Yoga as a health-promoting discipline
In this form of yoga practice, the body is actively brought into the positions and then held in a more quiet contemplation. The breath always remains free during the versatile and aesthetic movements, this has a very healing effect on both the body and the consciousness. It will improve the metabolism and stimulates the immune system, digestion, excretion, the circulatory systems and oxygen supply to the body. The nerves can also be strengthened and calmed, this promotes relaxation and concentration. These positive effects of yoga have made it very popular here in the west.
The name Integral Yoga was introduced by the indian philosopher Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950). His vision was revolutionary. Where as the traditional Yoga searches the Liberation from the earthly dimensions, Sri Aurobindo saw the Task of modern mankind, to integrate spirituality in life. Also other teachers of our times, explain that Yoga can no longer be seen as an isolated attempt to liberate one self but that it should manifest a gift for our fellowmen and for life as a whole.
In this new approach to Yoga the practitioners do not primarily seek to become vitally energized from an exercise nor do they attempt to empty the mind but they learn, inspired by spiritual thoughts and feelings to create these exercises in a very light, artistic and aesthetical way. For example if when people practise yoga they are conscious of a given energy centre or of the spiritual meaning of a certain position and they observe the feeling that unfolds, they can open up whole new depths of awareness. These new inner feelings enrich the soul and this process doesn’t remain limited to the yoga practice but promotes the practitioner’s ability to relate both to an ideal, as well as to everyday life.
The value of practising Integral Yoga and its socio-cultural context
With this yoga practice, in which the Self and the consciousness are actively shaping the exercise, we reduce the danger of an in-concrete submersion into the energies of the body, which would actually weaken the creative forces of our consciousness. Yoga actually means “to connect” and therefore we need the creative powers of our Self and consciousness to support a joyous relationship building, and liberating experience. Thus, this modern approach of Yoga brings values to social and cultural life.nor