Lately, I have been contemplating about the true aim of Yoga. Yoga is HOT and more and more yoga schools are opening their doors. You can find yoga in most of the bigger fitness school, community centres and schools. The benefits are acknowledged and yoga is recommended by doctors, physiotherapists and osteopaths. Great, isn’t? Yes, it is and at times only the asana aspect of yoga is being presented. Yoga teachers basically become asana or posture teachers.
So what are we missing? It is worthwhile to study the concept ‘Bhoga’. ‘Bhoga’ is a Sanskrit word meaning; enjoyment or an object of pleasure. If the senses are directed outwards, they are attracted to objects and follow the path of bhoga. Yoga means to yoke or to unite, to become one. A yogi transforms bhoga (the enjoyments of earthly experience) into yoga (a path of Enlightenment).The direction of the senses is changed so that they turn inwards.
If you practice svādhyāya, you read your own book of life and at the same time you write and revise it. This can lead to realization that all creation is meant for bhakti (adoration) rather than for bhoga (enjoyment). That all creation is divine and that there is divinity within yourself and that the energy which moves you is the same that moves the entire universe.
So yoga is not about having fun?! Do you have to choose between bhoga and yoga? You can calm down your confused mind, since they are complementary rather than conflicting. It is all about balance and the essential duality you are surrounded by in life. It’s not about right and wrong, both are there and have value.
Yes! You can have fun while practicing yoga (asanas). If you focus solely on gaining physical strength, you are more a bhogi than yogi. Since you’re focused on a materialistic aspect which will give you only temporary happiness. A yogi aims to still the mind through asana, as well as through the other 7 limbs. Enjoy!