Developing The Yoga Lifestyle
Introduction to the Yoga Lifestyle
Following the yoga doctrine when it comes to developing a lifestyle that would promote the benefits that yoga promises to bring is indeed a difficult undertaking. After all, it is not just focused on the aesthetic appeal or precisely executing poses. It impacts all aspects of your being. In fact, it enables you to revert focus inward and makes you aware of certain qualities or things about yourself that you probably did not know existed.
Some of the core concepts in following and acquiring the yoga lifestyle are outlined in CE Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. With an eight-stage development process, you are able to bring harmony for the body, mind, and spirit towards enlightenment.
Yoga is a Life Style
Yama For A Yoga Lifestyle
Yama is the first of eight stages in yoga, as known in the eight-limbed path to yoga authored by Patanjali. There is one reason why it comes first among all other stages in yoga. Needless to say, you should not solely focus on the physical body and the performance of yoga exercises. In the yama stage, you are taught about the proper attitude to adapt when dealing with the world and others.
To be exact, there are five yamas to observe such as follows:
- Ahimsa (non-violence) – While most people try to avoid causing harm on other living creatures, this teaching also advocate extending acts of kindness to your self and your fellows.
- Satya (truthfulness) – In line with living a life free of violence, yoga also advocates truthful living that involve careful evaluation of your choice of words and action.
- Asteya (non-stealing) – The act of stealing here does not simply refer to material things, but also in ideas and power, especially those prompted by selfish motives.
- Bramacharya (non-lust) – This part of the yama teaches one to gain self control when it comes to sexual activity instead of being overcome by it since anything excessive is no longer healthy within the yoga philosophy.
- Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) – The ultimate yoga lifestyle is one that is free of any greed and desire to obtain power from others to the point of taking advantage of someone or a given situation.
Niyama For A Yoga Lifestyle
While the yama is concerned about how you deal with the world and all its other inhabitants, niyama teaches you the best attitude that you need to adapt on yourself. Here are the five basic niyamas you need to learn and practice:
- Sauca (cleanliness) – With cleanliness, it refers to both your internal and external body. The process of performing yoga exercises and cleansing enables you to detoxify your body. But these activities also enable you to clean your inner body so you can live healthy and at peace.
- Santosha (contentment) – Leading a contented life is one of the objectives in developing a yoga lifestyle. Hence, you need to observe humility and modesty at all times.
- Tapas (austerity) – Your body is the temple of your soul. Hence, you need to properly discipline yourself in taking good care of it and maintaining it in top health.
- Svadhyaya (study of sacred text and self) – The concept of embarking on an internal journey is vital in yoga to realize the process of self-inquiry and self-analysis so you can continually aim to become better.
- Isvarapranidhama (living awareness of the Divine power) – One must be aware of the existence of a Diving Being, thus teaching one to let go of this false sense of self control.
Establishing a Routine
The best way to acquire the yoga lifestyle is to practice it. This refers to a continued commitment to yoga, instead of just a one-time practice. If not, then you have no way of acquiring its benefits to your physical, emotional, and psychological well being.
Before you establish a daily yoga routine, you need to identify your purpose for doing yoga first. That purpose will define the steps you need to take or exercises you need to perform on a regular basis towards the attainment of your goal. You might even consider writing your own yoga journal so you can personally record your journey towards reaching that resolution.
Daily Yoga Asanas Routine 1
Daily Yoga Asanas Routine 2
Three Concepts of Body in Yoga
The mind-body-spirit integration that is at the forefront of every aspects of yoga are represented by three concepts of the body. Those people who have limited knowledge on yoga tend to believe that it only requires physical body movements or constant motion. But the physical motion that you see is only a representation of movement in your inner bodies. Indeed, it moves from the external level and gradually making its way inside for a more profound effect. This effect is further highlighted with a constant and dedicated yoga practice.
Known as Annamaya kosha, this is referred to in yoga doctrine as food sheath. But you must avoid focusing too much on the external aspect of your physical body. What you must aim for is an overall wellness that require proper mind control. This type of body is one of the most recognized association with yoga but it actually represent the merging of both mind and body.
This type of body in the yoga doctrine incorporates three types of sheath: pranic, mental, and intellectual. The pranic sheath is responsible for regulating sensations in the body, the mental sheath is responsible for producing your emotions, and the intellectual sheath facilitates for all forms of cerebral activity.
This is the highest form of the body as known in yoga, which is also the seed of self. When you reached this level of body, it means that you have successfully integrated both your physical and astral body. The persistence on regular practice of yoga that incorporates pranayama exercises and meditation is aimed at transcending the physical. The level of spirituality persistent in yoga helps you come to terms with your spiritual being.
Yoga Sutras (01/85) Swami Rama
Importance of the Yoga Sutras
The eight-limbed path in yoga, which is better known as Yoga Sutras was written by CE Patanjali who is also the father of Modern Yoga. All in all, there are a total of 195 aphorisms in his Yoga Sutra but the eight general stages are also the most important ones.
Each of these eight limbs represent different aspects of an individual's goal towards attaining personal development. Therefore, it targets your physical body, your mental health, and help nurture your spirit. Alongside your physical practice of yoga, these Yoga Sutras could also have their corresponding methods in yoga so you can utilize your body as a medium towards realizing the impact of these Yoga Sutras to your overall health.