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Xavi on Yoga

29-08-2013 · Xavi Gracia

Yogui Xavi

Doing a Google search of the word “Yoga”, you get over 389,000,000 results in 0.32 seconds. This gives us an idea of how complex this everyday term is, and that’s why writing about Yoga is tricky. I’ll try to shed some light on the most unclear points.

There are several types of yoga; they have different names and are based on different philosophies. However all Yoga Gurus agree that it was born in India. Archaeological finds from the 17th century BC show human-shaped statues in yoga poses. Yoga is a lifestyle as well as a way of life. There are eight steps or “Ashtanga”.

1. Yamas: the basic principles of yoga, “commandments” or its universal principles.
2. Niyamas: behavior in everyday life and personal discipline.
3. Asanas: postures.
4. Pranayamas: breathing.
5. Pratyahara: detachment from the material world, eating small amounts, mental flexibility.
6. Dharana: concentration.
7. Dyana: meditation.
8. Samadhi: balance between body and mind.

Some people follow all these points, but what we know as yoga today is only partially based on this science, and a lot of philosophies converge within it.
It has been modernised, comercialised and it is trendy to do it. A lot of new schools have popped up focusing on more specific areas, such as yoga for pregnant women, etc.

Xavi in Yoga Class

Nowadays it is very commercial and far from what the real Hindu gurus practiced. Therefore every “yogui”, that’s how yoga practitioners call themselves, has their own philosophy, linked to one of the different yoga styles, modern or ancestral.

Like every type of exercise it is beneficial. People who do yoga often, they find balance between strength and flexibility and it brings wellness to their everyday life. The joints are not under pressure and the muscles work all day long doing comfortable movements.

It is also important to mention the mental balance that it generates, even if just practicing for a short time; it helps to switch off and to put your ideas in order, your beliefs and your values.

That is why yoga it is recommended to those who suffer from stress or lead a very busy life. I always repeat the same motto to my clients: “Stop, to carry on”.

Does this divergence from its humble beginnings enrich or impoverish yoga?

Xavi Gracia

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