Three yogic practices that led me to my new self: Asana, Dhyana, Ahimsa
What a difference a year makes. Looking back I can hardly recognize my old self. Where did all the angers and unhappiness go? All the circumstances of my life are still the same. I still live in the same house have the same job, husband and kids and yet I can’t stop smiling these days. I truly feel content and grateful and yet not so long ago, I could not grasp the meaning of this beautiful quote from Lao Tzu “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are, when you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you”. I must of have read this quote on IPY’s wall a thousand times, but it took me a year to truly grasp the meaning of it.
Through the practice of Asanas, I developed the habit of discipline and the ability to concentrate which led me to meditation (Dhyana). In the stillness, I learned to be. Ahimsa (non-violence) helped me to find my inner peace. I learned how subtle daily actions and responses contain elements of violence. And this violence often happens against ourselves. When our thoughts contain negative responses like disappointment, resentment, or guilt, when we feel shame, we are subtly creating violence. If we can’t forgive someone for something they’ve done against us, or if we can’t forgive ourselves for something we’ve done, this is an act of violence because it pushes love away. By releasing negative energy through positive intentions, I found self-love. The more I love myself, the more love and compassion I have for others.
As they say, Yoga is a process. Even though we may not attain the “picture perfect” pose, or the ideal state of consciousness, we benefit at every stage of our progress.