First and second yoga principles. Dharma. Goal of yoga. Yoga online class - theory for beginners.
Can we say that any system of self-exploration is yoga?
The system of self-exploration can be named yoga only if it strictly follows the first and the second principle of yoga and leads a person to proper use and discovery of freedom. First of all, to freedom from physical, intellectual and mental constraints caused by the inharmonious way of life.
The first and second principle of yoga are sometimes called the principle of Kindness (1st yoga principle) and the principle of Common Sense (2nd yoga principle).
The first principle says:"You should try not to harm any living being. If you can’t do it, then you should follow your duty."
The second principle says: "You should not waste your energy and direct your mind at anything that does not lead you to your goal - at your work, study, rest, or yoga. You should make every effort to move towards this objective."
The "third principle of yoga" is the principle of overcoming of sufferings. It is applied when the person has become strong in the first two principles.
What is the purpose of self-exploration in yoga?
The purpose of self-exploration in yoga is finding of freedom of a person from all limiting factors. As a result of gaining this freedom, the amazing abilities appear. Sometimes yogis demonstrate absolute control over their physical body, extraordinary mental and psychic powers that seem fantastic to ordinary people. It is not the purpose of yoga to get a beautiful, strong, non-aging body, getting rid of stress, developing of intellectual abilities and the use of hidden psychic powers. It’s only a "free
supplement" or a side-effect from self-exploration and exploring of the Universe.
The goal of yoga is very high. It's a full, unconditional freedom from everything. So "yoga" can be called the system of self-exploration that leads a person to a real freedom through the knowledge about ourselves and the Universe.
If a system enslaves, intimidates, weakens a person, his/her mind and will, makes him/her dependent, then this system is not yoga. Yoga says that people should be free from everything, even from yoga, if it limits the person in some way.
We should remember that another side of freedom is responsibility and duty. If you aspire to your personal freedom, but infringe and ignore the freedom of other living beings you will only make your situation worse. You can reach the highest ideal of freedom for yourself through helping other
people in acquiring the freedom.
So, you can reach your own freedom if you don’t reduce the freedom of others. It’s called responsibility. It is impossible to gain freedom by ignoring responsibility. If you meet a person who demonstrates the permissiveness of behavior at the expense of freedom and interests of others, and if this kind of
a person in everything that he/she says is using the highest ideals of freedom in yoga as a cover, you have to know that such a person has nothing common with yoga. If your freedom is based on the lack of freedom of others, you’ll become constrained soon.
Also, you have to remember about the duty. If someone in the past was kind to you and reduced his/her freedom for you and you used this freedom, then you have a duty to this person.