In the modern and western worlds, “doing yoga” is simply seen as the asana or poses that people do, usually in studios led by teachers. Although posture is a part of yoga, it is not the only thing that it encompasses. What many don’t know, as modern yoga classes don’t often explore these aspects of the lifestyle, is that yoga is a daily practice of many different things.
To lightly introduce, there are eight different facets to this lifestyle; the yamas and niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dhrana, dhyana, and samadhi…
Yoga is a daily practice that can be used as a lifestyle in order to reveal our true spiritual nature. Yoga literally means to unite, more specifically, uniting awareness mind, body, and soul bring the practitioner into awareness and connection with the universe. For Patanjali, the author of the Yoga Sutras, states in the first sutra that Yoga is, “the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff…”
And so, the fluctuations of the mind become clouds that block the sun shining through. The sun is your true self and the clouds are your thoughts and emotions and behaviors obstructing the reality of the world. Once the clouds start to float away, your true nature is revealed and you can turn inward to reach samadhi (bliss and union with the universe). The practice is clearing the clouds in the sky of your mind and through the rights limbs of yoga, we can achieve this.
I believe yoga to be important to reach that happiness we all crave in our lives. Being happy is not a destination we get to once we are older and have a job and all of these other things society expects us to have… happiness is a daily practice of mindfulness and awareness for whats going on in the mind. Only once you have quieted that chatter in the mind can you turn inward and listen to the most wise and important person of all, you. That person knows what is needed for true happiness, fulfillment, and peace.
Since life can be hard, and practicing yoga 24/7 is a real challenge unless your lost up in the mountains in complete silence for the sole purpose of enlightenment, weekly, I will be introducing a new topic in order to help you focus your attention on these aspects of your being. I will bring your attention to one of those “clouds” that may exists in your mind and then offer you tips on how to mindfully practice finding balance around this behavior or thought to let it float away. This series is a guide for you to follow in order to gain awareness for those obstructing behaviors and thoughts that you engage in day to day and mindfully change the way your react. Together, we will work on creating space inside of your mind to find peace.
Click here to go straight to the first week of the Yoga Living series on non-attachment!