Paleo Magazine Insider May 2015 - Page 14

W H EN Y O U TH IN K O F Y O G A , you probably think of the photos you see of people doing handstands and other crazy poses that either scare you to death or make you completely motivated to give that powerful pose a try. But either way, yoga is more. The poses you see are simply one part of the eightfold yoga path to enlightenment. Ancient yogis wanted to be enlightened. They wanted to know what created life and to feel united with that source. So they came up with a way of living that they believed would help them to achieve this union and enlightenment. Briefly, here are the eight elements of the yoga path to enlightenment (with the Sanskrit word and what it translates to in English). ^ © CAN STOCK PHOTO INC. / KVKIRILLOV yamas Morals and ethics 10 WAYS YOGA HELPS YOU DROP YOUR EGO 14 May 2015 eNewsletter niyamas Personal observances and ways of behavior asanas Yoga poses pranayama Breath control pratyahara Control of your self, senses and desires dharana Concentration (focus) and cultivating self-awareness dhyana Meditation on the Divine self (holy spirit) within samadhi To become one (merge) with the Divine Modern-day science has confirmed the yogis knew what they were doing when it comes to the calming of the mind and body and finding inner peace. Neuroscientists have found that the brains of yogis who meditate actually look different in structure than those of non-meditators. The areas of the brain that process sight, sound, touch and feelings have been found to be more developed in yogis. Many spiritual texts say that we are God in human form. We have an ego that lives in us, but we also have a universal life force that lives within us all. When we begin the yoga path, we begin to unveil our true nature—this oneness that we all share. It’s easy when you’re at the top of your fitness game to get caught up in an ego mindset. But when you’re that high up with a huge ego, there’s only one place to go, and that is down. Some top-performing athletes are very humble and live from this place of union with others—a place of feeling connected to all individuals regardless of status or skill. Much of this attitude depends on your circle of friends, your upbringing and what you choose to focus on. To keep your ego in check and connect to