Is our body separate from our mind? Do we cure the body without paying attention to the state of our mind? Do we practice yoga to achieve a spectacular body and attend separate classes for meditation?
The obvious conclusion is that we are one total entity and our bodies get fit and, simultaneously, our mind prospers. It is interesting that we notice the combination more when we fall ill either physically or mentally. We do not experience our bodies directly unless we feel pain or pleasure. We do not experience the living organism which functions unconsciously. The practice of yoga can open this rich unconscious but, and there is a big but, we have to be aware of our inner energy and use it with respect.
Many practitioners abandon the inner workings of their bodies and concentrate instead on the forceful enactment of a “perfect” pose. This does not lead to understanding yoga but to instant satisfaction of one’s ego. It can also lead to injuries because the unconscious will always protect its own interest at the expense of the body.
In conclusion I would like to reiterate that yoga can teach respect for the amazing body and I also recommend yoga as the basis for any activity whether playing tennis or a peaceful mind. Chose the yoga teacher carefully and look for one who doesn’t offer instant gratification. Yoga is not a mindless exercise but a way of life.