oga is a millennial biological tool intimately linked to the consciousness. Some say that yoga is between 3,500 and 10,000 years old, and it is speculated that it reached the West coinciding with groups of people fleeing the cities and machines to take refuge in the purity of forests, mountains and the sea. Hinduism, on the other hand, defends that yoga has no age because it has always existed. They say that it is the science of the soul, that there is one soul for humanity as a whole, and that is why, when we awaken the yoga we carry inside, we also awaken our consciences. But what does yoga’s awakening consciousness mean? And how can we say that yoga is a biological reality?
Western medicine has for some time now accepted evidence and is beginning to assume the ancestral weight of Oriental medicine. The clearest case, besides minor concessions to traditional Chinese medicine or Ayurveda, is yoga. For example, the belief that the routine practice of yoga helps to command the mind and therefore favour control over one’s life, has gained certain consensus. And there are more and more professionals who prescribe the practice of yoga for certain cases of depression or mental disorder.
Yoga creates space in the muscular and bony structures and transforms rigidity derived from accumulated tension into well-being. And it also creates space in the mind in order to combat collapse when we are subjected to atrocious, unstoppable and often cyclical and destructive thought
The practice of yoga converges into a single purpose; to create space: an action that is very present in our daily lives. When we are in a prolonged state of anguish or stress, when we are in the middle of a crowd or when we feel the pressure at work, we need space. And we also need it when stridency or toxic relationships affect us. Before these situations that generate tension, the natural response that we have is to move away. And while in the outside world we create space by the very action of physical distance, a good way to move away in the inner world is through yoga.
Yoga creates space in the muscular and bony structures and transforms rigidity derived from accumulated tension into well-being. And it also creates space in the mind in order to combat collapse when we are subjected to atrocious, unstoppable and often cyclical and destructive thoughts.
Surinder Singh (Rishikesh, India), probably the most outstanding yoga master of the moment, uses an allegory that sheds light on this idea. Surinder says that people are like the soil that envelopes a seed. If the soil is too tightly packed, the water runs around the edges and does not water the seed. On the contrary, through a firm but not packed soil, the water drains through and waters the seed that will end up giving fruit. If we project this allegory to our day to day lives, the soil represents the body and the mind, the seed represents the reason for existence—the Dharma, and water represents prana, energy. And not because it has metaphysical connotations, on the contrary; Energy means molecules, electrochemical and electromagnetic energy, neurotransmitters, which in turn means blood, lymphs… And the channels through which this energy flows are the blood and lymphatic vessels, the meridians—typical of Chinese traditional medicine—and so on.
It so happens that the Western lifestyle places extraordinary attention to external hygiene, but on the contrary, has little regard for the interior, and consequently energy channels are subject to worrying neglect. Factors such as pollution, food, along with behaviour that favours stress, have a direct impact, and damaged energy channels cause the prana to flow as if along paths full of weeds and brambles. Contributing to the cleansing and maintenance of the energy channels is essential for a full, joyful and optimistic life, and yoga definitely contributes, because by stretching and movement we create space in the body, and by connecting with stillness the we create it in the mind.
We create the space though which prana seeps and irrigates the reason for our existence, prana reaches every nook in our bodies, regularly, through each breath. Conscious breathing, less and less frequent, increasingly deep. In this way we reduce blood pressure and, incidentally, block messengers that transmit stress and anxiety. And following the principle of proportionality, automatically activate the messengers on which the brain has no domain: those that act on the heartbeat, the lungs or the secretion of the glands that positively give us physical and mental strength. Strength which at the same time gives us confidence in ourselves. The confidence that contributes to the creativity necessary to face the challenges in life with determination.