Yoga means that our mind has the controlling capacity, taking practice. That is yoga, according to the late Shri K.Patthabi Jois. “Yoga is chitta vritti nirodha”, says he. Chitta means mind control, he adds.
Normally people don’t control their mind. Instead, they are controlled by their mind, because the mind is wandering, searching all other places. That is NOT good, Jois says in an interview.
Is this practice(yoga)spiritual or physical? Jois claims that yoga (to him) involves both aspects.
What if we’re not quite into the spiritual aspect? Jois advises that we should just practice regularly. So even of you’re not that spiritual, you may later on become more spiritual as you’re doing more and more practice. “Take practice, and it’s automatically coming,”he adds further. That is the ‘one and only method’ in mastering ashtanga yoga. The emphasis on the importance of practice is just obvious when Jois says:”Don’t ask theory. Theory (I) don’t want.”
Jois explains the 2 methods he employs: the outside and inside method of yoga practice. Outside method, according to him, consists of asanas practice, pranayama, yama, niyama, pranayama. Whereas inside method involves pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi. “Inside, correcting is possible; outside, correcting is impossible,”Jois elaborates. In other words, when a yogi/ yogini practices yoga, adjusting asanas or pranayama techniques can be a piece of cake. Almost everyone can do that, such as fixing the wrong alignment of feet, position of the palms, etc. However, when it comes to inside practice, others – even the best yoga gurus on earth – cannot fix or adjust what you do wrong. That may be why practicing yoga asanas won’t make one a better person. Becoming bendier, physically healthier is great but it’ll need more efforts to be balanced, both physically and spiritually.
When we follow the practice on a regular basis, eventually when we look inside, we may find God.
To Jois, yoga is not a short-lived fad. It’s a life-long practice and committment as he says,”One month, two months, one year, two years, ten years…No use! (The) whole life!”
Our whole life is practice…