out exercise.  Sometimes they come out the same. Research proves that exercise gives you 90% of yoga’s benefits because they are studying exercise-oriented yoga styles.

But what if your yoga is a spiritual practice?  Researchers haven’t studied Svaroopa® yoga, so they haven’t compared spinal decompression to exercise.  They haven’t compared the bliss of the Self to the bliss of jogging.  Even if they do begin these comparisons, they’ll probably continue to measure physical and psychological benefits, not spiritual progress.  Yoga’s stated goal and purpose is to unveil your spiritual greatness to you.

The true value of Svaroopa yoga’s poses is found in the inner opening to your own Divine Essence.  Fortunately, the same poses free you from pain, open up your breath and heart and give you a new lease on life.  But their true value is their spiritual power.

While you can use the blissful baby steps of Svaroopa® yoga poses as an entry point to meditation as well as work on your mind and heart with yoga’s many powerful techniques, there’s more available. Svaroopa® yoga is all about your spine because of the meditation energy that arises through your spine.  It is because this uplifting energy flows upward that you have to sit up.  Get your spine vertical.

Your own inner power of revelation, the energy of your own enlightenment is arising within you.  Called Kundalini in Sanskrit, it has been sparked awake by the Grace that underlies and infuses your practices.  This is the gift that Swami Nirmalananda brought from India and passes along to us.  If your goal is a spiritual goal, if what you want is liberation, this energy of upliftment will carry you all the way.

Along the way, this Divine inner arising expands what you get from yoga exponentially.  Amazingly, meditation will fix your body, open your heart and transform your mind, while it gives you your own Divinity.  You can have it all!  The goal is greater than merely the physical and psychological benefits yoga poses offer.  The goal is your own Greatness.  And with the Grace of your Svaroopa practices, your goal is guaranteed.  Dive inside and discover your Self.

Excerpt from Asana, Mind & Grace, originally published in April 2016