Yoga Core Concepts

15 Jan

Yoga Urdhva Dhanurasana

The core concepts of yoga are, in fact, fundamental truths about human existence. They are regarded by yogis as universal laws. They help to both explain and guide the psychology through which human beings relate to their predicament. Therefore, an intimate understanding of the core concepts is vital for yoga teachers, because they help us to transform our relationship with the world. Such a transformation is the liberating step in our path toward enlightenment. The following core concepts are common to all of the “Liberation Teachings” of yogic styles.


Everything in the universe is in constant flux. Everything that is born has to die. This concept is most clearly exemplified to us when we consider the aging process of human life, and in any experience of loss. It is also exemplified – though less easily observed – by the process of birth and rebirth. Impermanence has been referred to as the truth of life. It is said that only through embracing this truth can we achieve real inner peace and tranquility.


This second core concept follows from the first. Given that everything is constantly changing, becoming and then dying, this means that nothing manifest (in other words, perceived as being permanent) can give us lasting happiness. This concept has been articulated in Buddhist doctrine as non-attachment. Of course, one feels a strong sense of attachment to one‟s own life and loved ones. However, in accordance with yogic doctrine it is necessary to bear in mind that real peace and enlightenment cannot depend on attachment to human relationships or material possessions.


This is, in a sense, the law of cause and effect. Karma actually refers to the concept of “action” – which is precisely what inspires the entire process of cause and effect. All of our actions, big and small, actively affect our past, present and future experiences. These results of our actions, which are known as karma-phala, may be perceived immediately, or they may be delayed.


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