Yoga

Yoga is both the movement and the arrival at a point

TKV Desikachar

I practice Yoga since 2003 and teach classes on a regular basis. For me, Yoga is a universal and at the same time very individual system containing philosophical and physical practice. The practice of Yoga differs from person to person and is constantly changing. In The Heart of Yoga, TKV Desikachar (1938-2016) writes “Yoga is both the movement and the arrival at a point”. The common idea is “about the means by which we can make the changes we desire in our lives.”(TKV Desikachar, 1995) Desirable changes may (and from my experience do often) concern our health, our relationships and how we behave and interact. “The science of yoga applies itself to all aspects of life.” (Swami Satyananda Saraswati, 2013). An essential component is to identify our individual goals. In this context, Yoga helps us to learn about the changes we desire and how to achieve them. The goals and the means interact reciprocally and are subject to change. Practicing Yoga, we become aware of our body, our feelings, our thoughts and actions.

Notably, focusing on the action leading towards an individual goal instead of concentrating on the goal itself is also recognized in Western Psychology: Randolph M. Nesse, physician, evolutionary biologist and former president of the International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health (ISEMBH), stated “that an excessively direct pursuit of happiness is likely to lead to frustration and, paradoxically, unhappiness, because happiness is not a reachable goal, but a state that emerges when an individual is making good progress towards his or her individual life goals.” (Nesse, 2004)

Research indicates that practicing mind-body interventions, such as Yoga, may be down-regulating the nuclear factor kappa B pathway which is involved in inflammation. A down-regulation of this pathway may thus lead to decreased inflammation levels. The corresponding review was published in the open access journal Frontiers in Immunology in 2017. The authors analyzed data from eighteen studies and call for more research to understand the effects at a deeper level.

I was trained as an internationally certified Yoga teacher according to the Yoga Alliance guidelines and teach regular classes since 2017. I believe that Yoga involves constant practice and education and continue my studies in different fields, including physiology, anatomy, philosophy and TCTSY (Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga).