Most people begin a yoga or meditation practice to improve their health or to manage stress, but yoga is much more than a stretching class, and meditation is much more than a stress management technique. When you delve into the rich philosophy of yoga, you find that yoga is not simply something you do on the yoga mat or the meditation cushion. It is a lifestyle and a way of thinking and seeing the world.
When we study ancient texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads, and the Yoga Sutras, we see that yoga aims at nothing short of changing the way perceive the world. Through spiritual practice, mindful living and conscious relationships, our whole way of thinking is healed.
Reading ancient text from a very different culture is not easy, however. In my second book, Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic, I attempt to make the complex world of yoga philosophy more understandable to a modern western yogi. I also offer lectures and workshops on various topics throughout the United States and abroad. Be sure to visit my events page for upcoming lectures. For those of you who can’t make it to my lectures, I have posted many of my talks for easy download into you iPod.
As I have practiced yoga in the quest for inner peace, I have found that my spiritual practice doesn’t end when I leave the yoga mat or finish my meditation. That is the beginning. While having a time of quiet each day is essential for our spiritual health, it is what we do in the world that propels us forward as individuals and as a society.
—Darren Main, Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic