Yoga: Union of Body, Mind & Spirit
Yoga is more than stretching. It is actually a science and study of the body and mind that is thousands of years old. This science can benefit us today when we learn the tools to utilize the body to relax the mind.
"The purpose of yoga is for an easeful body, a peaceful mind and a useful life. " Swami Satchidananda
The term somatic literary means " of the body". Somatic psychology utilizes the body to gain understanding of the mind, creating a mind body connection. The term yoga means to "yoke" or "union". It is the union of the body, mind and spirit. Making yoga the oldest form of somatic psychology. Ancient scholars studied the affects of the body-mind connection to learn to quiet the mind.
In yoga the term "monkey or puppy mind" is often used. This refers to the basic nature of the mind to wander, think, get distracted and be in constant prepartion for future events. This part of the brain is designed for self preservation. However, we often create perceived threats, when there aren't any, creating the story "something is wrong" and "we are unsafe". This creates fight, flight or freeze mode, causing unneccesary adrenaline to course throughout the body. This burst of adrenaline we call stress, anxiety, panic, essentially fear. We all have it! The key to well being is not about how to get rid of these fears and false beliefs, but how to respond when they appear.
This is the essential governing principle of yoga.
"yogas chitta vritta nirodoha",
"yoga clears the mind stuff".