In Celebration of Yoga

In Celebration of Yoga

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

On Sunday 21st of June, there were a number of events held all over the world to celebrate the International Yoga Day.  The day raises awareness about Yoga and highlights the importance and benefits of yoga on our mind, body and spirit.

I would like to reflect upon how often yoga and meditation have principles in common. In Sanskrit the meaning of yoga means to ‘unite’ or to ‘connect’.  Physical yoga, tends to deal with exercises that stretch and strengthen the body, and meditation focuses more on the spiritual aspects of life.  For each modality to be successful, we have to learn how to control the mind so that we can connect to our higher selves.

Taking the Breath

We talk about the breath of life… and yes, this works on a physical level. Definitely, without breathing there is no life!  But what is the breath of mind?  At a spiritual level the breath of mind relates to the quality of our thoughts and our experiences in our life.

Breathing for example is a recognition of the presence of the life force, the soul.  ‘I the soul’, the being, ‘I am’ the one that experiences life through matter, this body.  But what does it mean to breathe spiritually?  It means to have the aim to take in every moment, to be present and to experience life with quality thoughts like love, appreciation and gratitude as these will be powerful and energizing. Only that which we take in with love, will be nourishing for the soul.

In the same way we are affected by the food that we eat.  The body and soul can more easily digest that which is both wholesome and healthy, this will enable us to grow and flourish…  So, we have to pay attention to both what we give out and what we take in.

We know that anything toxic that we take into ourselves will only damage us.  It is very important for us to spiritually breathe with our soul lungs, just as we breathe with the bodily lungs. Therefore, we have to be very mindful to maintain our overall good health of the mind, body and spirit.

Image by Marisa04 from Pixabay

Learning to Sit in the Silence

A big part of the different yoga styles is to sit in silence, or samadhi, and to just ‘be at one’ with life.  We become content and appreciative in life and of life.

So, right now I would like you to take a moment and ‘just be’ in total appreciation of everything around you… take a good look around you… be grateful that you can afford a place to live… have family around you… the comfort of your home… food in the fridge… water flowing easily from the tap… air to breathe… just take that in… and breath in appreciation…

A Yogi Diet

The yogi diet is a satwic diet, one that does not inflict violence upon other sentient beings.  Such a diet is known to make the body and our immune system strong and healthy.  In the same way meditation makes the yogi mind strong and healthy, over time our immunity builds so that we are less influenced by the wasteful, negative, undesirable, and toxic thoughts and emotions.  We begin to become much more ‘mindfully’ conscious beings.

A healthy diet of the mind would be one filled with pure and positive thoughts.  Our thoughts need to be ones which include these five 5 P’s; – Pure, Peaceful, Positive, Powerful, Purposeful.  If we are not thinking any of these sorts of thoughts then we need to check the quality of our thinking.  Any other types of thoughts will mean that we will be losing power; this will make us weak, and then we will not have control over ourselves and certainly we will have no control over situations.

Image by Jonathan Sautter from Pixabay

Postures of the Mind and Body

The poses of Hatha Yoga are there to make the body physically flexible and adaptable… malleable… the postures build up our muscles and stamina and tone the body.  Likewise, in meditation we exercise the powers of the soul which make us adaptable in life…

Within Raja Yoga Meditation, we speak about the eight powers, these are like attitudes of the mind.  Each power is like a different pose, we can say they are postures of the mind.  We can use these powers like spiritual tools at a time of need.

These are the eight powers:

The power to withdraw; to become introspective and silent when needed
The power to pack up; to leave behind the unnecessary
The power to tolerance; this is a resilience power
The power to adjust; really having a nature of flexibility
The power to discern; to see clearly without ‘brain fog’
The power to judge; the ability to make a wisest choice
The power to face; this relates the being courageous in meeting life’s challenges
The power to co-operate; to bring my talents and qualities to the table when needed to help others and the situation

The power of silence enables the soul to take time out to re-centre itself and find the right power to use at the right time.  Silence helps the soul find its natural poise and balance.  Just as with the physical yoga, many postures require the soul to have great focus and determination.  These are admirable qualities used to balance both the mind and body.

For example if we have the power of easiness, the power to tolerate, the power to be light and have fun, then everything in life will seem easy and not difficult…  Through meditation we also enhance and increase our spiritual strength and powers… We tone up our spiritual muscles so to speak.

Right now I would like you to ask yourself which is the most valued power that you have… and how do you exercise it?… It is probably a power that comes naturally to you… focus on that… and see how happy you feel… just feeling powerful!

Image by Marisa04 from Pixabay

Keeping the Third Eye Open

This is the inner eye of understanding.  From here we are looking out at the world from deep within, from a dimension of spirit.  As we become familiar with our inner wisdom we begin to live more naturally from this spiritual place.

When we appreciate and value the practice of meditation, the yoga of the mind, then we will make time for some regular daily practice.  We are careful about what we pay attention to and the quality of our thoughts throughout the day.  It means that we can see more clearly and we will be able to apply spiritual knowledge more easily, we can call this experience and practice, and in time this will become natural wisdom.

We understand the value of the practice meditation and having a disciplined mind.  We check and change those thoughts when necessary, because our aim in life is to maintain clarity and balance.  Ultimately, we have a desire to be peaceful, healthy and happy.

When we have a heightened sense of awareness of the ‘self’, then our consciousness will naturally be more elevated.  This is simply the result of us being aware, focused and mindful.

When we remember the nature of our original ‘self’ as a spiritual being… pure energy and light then… we can experience our eternal truth that…

I am…

I am love….

I am light…

I am peace…

I am happy…

I am joy…

I am wise…

I am strong…

I am eternal…

Om…  I am…

Shanti… a being of peace…

Om Shanti…  I am a peaceful being… a peaceful soul…

It’s Time… to be at one with ourselves, to find peace in our mind, body and spirit…

 

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

 

© ‘It’s Time…’  by Aruna Ladva, BK Publications London, UK

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