PART I: YOGA.
In the western civilizations, yoga has become a part of a fitness program, with its original eastern teachings and meanings being lost in the misconstrued mindset of the west. However, a compendium on yoga would be physical, mental and spiritual practices that are meant to still the mind, or bring the mind to permanent peace. It is the stilling of the ever-changing states of the mind and hence bringing it to union with the divine (with stillness itself). It is interesting to read that in the Christian Bible, being still has a direct connection to knowing God.
‘Be still and know that I am God,’ Psalm 46.10.
If one takes a look at a spinning wheel, one notices that as the wheel spins, every single point of the wheel that spins in one direction has an opposite and equal spin in the other direction. For every bit of sorrow, there is a little joy. For every bit of happiness, there is a little sadness; and it goes on and on. Isaac Newton sums this up in his Third Law of Motion:
‘For every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.’
These are the various states of the mind and when one becomes trapped or identified in this situation of feeling subject to the ever-changing states of mind, one then becomes trapped in the melodrama of world of the ego, or the world of illusion.
But even though the wheel is spinning, the very center of the wheel does not. It is the immovable center and is not subject to the ever-changing state of the spinning wheel. The purpose of yoga is to bring one to the state of the immovable mind, stillness or union with the divine (or what some folks have termed as ‘God’). So it is recommended that whenever one is practicing yoga, one could appreciate the fact that there is more to yoga than just the physical aspect of it. True peace is peace that one experiences when one is free from the constructs of the ever-changing states of the mind. It is one that is obtained only through stillness of the mind (the immovable center), which is the same as union with the divine. Yoga could help one get to that state of mind and being.