Week 13: Check-In | Why Yoga Is One Of The Highest Forms Of Service (When All Limbs Are Practiced)

Yoga is both inner and outer work.

Practicing Yamas teaches us to see, and honor, our connection with, and to, all of existence. Niyamas teach us how to be responsible for caring for our individual expression in the world. Asanas teach us how to care for, heal, and preserve our physical vessel. Pranayamas teach us how to maximize and channel our precious life force energy. Pratyaharas teach us how to come into greater control of our mind by purifying our senses from attachment to both mental and physical form. Practicing Dharanas teaches us how to focus our powers of concentration, thus strengthening our ability to understand and properly apply knowledge. Dhyanas teach us how to deepen our connection to our truth through meditation and direct experience. And all limbs, mastered one after the other, and simultaneously, are intended to get us to Samadhi, which gifts us with the knowledge of, and connection to, our true self, nature, and source.

In all eight limbs of Yoga, we learn the true meaning of mind over matter. We see how controlling one’s senses and desires is only a result of gaining control of the mind, as is controlling one’s breath, releasing tension from one’s body, accomplishing one’s goals, building effective relationships, and truly coming to know oneself.

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Week 12: Check-in | Why You Lose Interest In Lower Desires When You Connect To The Truth Of Who You Really Are

The human animal, like all other animals on planet Earth, is an inherently terrified creature whose primary aim is to stay alive. After that preservation of life, our species then pursues pleasure, and attempts to avoid pain, based on our need to feel safe (even in times when we are not in actual danger).

Because of our advanced brains and our ability to employ higher level executive functioning (interpret, create, and respond to events and our environment based on knowledge and experience) as a part of our evolutionally advantage, however, we can also apply learning, manipulate our environment (due opposable thumbs and ability to create and utilize tools), and so forth, and are magnificently unique creatures that are fortunate to have to ability to look at, create, and understand “ourselves” as well.

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