Living the yogic way
How a yoga lifestyle can change you forever? Practicing Yoga as a way of life or a serious spiritual practice invites us to integrate its fundamental values in our daily activities. This supports our practice goals, be they secular or spiritual.
Here are the 10 principles of life of Yoga. These principles are not imposed. Rather, their value must be discovered by each person individually, in their own practice and in life.
Five principles (yama)
Do not cause harm to other beings or to ourselves through our bodies, words and thoughts. Related virtues: compassion, kindness, modesty, love.
We do not speak lies. It also involves being honest with yourself and sincere in your relationships. Related virtues: honesty, integrity, sincerity, trustworthiness.
Do not steal (asteya).
Do not take what is not given. Related virtues: correctness, respect.
For monks and ascetics (who invented Yoga), this means that celibacy. For “yogi City”, it means not obsessed with sex, and also to be responsible for those sexual relationships. Related virtues: self-control, moderation, satisfaction.
Not being attached to things, and living a simple life. It also means cultivating a mind free of greed and desire. Related virtues: non-attachment, contentment, simplicity.
Five Disciplines (niyama)
Keep the body clean, and the mind free of negative emotions and thought patterns.
Cultivate an attitude of acceptance. Be happy and satisfied, here and now, regardless of external circumstances.
Intensive practice that extends its limits and creates inner transformation. “Tapas” literally means heat.
Introspection and self-reflection. It is the study of oneself, of one’s behavior patterns and intentions. It also means studying the yoga texts.
Surrender to a supreme reality. For some this means faith in God; for others it is surrendering in the source of being, the Self or awareness.
Good yoga lifestyle principles
At the beginning these principles can be perceived as a limitation or a sacrifice. But as you go about your practice, you see that these are the intelligent guidelines to help you make the best decisions in every circumstance, both for yourself and for those around you.
By the time we will begin to see that every time we do not follow these guidelines, we will experience some sort of trouble as a result.
Yoga can give much more than a flexible body. If you are ready to go deep, you will find a system of practices that can help you achieve mastery over yourself and great inner transformation. This is yoga for life!
Dealing with the change
While practicing yoga, it is possible that some personal habits start to change, to sustain that flow of energy that is experienced during the lessons. Here are some tips on how to go to sleep in the evening and how to get up the next morning with the right foot and embracing a yoga lifestyle made up of peace, presence and mindfulness.
To fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply and ensure a more rejuvenating sleep:
· Exercise. Do some yoga and some meditations to help relax the body and work out the stresses of the day.
· No big meals. It is easier for the liver and for digestion if you have not had a large meal in the two hours before. It’s not even a good idea to go to sleep too hungry, because it could make you wake up in the middle of the night.
· Comb the hair down with a wooden comb.
· Go to the bathroom. Urinate. Brush your teeth and free your throat from the mucus until your eyes start to water.
· Drink a glass of water.
· Wash your feet with cold water, dry them with a rough fabric and massage them with almond oil. As you do so, separate yourself from the outside world and start bringing attention into yourself.
· Your bed. It is good for your back and sleep to use a hard bed and natural fiber sheets. It must be facing East-West, so as not to be aligned with the Earth’s magnetic field.
· Lie on your back and start breathing long and deep, relaxing consciously and letting go.
· Turn to the right while you fall asleep, so as to breathe through the left nostril, which produces a calming and refreshing effect on the body and the brain. It also relaxes the heart and causes the stomach and the small intestine to empty out while you sleep.
As soon as the breath becomes regular and slow, you will quickly pass through the preliminary stages of sleep and you will almost immediately reach the stage of dreamless deep sleep, completely avoiding the stage of the dream that deprives you of energy. At the same time, you will be able to get out of the deep sleep stage more easily and gently when it is time to wake up.