One of the pillars of yoga, for Westerners anyway, is the extension of inner balance and focus. While more developed Eastern practices may involve more abstracted versions of this generality, the typical yoga practice in the modern world is more about escaping one’s surroundings than connecting with it. Much like Nootropics work to help our physical focus, Yoga can be used to help our emotional focus. By connecting with the powerful experience of facing goals versus resistance, one is able to thoroughly examine the subtleties by which personal growth can be achieved. Again, much like the usage of Nootropics for mental clarity, different yoga practices offer different means of inner focus building—just like the best nootropics often vary from person to person.
Cognitive Enhancement With Yoga
While this may sound a bit rigid for discussion within yoga practices, one can simply regard ‘cognitive enhancement’ as being the strengthening of mental focus. Certainly, yoga is a great exercise to increase one’s focus on many levels, and is used by experts in many fields to help meet the demands of their professional lives. While yoga won’t compete in the realm of data for mental-enhancing properties with supplements, many of those whom practice yoga convey sentiments of drastic increases in the ability to focus on tasks, recall information, and construct abstract perspectives. One might say that yoga opens the inner self into a more creative and full existence—often reflected by the activities in which we engage. Certainly, if we are more engaged in the world around us, our recollection, impressions, and perceptions will all be more robust and holistic.
Short Term Practices
While the benefits of yoga are countless, numbering in the subjective realm of infinity, it is almost a certainty that the longer one practices the more of these benefits one will reap. For instance, some of the more advanced techniques and positions require a great deal of experience and practice simply to attempt. Once one is able to get into those positions—then one is afforded the opportunity to learn the lessons taught by these poses. It’s kind of like an ante situation in cards, you have to pay a certain cost up-front to have a chance to win. In the case of yoga, a short-term practice will only produce short term results. A more thoroughly-developed practice however, will afford many yogis many great rewards. As with so many other aspects of life, yoga often yields benefits strongly correlated to the efforts one invests in one’s own practice. If you are interested in short-term results, you will only develop a short-term understanding of how you might be able to expand mentally, emotionally, and physically through the practice of yoga. However, if you commit yourself fully to the practice of yoga, you will understand your own inner balance to a much higher degree.
Rapid Procession of Frequency
Our lives are defined by transitory events—revelations, deaths, births, new jobs, new hobbies, sleep, eating, napping, etc. Many spiritualists, and religious types as well, share a sense of perceiving that these transitory periods—which themselves lead to other events—are merely shadows of a higher patterns of which we are a part of. The transition from life to death, for example takes us from a known to an unknown. Barring the unknown, that transition isn’t unlike every other transition that we make in life, in that we were first one place and then another. The cycles of the leaves, summer rain, winter snow, humid nights to crisp fall afternoons—these are all transitions in which we were one place before, and then another. While these transitions certainly seem minuscule in comparison to death, I would argue that spiritualists, yogis, and even the traditionally-religious all agree that they are indicative of the natural worlds commitment to an infinite cycle of change. No where in the natural world, apart from deaths, do we have any suspicion that any of these cycles may one day cease to go on. Yoga helps expand the inner awareness that as a part of these cycles, it would be without warrant to perceive death to be anything but another transition.
That inner awareness is often gained through the realization that our own egos construct very powerful veils to obfuscate our ability to see past death, and imagine our own infinite cycles. We grow, we change, we transition—just as the rest of the world. Where we are now is merely a stepping stone to where we are heading, and our struggles now—just the lens through which we are able to to imagine our futures. We will never not be what we have been, yet—in such a world of change, there is not static existence to define ourselves by any one moment. We aren’t the first year of our life, yet that first year is a part of us. As is such, we won’t therefore be our death either—and our deaths are merely parts of our never-ending selves.
While the practice of yoga won’t afford any instant results, any short-term miracles, or any un-earned growth—it serves an invaluable platform for us to practice self-growth. Just as a weight room provides an excellent medium for physical growth—assuming you put in the time and effort—so too, yoga provides an avenue for us to grow.