Yoga Gymnastics

Is yoga gymnastics?
Yoga gymnastics (1)

Not only neophytes, but also seasoned teachers began to inextricably associate these phrases with yoga. And really, what else can you do, wrapping your body in various poses, if not gymnastics or yoga training.

Let us remember that the concept of “Gymnastics” comes from the Greek γυμναστική [gymnastike], or from γυμνάζω [gymnazo] - I exercise, train.

The second option is from γυμνός [gymnos] - naked, naked. And in the generally accepted view, it correlates with sports and entertainment or physical education, but not with practices that can be called “spiritual.”

Read more about what spirituality is

At the same time, the main goal of asanas (and other practices with the body in yoga) is not self-sufficient training of the body to make it strong and healthy for further generally accepted “profane” life, but the opportunity, through the Body, to reach the level of the “Soul”.

What is Purusha (Soul)

Of course, the physical, physiological side is also realized when performing asanas, karma, pranayamas, etc., but it is of a concomitant nature. An emphasis on external effects or spectacle can only hinder the practitioner, who, instead of striving for knowledge and manifestation (for himself) of his own eternal Spirit, limits his idea to “how pretty she looks in the mirror when she is in this pose,” or “ what a cool guy he is, that he was already able to do Hanumanasana for the New Year :), at his ... years.”

➤ What is asana

We considered the option when the idea of yoga is limited only to bodily goals.

Now let's look from the other side, hypothetically separating the Body and Spirit. And it turns out that somewhere there are some yogis who are doing something “yogic” (either meditating, or mired in religious obscurantism)). And in their free time, to maintain health, fitness and other benefits, they do certain gymnastics, which is something separate from their yogic practice. Therefore, we, as modern civilized people, can separate the “tares from the wheat”, take the most important thing and successfully use it (of course, leaving the name “yoga”, otherwise how to attract practitioners :)

Incorrect yoga practice

But this option will also be wrong. Because the practice of yoga is aimed at acquiring a holistic worldview of one’s own life, without dividing it into practice and non-practice, into the personal ego and the rest of the world. Thus, the use of the phrase “yoga gymnastics” is erroneous and does not reflect the essence at all.

Yes, we can agree that sometimes, in informal conversations, to simplify the formulation, the use of the concept of “gymnastics”, “training”, “trash”, “workout” and the like for yogic practices is acceptable. However, it must be remembered that this is only the “external” side of the practices, visible to people who are not too interested in thinking deeper about the subject. And using these phrases, they can remain at the superficial level of ideas about yoga.

Proper yoga practice

By the way, the use of the phrase “yoga classes” is also not very appropriate. But maybe more about that another time ;)

Holistic development program

What do you think about this?