Cast your mind back 3,000 years ago to ancient India and you will see that there were no overweight people as there we no supermarkets, fast food joints, or refrigeration.
There were no inflexible people as everyone sat on the floor and did manual work. Just getting around required physical effort, there were no cars or electric scooters.
So, why did the yogis create Yoga if it was not for losing weight or gaining flexibility?
What the yogis understood is that the body/mind are not two separate entities, but two sides of the same coin. What is done with the body impacts the mind, and what happens in the mind impacts the body.
Yoga Made Our Lives Much Easier
While modern technology has made our lives much easier and general living more convenient, the stresses facing humans (food, shelter, money, and relationships) have not changed.
The emotional blueprint today is exactly the same as in times past and each individual still experiences a battle between feelings of hope, optimism, and love, and those of doubt, and insecurity.
As the world spins around us, the goal of Yoga is to find our center so that we are able to maintain mental balance and not get crushed in the overwhelming challenges that are out of our control, e.g., the Russian/Ukraine war, rapidly rising inflation, loved ones dying, etc.
The yogis created a system that addresses our needs on all levels: Asana for creating a healthy and mobile body. Meditation is to learn how to control our minds, and Pranayama (breath work) is the tool to link the body and mind together.
The practice of authentic Yoga is like a recipe and if the instructions are not followed the meal ends up a bit of a mess.
You need the right ingredients, in the right amount, cooked with the right technique to make a healthy meal.
The parts of Yoga (Asana, Pranayama, and Meditation) are synergistic – a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
Happiness is not the endless pursuit of pleasant experiences, but a way of being that results from cultivating a benevolent mind, emotional balance, inner freedom, inner peace, and wisdom. Each of these qualities is a skill that can be enhanced through the practice of Yoga.