We often hear it said that “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” This speaks to our will power in general and to specific goals in our lives. More to the point, I see it in terms of creating a consistent yoga practice that will change every facet of our lives for the better.
Rather than just being the latest exercise fad, yoga comprehensively addresses every aspect of human existence. It is, as I’ve stated many times before, a universal toolbox. Whatever you need, yoga has an answer for it that has been tried and tested with millennia of successful evolution. Our yogic ancestors have honed this science/art and bequeathed it to us as a complete system for living healthy, victorious lives that reach the deepest levels of human satisfaction and accomplishment.
The path of yoga (or union with Universal power and purpose) is the process of being reborn each time we draw a conscious breath that makes us realize our connection to every life form and spirit in the cosmos.
Of course, we would all love to live lives of satisfaction, fulfillment, health and prosperity. That’s what I love about yoga; it shows us a way to get there. It’s a map through the maze of life, a template upon which we can build our lives as we experience the wonder of human existence.
A saying ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth comes to mind: if you have faith as a mustard seed you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you. (Mathew 17:20)
Before we get to mountains, we can begin with the more modest goal of building a yoga practice that will pave the way for such a victorious, mountain-moving life.
How do you think amazing people become amazing? They commit to and develop a practice that yields amazing results. Life is a practice, and we begin where we are.
I recommend beginning with your body and mind. Inseparable, they are the vehicle we’ve been given to transcend the human condition and reach our boundless potential.
Within the body is the breath, the golden key that opens every lock. When we support the movement of our bodies with the synchronized diaphragmatic breath, we begin to tap into infinite possibility. This is why yoga asana, or yoga poses are an integral technique for building the pathways of will.
As we begin to move and breathe into simple asana, we stimulate cellular renewal in every organ and gland of our bodies. Our muscles, ligaments, tendons veins, arteries, lymph system, indeed the entire body begins to pour itself into a template of purpose and alignment with our highest good.
To develop a home-based yoga practice, begin with a few minutes per day, preferably first thing in the morning. Use one of the movement sequences you’ve learned in yoga class or use a good yoga book. Do what feels good, safe and sound to you. Your body will lead you. Enjoy your simple practice. Make it a habit.
Consistent practice will begin to change your body and mind, literally. Your practice will stimulate positive neurochemical changes that make you feel clear, clean and eager to engage with your life in every area. These are the changes that build will power. As our bodies begin to function more efficiently, we often find that our will to resist cravings and unhealthy habits gets stronger. It becomes easier to create new habits that displace habits of unskillful living.
As you devote a few minutes each day to your personal practice, you will notice that you feel more at ease and steadier in your attitudes toward life. Results will prompt you to explore your practice more deeply. You are now on the path to infinity. Soon, you may yearn for a deeper experience of life. Meditation, or cultivating the mind, will facilitate this yearning. As we cultivate a deeper experience of life through the meditation practices prescribed by yoga, our lives begin to fall into place as we align ourselves with the universal principles of goodness that are stated in Yama and Niyama, the ethical considerations described by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra.
Though it will take some time, steady practice, incremental gains will earn you a will of flexible steel that will help you shape your life according to your dharma, or your highest good.
So, begin with ease, a little faith and open your heart to the genius that lives within you. Allow yoga, or union with Universal energy, to unlock the mystery of life.
Note: As always, I’d love to hear from you. I see that my posts are being read all over the world. I’m honored and humbled. Please drop me a line and say hello. Share your yoga experiences. Let’s connect and increase the prana of yoga worldwide.
Namaste. I recognize, respect and affirm your goodness.