In foundational texts on yoga, including the Hatha Yoga Pradīpikā, the definition of the word yoga is brought to light. Some translate the word to mean union, however my teacher uses the phrase “yoking the body and the mind”.
In beginning an at-home practice, I find it helpful to explore with students what they would like to get from practicing at home. For myself, I want to get three main things out of my personal yoga practice.
- A daily connection with something greater than myself, which I refer to as the Divine
- A reduction in physical tension
- To strengthen the connection between my body and my mind
I have found in my practice and teaching thus far that anything which helps a person achieve number 3 above will fast track their healing. I believe that a disconnection between the mind and the body is what creates many of the health conditions which my clients are seeking to address.
When helping my clients develop an at-home practice, I want to assist them in creating a connection between their body and their mind. If that connection already exists, I would like to assist them in strengthening it.
In Part II, I will write more about the mind/body split and how it affects our health.