Articles about Spirituality
Introduction to Yoga: Part 1 by Metaphysical Coach Carol S. Batey
One may be considering applying the physical and meditation of yoga to improve their overall physical, emotional, spiritual and mental self. But, traditional Christians from the West may be unsure of the truths behind the myths associated with yoga. The purpose of this writing is to dispel any fear that may be associated with these falsehoods and to show how yoga contributes to the overall well-being of any person, regardless of their spiritual or moral beliefs.
One of yoga’s major falsehoods in Western society is that in order to practice yoga, you must follow a certain eastern religion or faith. The truth is, regardless of your spiritual beliefs, anyone can practice yoga; yoga does not prescribe to the worship of any particular God. Often, congregants believe what their spiritual leaders say about the practice of yoga—that it is the worship of a false God and it derives from the devil. Yoga is simply a meditation that can positively affect the body, mind, soul and spirit in gaining insights into healing and relaxation. Yoga can help to still a racing mind, while allowing one to hear the inner voice within his soul, as well as focus on conditioning the body. So many musicians, artists, writers, athletes, metaphysical ministers and teachers, and holistic practitioners use the works of yoga to blend an exhilarating mind-body workout.
While many traditional Christians believe that yoga is a religion, it is not. Yoga simply teaches beliefs, similar to a religious belief system. Yoga encourages its participants to practice meditation, silence, tolerance and goodwill toward all things on this planet. Students of yoga are also encouraged to apply love to all mankind, as do traditional and non-traditional religions.
Yoga is the ability to train your mind to focus, to be calm, and observe what is happening around you without reacting. This ability is mental discipline. Having such discipline allows you to achieve personal and physical transformations such as weight loss, as well as spiritual transformation and closeness to your own personal Deity. I have used Hatha yoga and meditation after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia, an auto-immune disorder. My neurologist prescribed me pain and anti-inflammatory medicines. Shortly thereafter, the medications no longer helped my condition and I developed sciatic pain. This type of pain is very hard to describe; it closely resembles the pain of childbirth. Finally, my doctor ordered me to go to physical therapy twice a week, walk in a swimming pool and practice low-impact Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga enhances the physical posture of the body. Remembering the scripture “Physician, heal thyself” (Luke 4.23), I had to take personal responsibility and started the process of healing myself. Along with Hatha yoga and walks in the pool, I was introduced to a mystical meditation and visualization to see my nerves healed. Lastly, I sought out a reflexologist to work on the nerve endings of my feet. In the book of Isaiah, he writes, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings.” (Isaiah 52.7)
The book, “Yoga Beneath the Surface” (2006), the main objective is freedom or kaivalya. The word kaivalya in Sanskrit is termed to be alone, or freedom. When a person decides to practice yoga, they gain the benefit of being able to focus, thus, helping them create their dreams of reality. The body, mind and spirit will unite. The mind becomes one.
Within my metaphysical practice my goal is to educate the client about the benefits of all the holistic body works. My focus will be on the practices of the five major branches of yoga, along with a meditation coupled with massage for releasing body tension. I will help my clients achieve their potential in all aspects of their life. The majority of people that I life-coach and/or provide massage therapy are trying to re-create their lives. After dealing with life’s ups and downs such as a nine-to-five structured corporate job, mid-life crises, job losses, health issues, loss of income, life after divorce or death of a love one, they are anxious to step into their desired destiny such as writing a book, creating songs or beginning a new project
As a metaphysical writer, I shared this information in my book “What’s Cooking in Your Soul?” (2010). Before my twenty-one years of marriage ended, I went to massage school in order to move forward into my unknown destiny. I, like many, feared the unknown so much that I too resisted moving forward. People tend to wear many masks in our daily lives and we ultimately learn to be dishonest, even with ourselves, in our innermost secret dialogue. I admit I was fearful and doubted myself, so I put on a mask of being calm and together. By refusing to acknowledge the truth and putting on these masks, we often complicate the situation and increase our stress within our soul and body. Personally, my inner stress became too much for me to bear and I eventually stopped going to a place of worship. I stepped back from truth, yoga, and a communion with spirit. However, the spirit never left me, even though I ate all the wrong things for my body, mind, and spirit and gained weight. My children were acting out in school. I lost my confidence in my ability to make a living as a massage therapist, and I felt that I would not be able to accomplish my goal of becoming a massage therapist. We often set self-impose limitations on ourselves out of fears that stem from negative emotions that exist within our lives. We must battle against these limitations every day
No matter what one is trying to create in their life, yoga is a practice that, as a lifestyle coach, I highly recommend to all, regardless of their spiritual belief.