“To him who is disciplined in food and recreation, in effort in all activities, and in sleep and waking, yoga (discipline) becomes a relief from all ills.”
Mark Witwell says ‘Do Your Yoga’. I love this. It’s a simple phrase, yet has much relevance to the art of yoga. It’s easy to become indifferent to our practice and put off coming to the mat for whatever reason we invent in our minds. The commitment to our practice, not matter what the results is finding ‘abyasa’.
When we practice yoga we must exercise austerity (tapas) and adapt personal discipline (niyamas) in order to remain close to pure consciousness (Samadhi).
Yoga is the divine discovery of self-awareness. When we practice, we begin to unearth the human heart creating a conscious shift in how we engage with the world, from what we eat to every day recreation.
Take the model of Prasadam. The Gita teaches us when vegetarian food is prepared with devotion and offered to god, a meal becomes not just food, but foods that are become sanctified in prayer. What was food transforms into a digestible manifestation of God. Food that has been offered to God is God himself. By digesting this food with devoutness, the Gita teaches us that we can live a more aware and productive life free from ‘ills’.
In my experience I feel the energetic frequency of food shift when prepared with love (bhakti). When we open up to natures divine creation in edible foods, we become grateful for these gifts of light, which is lovingly provided for nourishment not only physically, but also spiritually. The colours, smells and textures it’s easy to give thanks to these foods for their energy and generosity.
We know that if we sleep too much we become lazy. We know that if we sleep too little become wary. We know that if we extend ourselves to the brink of exhaustion we may fall off the path and lose clarity.
The body and mind form a single system. Thus physical and mental heath is closely connected. Medicine increasingly acknowledges that many, if not most, diseases are caused by dis-ease of the mind.
It was once believed that genetic factors played an important role in health and ill heath. Bruce H. Lipton (PhD) an internationally recognized leader in bridging science and spirit together has uncovered ground-breaking evidence that we have the ability to redesign our (bad) genes through how we live and think.
Know as ‘epigenetics’ it’s the study of gene expression through chemical reactions in the brain. In basic terms; think positive, eat well, exercise and your physical body can be the best protection against ill heath.
When we think of this in relation to the discipline of yoga it’s the act of balance (Hatha) and a sound mind that brings us closer to understanding of the human heart and the ability to heal our transcending self to liberation.
“Yoga is the movement of the life current… Into it’s inherent relationships, the body, the breath, and perceptions, our experience. To merge, to be with our experience rather than react to our experience is yoga. Then we are no longer clogging our system with our reaction. The energy of life flows” – Mark Witwell.
Refections by RIA