One of the definitions of Yoga that I learnt is, Yogaha Karmashu Kaushalam - skill in action is Yoga. Have my practices helped me being more skillful? Has it helped me being a better human being? Has it helped me cope up with my day to day challenges of life without getting swayed? If it has made me even one percent better in all of these, then I would say yes, I am on the path of yoga. I am a seeker. Being skillful does not mean you need to drag someone down. Being skillful means you do not let your inner being get affected with whatever events are being created outside. Events come and go. They are in future and they become past. They do not stay forever. Do you give it a chance to stay forever in your mind? If yes, then you need to give more quality time to your practices so that you can change this harmful tendency of your mind. When the event is happening in the present moment, do you just go through it with your 100%? If yes, then you are skillful. If you just BE in that moment, respond to the need of that moment, then your job is done. Do you have the ability to let go of the events and any associated harmful emotions/thoughts from your mind once they are finished? if yes, then you are a seeker on the path of yoga, you are skillful. You do not have to be skillful overnight. But do you see improvement in your abilities to deal with people in your day to day life? Do you see improvement in your perception, observation and expression in the world around you? If yes, then you are on the path of yoga. You are on the right track.
Listening to the wisdom, reading Knowledge helps a lot. However, if it stays only at the level of the intellect then it can be dangerous. The only way to get established in the Wisdom, in the Knowledge is through practices. You need to follow your sadhana, your practices regularly, every single day.
What does your practices (sadhana) involve? Make a note for yourself. Remember, you need to give a quality time for your sadhana. Coz, result is always proportional to the quality time you spent with yourself.
For me, my sadhana involves
A prayer of Thankfulness to the tradition of all the great Masters,
A bhajan which invokes the path of divine love - bhakti: Bhakti Yoga,
Physical postural practice of Yoga - Hatha Yoga,
Sudarshan Kriya - Kriya Yoga,
Sahaj Samadhi Meditation - Dhyana Yoga.
Not to forget Karma Yoga - the path of selfless action; and Gyan Yoga - the path of Wisdom (Knowledge); which is an ongoing act throughout the week.
The Art of Living Yoga that I practice has all the different types of yoga, i.e. Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Dhyan Yoga, Gnyan Yoga, Hatha Yoga. And therefore, to me, it is a full practice. I thank Art of Living Yoga practices for awakening the sincere seeker within me.
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Love and regards,