An individual human being becomes who he or she is only because of what he or she perceives. You are who you are right now only because of what you have perceived in your life until now, and you will be who you will be only because of what you will perceive in future. The whole system of yoga is about enhancing perception.
If you hold the posture right, if your alignment is right, it matches with the cosmic alignment in some way. The 84 yogasanas represent 84 alignments, because existence as we know it now is seen as the 84th creation. The memory of these 84 creations is reflected in our body. We are trying to release and activate this memory. If one gets into these 84 postures, or if one masters a single posture and approaches the remaining 83 through that, one can know everything that has happened in creation until now, because the memory of that is within one’s system in a codified way. If this memory touches another dimension outside of yourself, it can be activated and ignited.
Yogasanas are a powerful means to connect. Do not forget, yoga means union. Union means two have become one. There are only two in existence – you and the rest of existence. In the rest of existence you may identify individual entities, but essentially, there are only two – you and the rest of existence – because there are only two dimensions of experience within you. You do not know what is up and down in this cosmos. You do not know what is forward and backward. These are all things that we have made up for convenience. Essentially, there are only two dimensions of experience – inner experiences and outer experiences.
Yoga is about creating a union between these two dimensions – inner and outer, you and the rest, you and the other. When there is no “you” and “the other,” when there is just “you” and “you,” that is yoga. Asanas are a physical form of approaching this ultimate union, because the physical body is the easiest thing to work with. If you try to come to this union with your mind, it will play too many tricks. With the body, at least you know whether it is doing it right or not, whether it is cooperating or not. If you push the mind too hard, it will make you believe all kinds of things and dump you the next day. The body is a more reliable factor. If you work with it sensibly, the yogasanas can definitely lead to ultimate union.
In the meantime, before this alignment with the ultimate happens, by getting into the postures, inner alignment happens, which will naturally create a chemistry of healthfulness, joyfulness, and blissfulness – and above all balance. Balance is something that modern societies have ignored, and they are paying a huge price for it. Whatever your intelligence, whatever your competence, education, and qualifications – if you do not have the necessary balance, you will not succeed. You will not go very far in your life.
The most important thing for people who are seeking to be successful – whether in the corporate sector, in politics, in the military, or any other field – is balance. Only if you have a balance that is not disturbed by external situations, are you capable of making use of the competence and intelligence within you. Otherwise, even the most wonderful qualities that one may have will go waste, simply because of lack of balance. Hatha yoga brings this balance.