hints and help for meditating and practicing your yoga daily
So why practice daily? A daily practice gets you into a good habit, establishing a firm foundation from which your yogic practice can grow. Many come to yoga focusing on either the physical body or on the spiritual aspects.
Connecting your body through Yoga
The goal of yoga, roughly translating from Sanskrit as union or joining, literally yoking, or integrating these aspects so that you become stronger because you are working in a harmonious way. Yes, you are strengthening your body, or your vessel so that you may shine through, but that is not all. And yes you are strengthening your spiritual connection, but that is not all. A daily practice helps you connect to yourself, through exercising the machinery of your body.
Too often in our over saturated sound-bite society we read about something and the mind thinks I don’t need to do this, I already know how. For many of us, to do it is the first and hardest step. To form a healthy habit you must make yourself do it.
You don’t know what your yogic path will be, you cannot imagine because you have not done it. You have just read or thought about it. Thought is the seed, or the impetus to act. Action brings peace. That may sound like a contradiction, or a polarization, but try to see it as balance.
Yoga working in harmony
You are not your thoughts, you are not your feelings, you are not your body, yet these three things working in harmony allow you to shine. They allow you to shine through. It is a difficult thing to love the self. To get the best from ourselves, we must be push through our self imposed walls yet be forgiving and gentle.
Everything is energy. Energy must flow, like a simple circuit, or the oxygen cycle. If it cannot flow there will be power shortages or blowouts. For all the information we intake we must learn to transmute it into output. That is what you can do. Use your thoughts. Become aware of your inner dialogue. Become impulsive, that is, act on your instincts. That is action. A build-up of energy and unused thoughts will cause confusion in the mind.
The goal of Yoga
But what do I do with angry or sad thoughts? Feel them and let them pass. Observe them and let them pass right on by. Learn to think of your thoughts and feelings as tools you can use to understand and master the aspects of your person.
Part of yoga, is learning to refine your sense of being. You can choose which thoughts to act on. But remember the goal is not to suppress or remove yourself from these tools. This just causes a buildup or backup of feelings and emotions. The goal after all is not to become dead and unobservant of the world. But to experience and become involved and aware of life. Suppressing yourself is not the goal.
If it feels like too much to do a full yoga set, do a spontaneous fifteen minute one. Resolve that you will do the ten or fifteen minutes every morning. Resolve that you will do three sun salutations every day. Then stick to it. In a week you will feel better, in a month you will feel great, in three months you will feel proud of yourself, in a year you won’t recognize your self of a year ago.
Daily meditation is necessary too
Mediation allows you to reconnect your disparate elements. Yet it can be one of the hardest elements of yogic practice. Again rather than suppressing emotions or thoughts, feel them and let them pass, observe them and let them go.
Start with five minutes at night. Rather than trying to hold a thought, try to feel, feel love for yourself, feel safe in your body and space, feel connected to the earth you sit on, walk on every day.
On this path to refinement, to which many come in order to feel connected, just to exercise, to feel better, some to seek god, or to seek comfort, there are many paths, remember all are right. All lead to a healthier body, mind and spirit and all may lead to living. The first step is to honor your body. We must practice taking better care of ourselves. Our bodies deserve our gratitude and appreciation, not disgust or loathing. These first daily steps are important, as they are the ones that lead to a journey.