Yoga is not just stretching and rolling around on the mat. It is a way of life that can help us discover who we really are. We are all born pure, honest, and loving creatures, but along the way, ego and some ugly thoughts can creep in.
Yoga brings us back to our true essence with good morals and big hearts. Here are 5 wonderful ways to practice yoga in your everyday life.
Breath is a beautiful, powerful tool we are all given at birth. We can use it any time, anywhere, to calm an agitated mind or energize an over-exerted body. It is essential to us and it is a wonder we are not better educated about its benefits. Breathing consciously is the first step to a more peaceful and energy filled life.
Pay attention to your breath. It is a step towards loving yourself a little more. Close your eyes and take a moment to notice your breath. It is a good indication of how we are feeling. Breathe in through your nose, feel the cool air as it enters your body, exhale out through your nose, feel the warm air leaving your body. Pay attention to the gentle suspension in the breath in between your inhalations and exhalations.
Breathing is a beautiful, wonderful thing. Don’t take it for granted.
2. “I Am Incredible”
Choose a mantra or affirmation that suits you today. A simple sentence that promotes the way you wish to feel.
It may be to do with your health, your relationships, or your career. Choose one powerful thought. Bring your mind to focus on that thought. Let all the negative thoughts and emotions dissolve into dust and wash away. Let that thought seep into your body and mind. Imagine how it feels. Imagine the situation you are in and maybe smile softly. Let that thought completely surround you.
This will help to focus your mind and remove any attachment to distractions. You will feel more open and more aware. This is where the real you lives; under all the gunk that we can let build up in our minds.
3. Would I Lie to You, Baby?
The challenging yogic practice of Satya (truth). This concept means to be truthful with our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Speaking our truth is to be honest with ourselves and to others. Of course, this can be diluted down for the sake of not offending your mother-in-law's roast dinner.
If we can try to incorporate more truth in our minds, our hearts and our lives, we can begin to become our true selves and live a fuller life.
Try to filter your thoughts and your words. Carefully consider how you really feel. Practice this the next time you are caught up in a gossiping session about someone. Instead of jumping on the band wagon and throwing in a flimsy statement, perhaps say something nice that you really feel about that person. This will give other people a jolt and make them more aware of their words.
If you do have something negative to say, find the right words to express it in a non-violent way. Be the best version of yourself.
4. Let it Go
Oh, this is a big one for all of us. Some of us have so much emotional baggage that we are lugging around fourteen suitcases behind us. You know that lovely feeling of traveling light with just a small carry-on bag with just your essentials? You feel free and pretty smug! Let us aspire to live like that day to day.
In yogic philosophy, it is known as non-attachment. Of course, non-attachment to material items is great, but here we will think of emotions. We have all sorts of emotions and feelings clogging up our minds and our hearts that we don’t need. We hold on to fears, jealousy, anger, and false identities. Their only purpose is to cloud our lovely, true selves. Why, oh why would we hold on to them?
Let them go! Try not to attach yourself to drama or ego. You are so much more beautiful underneath all of that.
5. That’s Karma, Baby!
In the ashrams of India, one might be expected to engage in Karma yoga. This might entail taking on a job, doing it the best you can, and not to expect any recognition for it. Does that sound like a crazy notion?
The idea of Karma yoga is to be selfless, to get rid of the ego and to be on the path of good morals, or Dharma. The word Karma literally means "action," and we can try to perform actions from a place of pure, divine love.
In society today, it can mean to practice random acts of kindness. So this will mean doing something lovely for a person, or animal, or for the world without any want for recognition. Put out your neighbors bins, give some money to charity, or give someone your parking ticket. You will be connecting and finding peace and making the world a little better.
How do you practice yoga in your everyday life? Share with the rest of the community below!