16 May How to live the Yoga Lifestyle
Living the Yoga Lifestyle: The Limbs of Yoga
by Kirsty Gallagher of www.kirstygallagher.com
Despite most people coming to yoga for the postures yoga is actually a lifestyle and our yoga practice becomes most beautiful when we live our yoga everyday. The yamas and niyamas in yoga philosophy teach us about our attitude to others and the world around us (yamas) and how we treat ourselves and our attitude to ourselves (niyamas) Based on this ancient wisdom here are 5 ways that you can live your yoga everyday.
1) Satya – honesty (yamas)
Satya is about living our lives as honestly as possible, being honest with others and ourselves. Before you speak try to notice the intention behind what you are planning to say. Is it to demonstrate your knowledge, manipulate, show kindness or support? If in doubt an old Sufi tradition advises us to speak only after our words have managed to pass through four gates. At the first gate, we ask ourselves, “Are these words true?” If so, we let them pass on; if not, back they go. At the second gate we ask “Are they necessary?” At the third gate we ask “Are they beneficial?” and at the fourth gate, we ask, “Are they kind?” If the answer to any of these is no, then what you are about to say should be left unsaid.
2) Aparigraha – non possessiveness (yamas)
Aparigraha is about letting go of attachment to material things and understanding that change is the only constant. Generosity is a powerful way to develop aparigraha – letting go and trusting it will always come back. Buy a gift or meal for a friend or give anonymous donations to someone in need or charity.
3) Saucha – cleanliness (niyamas)
Cleansing not only your physical environment and appearance and also what we take into our bodies, hearts and minds. Watch your diet. Can you eat more foods that cleanse and nourish your body? What is your motivation behind comfort foods?
4) Tapas – discipline (niyamas)
Tapas means to be disciplined in every area of your life from dedication to your practice, to sitting in meditation every day. Schedule a time every day for asana and meditation and commit to doing it every day. If needs be get up 5 minutes early – what will change your life more, 5 minutes extra sleep or 5 minutes of meditation?
5) Svadhyaya – self study (niyamas)
This is study of the self and also the wisdom of those who have come before us, so studying texts and books. Take time as often as possible to study yourself and your actions, words. Meditate on anything causing you problems and let your own inner wisdom talk to you.
Kirsty Gallagher is an International Yoga Teacher, barefoot dreamer, free spirit, adventure seeking traveller and pursuer of happiness. She teaches regular workshops and retreats in the UK, Europe and beyond. For more information visit her website www.kirstygallagher.com