What is Yoga and does it actually work?

February 17, 2016

In recent times I’m witnessing a shift at yoga studio’s. Where the physical benefits were the catalyst to start a yoga practice, people are now showing up in search of a deeper connection.

The beauty is regardless of the teacher the practice in itself gives the experiencer a sense that there is something beyond just the physical.

The ancient Northern Indian practice of Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years. In it’s true form the word Yoga means to unify/unite the mind body and soul, creating perfect harmony & connection. Connecting to the higher self “pure bliss consciousness”.

I used to have a teacher in LA who would say “If you’re being a good person – YOU’RE DOING YOGA”

That is it, the practice of Yoga stems far beyond just the physical. It is the complete surrender to love, kindness and compassion, also known as Samadhi (Enlightenment). Living in complete surrender to nature, the universe and giving without expecting anything in return. Often we think enlightenment is solely for the renounced guru living on the rock, but that is an image that has been misrepresented. Enlightenment is available and actually everyone’s natural normal state. We have just moved away from it.

We can find this through the practices of Yoga poses, meditation, devotional chanting, singing and tribal dancing. Any activity that is bringing you into a state of transcendence. This is where the mind goes beyond its normal thought process and lies still within the deepest levels of subtle thought.

You may have experienced this in a Yoga class where you went into a Savasana thinking a million things and then found yourself waking up to the teacher bringing you out after 5-10 minutes of “not knowing where you had just been”. This is the state of transcendence. Also noticing that after the class or meditation you felt calmer or more relaxed. Still experiencing thoughts but less attached to their meaning or outcome.

Now of course, practicing these amazing postures is going to improve your balance, health, strength, and flexibility but all of it a by-product of the Yoga practice. But really it’s the overall connection to ourselves and in turn to each other that we are all striving for whether it’s on the surface level or deeper level.

The physical benefits of yoga such as balance, health, strength and flexibility are a guarantee and add value to our lives. But really it’s the overall connection to ourselves that then transforms our relationship with others and the environment. The beautiful thing we all strive for is found, Connection, Union, Yoga.


Article by Josh Blau

I: @josh_blau_yoga

F: /joshblauyoga


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