Tuesday, November 6, 2012

You Can Heal Your Life

Most people who practice yoga can attest to the healing benefits they have experienced with yoga.  People have healed both their body and their mind with yoga.  One of the biggest aspects of this healing is the breath.  Taking the time to connect with the breath, allow the body to flow with deep breaths, and quiet all the clutter/memories in the subconscious mind (chitta).

What I have noticed from true devotees of the practice is the ability to live with compassion, to take responsibility for their own lives, the ability to forgive themselves and others, and most importantly the ability to live with JOY.  When I say "true devotees", I mean the folks who look beyond asana, who look beyond labels and accolades, and really shine with radiant light & compassion in their eyes that light in their eyes which only comes from embracing the 8 Limbed practice of yoga. 

What is the most repeated concept in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali?  Cheerfulness and JOY.  Some would say, how can we have joy when others are so mean, or when we had to endure this trauma, or when this always happens to me?  Sadly some Yoga Enthusiasts may say only when I can perfect that asana, or when I can make it past the Ashtanga Primary Series......Very interesting mantras.

What about changing those mantras to positive affirmations like.... kind and loving people are always attracted to me, I am strong enough to forgive, understand and be grateful for all experiences, and amazing things always happen to me.  What about evolving past perfecting an asana, and embracing the chance to be present with your breath without judgement or expectation, knowing full well that nothing is ever perfect?  What about being fine with making it through Surya Namaskar A & B devoid of the expectation of anything more than connecting to your breath?

From my experience, teaching, studies and observations I have learned we are truly creatures of habit both on and off the yoga mat.  Patterns, unconscious and conscious that have everything to do with the patterns established in our childhood, belief systems.  It is easy to blame someone else, feel apathy, or say it is karma.  While things may well be our destiny or past life karma, our choice and our evolution comes from how we react, how we recognize the things we allow & enable, and how we establish our self worth and most importantly how we forgive and let go.  This comes from an  unbiased analysis of relationship patterns established from our formative years.

The Vedas began hinting at Dharma, Karma, then Yoga Sutras outlined the "handbook" to conscious living towards enlightenment, Jesus enlightened people in the Bible on power of faith & forgiveness, The Buddah asked for us to see how all is one, Transcendental Meditation elaborated or power of silence, and modern western gurus have elaborated with studies of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), therapy, hypnosis etc.

Today we have people like Tony Robbins, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Prema Chodron, and many more encouraging people to change their belief systems, or Yoga Teachers elaborating on the Bhagavad Gita & Yoga Sutras to help people take control of their life.  I am one of those teachers who emphasizes the importance of the Yoga Sutras so Yoga can be embraced as a path to enlightenment along with the benefit of a slimmer waist. 

Generally the message of positive affirmations is agreed upon by both ancient Eastern and Modern Western Gurus.  This notion that we create our journey, that everything is our creation, or a reflection of us.  This idea that what makes us mad is actually not the other person, our job, our achievements or lack their of but a deeper pattern behavior or vrittis (misconceptions).  Recognizing that every aspect of this Universe, every relationship is truly a reflection of our deepest belief systems that we control.

But like the phrase goes, when you point one finger - 3 are pointing back.  I recognized that I myself still need to apply some of the precepts of this practice into my own life and yoga practice.  Hence why Yoga is a practice and why in life we repeat lessons, until they are learned.  The Modern Western Guru who I referred to, to help many students worldwide is Louise Hay.  Her story, and her outline of affirmations to change our body, relationships and environment with affirmation, breathe and conscious living, is nothing short of brilliant.  While I love the Holy Bible, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and the Bhagavad Gita...I think Louise writes an easy to read, easy to relate text, and modern version to self healing & enlightenment.  

If you are a Yoga Teacher or student this is a book you should invest in for your self healing and to understand behavior patterns to help others.  If you are a person who struggles in relationships, with finances, with health, or anything.....this is the book for you.  If you are a person who thinks you know best, and yet you struggle with physical illness or job issues.....then this is especially the book for you.  Life is too short to waste time with negative energy, so keep your thoughts, environment and heart shinning with love ~ Namaste

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