There are many times readers come to Be Happy's blog through this search word "Why do we practice yoga"...
I had wrote an article about this topic before, but here are a few points that we can share again due to the world is changing rapidly fast...
Yoga practice is for all types of people or beings with different characteristics, personalities, believes, motives and expectations or desires...
Whatever we think yoga is, whatever we want yoga to be, or however we want to be benefited from yoga practice, whether for selfish intention or for selfless intention, it is fine. Yoga is there for us for anything that we desire (what we want) or do not desire (what we don't want)...
Some people do the yoga asana exercises as a fitness exercise to look good and feel good; for sustaining and improving physical and mental health and fitness; for slimming or to put on weight; for countering illnesses; for easier breathing; for detoxification remove toxic substances from our system; for countering stress; for better quality of sleep; for rehabilitation from physical and emotional injuries; for having better body alignments and posture; for over-all beauty and sense of well-being; for personal satisfaction and achievements; for passing time; for removing boredom or loneliness; for building self-esteem or confidence; for coming out from certain addictions; for healing purposes; for exploring and unfolding "things" beyond what our mind can perceive; for playing with the energy fields in our body; for attaining calmness and peacefulness; for relaxation; for creativity; for self-image; for socializing; for finding the better half; for pleasing somebody; for humanity; for ourselves; for the world; for being able to stand on our hands and our head, or to be able to bring our feet towards our head from behind; or mainly out of curiosity to try it out, since it is quite a popular "thing to do" and "topic to gossip about"; for fun; or just to do "something", and etc...
Some people do yoga asana for the purpose of balancing, purifying and calming the energy fields; stimulating and energizing the energy centres; unblocked any energy blockage; channeling the energy for higher spiritual realization; generate and conserving energy; changing the habits of the mind; changing how the mind feels and thinks; developing concentration, awareness and mindfulness; developing non-identification with the body and mind, letting go of the ego; letting go of judgment, comparison and expectation; letting go of pride and arrogance; letting go of discontentment and greed; letting go of craving and aversion; letting go of frustration, anger and hatred; developing patience, forbearance, non-attachment, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, cheerfulness, vitality, acceptance, and etc; being in the present moment now, accepting the present moment now as it is, accepting ourselves as we are in the present moment now as it is; letting go of physical, mental and emotional tensions; letting go of jealousy, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anxiety, agitation, depression, negative thinking, low self-esteem, fear and worry; removing restlessness; purifying the mind remove impurities, and etc..., as part of the yoga practice, to prepare the body and mind for meditation to contemplate on the Truth of who we really are, to realize selflessness or compassion, and be free from ignorance and suffering that derived from ignorance, and realize eternal and unconditional peace, transcending birth and death, worldly existence, names and forms, qualities and dualities...
Beside the yoga asana as part of yoga practice, yoga practice consists of but not limiting to - observing ethical moral conducts (Yama & Niyama); restraining wants and desires; renunciation from worldly activities; renounce from the fruit of actions; restricting senses inputs; controlling the thoughts, actions and speech; performing Japas, Bhajans, Kirtans, chantings and prayers; performing Kriyas; study and contemplating on the Yoga Scriptures or the teachings of yoga; practice loving kindness, forgiveness, tolerance, honesty, truthfulness, simplicity, compassion, wisdom, dispassion, detachment, solitude, silence, austerity, celibacy, selfless service, faith and devotion towards the Truth and the universal consciousness, breath control - Pranayama, withdrawal of the senses from the objects of the senses - Pratyahara, concentration - Dharana, meditation - Dhyana, and annihilation of the mind - Samadhi...
There are also many other unlimited intentions, motives and expectations in people who practice yoga or just the yoga asana exercises, such as :-
To teach yoga exercises as livelihood, or to start yoga school(s) or yoga centre(s) as a money making business, to attain wealth, name and fame, or mainly to share the greatness of yoga with many other beings...
To train the body and mind to be able to do some artistic or acrobatic moves for show performances, or as personal achievement and satisfaction, or for entertainment, or for competition, or for taking photos or making videos to share with others or to make some profits, or for any other reasons...
To enhance memories, brains activities, mind's clarity, productivity and creativity...
To improve relationship, quality of life and quality of work...
To be able to sleep better, to balance up imbalanced hormones, to deal with everyday stress and frustration...
To tap the power of thoughts to make our wishes come true...
To let go of physical, mental or emotional pain, hurts and suffering...
To be a better person or human being...
To be able to say "no" without feeling guilty...
To be open-minded...
To be able to receive and give...
To be able to love and receive love...
To accept ourselves...
To be ourselves...
To love ourselves...
To be kind and compassionate towards ourselves and other beings...
To be what we want to be even if we think we are not "good" at it...
To be happy...
To be truly confident...
To know the truth of suffering...
To know the truth of existence...
To know who we really are...
To connect with the source in us...
To be pure...
To be free, to be liberated...
For humanity and world peace...
Or just be...
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