You’ve probably heard about the many ways in which yoga improves your flexibility. You perhaps understand how yoga can help to develop your stamina and core strength. However, yoga does far more than boost those specific physical improvements. Yoga moves beyond the physical realm to develop critical core aspects of your spirituality.
How does yoga relate to your spirituality?
Yoga and Mindfulness
In our modern world, we can become bombarded with countless messages of want-want-want. Shopping TV shows regularly entice us with the latest tools, gadgets, and devices which are supposed to be critical to our happiness. Relationship shows endlessly hammer us with messages of finding an ultimate, ideal mate who is rich, successful, and physically perfect. Household shows create visions of ultimate homes full of top-notch technology and nearly impossible landscapes.
Yoga allows us to take that critical step back. Yoga reminds us of what is truly important in life. We need safe shelter. We need a caring partner. So many times the excess pie-in-the-sky world only creates destructive, needless drama.
How many lottery winners have descended into pain and bankruptcy? Suddenly it seems that every last friend became a bloodsucking leech. Every potential date became a blood-thirsty shark.
With yoga, we come to understand what is truly important. We delve into the core meaning of relationships. After everything we endure, the people who remain by our side are the ones who we can rely on. The partners we trust are the ones who deserve that loyalty.
Yoga and Balance
Yoga is about finding the balance point between our current lives and the world of those around us. What is it we need to move forward? What is it that the others around us are moving toward?
It can be easy sometimes to view the world through our own lens. We can consider the world as if we are the central actor in a play and those around us are secondary characters. But it’s important for us to consider that others are having the opposite view. They see themselves as a core figure. We, to them, are only side characters. How can we navigate this terrain? How can these disparate universes intersect?
Yoga and Consciousness
One commonly held view of the world is that we are all part of a large, integrated consciousness where every person plays a part. In this view, it is important for each of us to come to terms with our own integral part to play in that overall whole. As much as we might tend to think of our own role as a key, vital piece, in reality it’s more likely that we are a small but integral part in the overall storyline. We must present our role while also acknowledging that others play equally important parts in the movement of the story.
Yoga and Energy
We can sometimes think that we have to ‘force’ ourselves to take steps. That we need to sacrifice what is truly important to ourselves in order to move ahead. But that is counter to the lesson of yoga. Yoga instructs us that a goal which is worthy is in alignment with our dreams. If our dream is to help others, then a goal could be to work with a battered women’s shelter. A goal could be to volunteer at a foster home. If a task we are contemplating is one which feels a polar opposite to our life’s goal, it’s likely that that task does not further what is important to us.
It is a step in the wrong direction.
Finding Yoga’s True Path
Yoga is not always easy, but it is always honest. It is about delving into your core and determining what, for you, is important. It is about finding a path which brings you joy and satisfaction. This route will be different for every person. Some people will find that peace in helping others escape from troubling situation. Others will find the joy in supporting children who have been without hope.
You need to determine, for yourself, which path is right for you. It doesn’t matter what your family members think. It won’t matter what your friends sort out. All that matters is what you, in your innermost soul, are called by. What lessons life has taught you throughout your existence on our Earth. Those lessons were important. They brought you to where you are today. By listening to them, you can make the best use of tomorrow. Of every moment you have available to you in the coming days.
Yoga and Giving
It’s worth noting that yoga has a sense of balance. If you invest time into supporting others with your yoga practice, then it makes sense that the universe around you will bounce back positive support and energy in your direction. The universe creates a sense of equilibrium. If you are helping others to succeed, then you yourself will feel the wave rise you up to find success.
Conversely, if your actions cause others to find trouble or challenges, it’s likely that that strife will reflect back onto you as well.
Consider carefully how your actions influence others. Are there ways in which you can ensure your action are supportive rather than restrictive? How can you be more open to the support of others?
Every moment matters. Every day matters.
Treasure every breath. Examine how interconnected every life on our planet is. Consider how precious life is.