|Yoga with Ved|
|Yoga with Ved|
Practicing in a robotic or mechanical way is useless...
We can truly grow only when we embrace the fundamental philosophy of yoga and begin applying it to our lives. That means that we remain open to the possibilities that Yoga brings. We cannot practice in only one dimension of our life, dealing only with the physical body for example. and expect that we will receive holistic results.
No! We need to examine our whole life and apply the practice of yoga to every part of who we are. Then we may begin to see we are becoming more spiritual.
But how does that work?
Yoga develops our spiritual consciouness
How can we say that we are becoming MORE spiritual? In a previous blog post we discussed how yoga is making us more conscious. What that means is that we are starting to know more of a certain area in our lives. For example, we may say that we are becoming more financially conscious. That is say we are starting to understand more about money, our relationship with money, and how to manage money well.
So when we say that we are becoming more spiritual, what we really mean is that we are becoming more spiritually conscious. We are learning more about the spiritual principles, the spiritual side of life, and also how to harness our spirituality in our daily living. We can all agree that it is possible to increase that spiritual sense. We may start to understand more of how to be compassionate, or we may become more skilled in using our intuition. In essence this is becoming more spiritual.
Remember that when we speak of the spiritual dimension of life, we are talking about that part of life that is beyond the "ordinary." That means not simply dealing with the physical, emotional, or mental, or even the parts of life that are so familiar to us. Yes that may be involved in our spirituality, but the spiritual dimension of life is that which is beyond all of these, and that which adds to the richness of all of the "ordinary" areas of life.
HOW does yoga help us to do this?
We may understand all of this about becoming more conscious, and more spiritual, but it may not be clear how the practices of yoga accomplish this. Let us examine how yoga can help us expand our consciousness and ultimately opens up the spiritual dimensions within us.
The process of becoming more conscious may seem mysterious, but if we examine our own lives and the process of living we will see that it is a natural part of life. When we want to learn how to do something, first we thinking about it, then we try to find out more information, then we try to act on that information. There is a learning involved on many levels. That is simply the process of becoming more conscious.
Yoga goes about this in many ways. For example in Hatha Yoga, which is primarily the practice of postures and breathing exercises we learn how to work with the body. This piece of nature that we are living in can be developed and explored in many ways. By working with the body we actually become more conscious of the body over time.
In Bhakti Yoga we learn to be more conscious of the emotions through the practice of chanting and other devotional techniques. In Mantra Yoga we employ the use of sacred words to help us become more conscious of the metaphysical parts of our being, the mind and inner voice.
The practice of yoga follows a simple path
First we employ some strategy to cultivate our resources. That means that we train our bodies in a particular way, or we learn to harness our emotions, or we develop the intellect. We work with ourselves using the techniques of yoga to improve our self-resources and learn to manage them well.
Secondly we refine our abilities. Another way of saying this is that we develop higher personal qualities. This allows us to direct our energies in a certain way. This means that we actually learn to use our intellect, our emotion, and our vital energy with purpose.
And thirdly we employ our resources towards the goal of union. Using our highly developed mind, emotions, and vital energy we direct it in a certain way. This leads to the expansion of consciousness and the evolution of consciousness.
Discover the spiritual dimension
Once we learn how to direct our energies in a certain way, and once it is highly refined then we have new possibility. Now we can take this highly developed instrument (the coordinated mind, heart, and body) and use it to explore what is within us. We can now direct our attention towards what is unknown and unconscious in within our being.
This is a the process of opening up to the spiritual dimension of life. Once we cross a certain threshold of self-mastery it becomes ever more clear how to become more spiritually conscious.