I continue my series of posts on gaining awareness, and today comes the final part.
Along with traveling long-term and being open-minded and positive, what else can be done to push yourself out of your comfort zone? My answer is – yoga and meditation.
Sigh… “Predictable… She is crazy about yoga, and suddenly all the problems can be solved with yoga”, – I hope you are not saying something along these lines now. Even if you are, let me explain how I mean it.
First of all, yoga is all about uniting your body and mind and establishing an inner balance. (Root “yog” in Sanskrit means to “unite”, “join” and also “disciplinate”.) Making one’s body toned and fit, aiding in weight loss, increasing flexibility and better control of the body, releasing body tension and back pain and improving blood circulation and metabolism – these are all indisputable benefits of yoga, however, only on the surface level. Ultimate universe of goodness that yoga brings out in one is about inner peace and gaining control over one’s restless mind.
Yoga helps one to turn their attention inwards and have a look at their inner world of … nor thoughts, nor feelings, nor sensations. It is something very subtle: something that very often gets overlooked under the burden of social conditioning, others’ expectations and our own fears. It is the true nature of your own Self with the unique combination of YOUR abilities, talents, skills, aspirations and dreams. Yoga and meditation (as an essential part of the yogic practice) provides you with a precious opportunity to slow down the pace of events unrolling in front of you – events that seemingly at times you have no control of.
Instead of life happening to you, take responsibility for it and create the life YOU would like to have.
Yoga teaches you to become aware of your body first. Starting at a gross level of the body, we develop our faculty of awareness and gradually reach into subtler levels of the awareness of the mind. What does it actually imply “mind awareness”? I would put it this way: “One becomes more alert, attentive and conscientious of their own needs and desires”.
Yoga also teaches you to listen to your guts or intuition if you like. It frees you up in a countless number of ways.
Needless to say, all the above listed benefits become evident with gradual practice; there are no immediate miracles. Thus, patience, which I personally find a difficult yet one of the noblest virtues to nurture, is developed through yoga as well.
I realise that in today’s world of consumerism, where we are brainwashed into getting immediate satisfaction, some of you now might be put off from trying yoga thinking that you have no time to wait for those long-term results. “Surely there’s gotta be other ways of quietening my mind. I will keep an eye out…” Right there! Your possibly agitated mind rebels against the idea of getting tamed. It is absolutely natural. Taming a wild being requires a lot of hard work and patience, and our mind is a really lazy fellow: it always tries to get away with as little work as possible. This initial effort is an unavoidable must to enter the field of being in control of one’s life. Do not stay a prisoner of your own mind that has been exposed to much unsorted info debris. Gain control over the mind, and you will see a completely new world. Yoga might show you the way.
Dear friends, I am talking from my personal experience now: Patience and continuity of yogic practice are bound to produce wonderful results.
There is so much more that I would like to share about gaining awareness and becoming a happier person, and I will be organising workshops and weekend retreats on this subject, where more practical tips will be presented.