The sages and rishis of the Yoga Tradition remind us of the miracle of this human life, and the potential that each and every one of us has to lift ourselves out of suffering into an inner state of paradise, filled with joy and Grace.
The Yoga Tradition lays out a specific path toward this inner state of freedom and peace. The path is systematic and hugely rewarding. However it requires commitment and dedication, as we may experience resistance when we inquire into our state of energy, emotion and mind, as old patterns and behaviors arise. Underlying this resistance is inevitably some kind of pain.
We usually take care of physical pain with a painkiller, and try to distract ourselves from emotional pain. As yogis we are asked to recognize it, examine it, and eventually transcend it in order to experience the state beyond. We get to the root causes, which are connected to our underlying anger, disappointment, attachment, resentment, greed etc.
The path includes the following essential aspects:
• Look at your overall external environment and see how it is impacting your energy, choices and ability to connect with yourself. Note any particular stressors.
• When you find yourself in a challenging emotional state, do a physical asana practice with conscious breath. This begins to release dullness and congested energy in the body, and opens us to an underlying state of peace that is often elusive in our daily life.
• Be in a regular practice of self-inquiry. When anger or frustration arises go in toward its root. Where is this tendency coming from? Guaranteed it is not as a result of the immediate circumstances you are in, but because the event has triggered an underlying pain.
• When you experience subtle pain like depression do some yoga practice that helps to build vitality. We want to cultivate the inner strength and vibrancy to overcome the negative tendencies that can seem to overwhelm us.
• Use challenges as opportunities to see where you are holding on to a certain belief or self-identity. Be willing to surrender your resistance. Remember it is not the situation itself, but our response to it that matters.
• Daily actions taken with awareness and intention gradually pave the way to our inner paradise.
Make a commitment to do everything in your power to cultivate loving, compassionate and kind relationships. Let this be a priority, so that all thoughts, communications and actions are coming from this intention.