Find your balance again and get your life back on track with a little good karma. By Linda Gyecsek
Have we just forgotten what it feels like to be in balance and connected to our higher self (Atma)? It certainly seems that way for many people in this modern-day world. Yoga can help us understand when our body is out of balance and when low-level stress responses are in play. If we have forgotten what it feels like to be in balance we may have become used to certain bodily tensions, headaches or fatigue and view them as ‘normal’, rather than as a sign our body is under stress. We might think certain sleep patterns, food cravings or dependencies are ‘normal’ for us – again, it’s because we have become used to these habitual behaviours. Further on, this can all lead to burnout, illness or deeper experiences of anxiety and depression.
So what’s the solution? It means finding the answers within, rather than searching for them outside of yourself. Our consumer society teaches us to look outside ourselves in order to figure life out. We watch movies and TV shows, we let ourselves be conditioned and guided by other people, we become trapped in games, iPhones and technology. But buried beneath all the layers of collected data, history and emotions is our authentic self and it only takes some light awareness to begin to lean in to our inner truth, rather than the opinions of the media, our ego and/or the wider society.
To achieve and maintain positive health, our material life and spiritual life should be balanced. Again, this is where yoga comes in. The yogic lifestyle is a combination of various yoga strands, such as Karma, Hatha, Ashtanga and Bhakti Yoga. It requires a balanced, disciplined lifestyle consisting of the following components:
Yoga Practice balancing body and mind with asana (yoga poses) and pranayama (breath work) for increasing and balancing Pranic (life force) energy.
Meditation for the ultimate balanced mind.
Mantras: positive, focused mind training, building strong relationships with the universe, or the ‘source’, or ‘god’ (whatever you want to call it).
From the Karma Yoga perspective, disconnection and even disease can arise when actions are motivated by material and selfish desires. Often, our actions are at the root of our mental state and behaviour. Your action makes your mind!
Good health and balance, therefore, is also achieved through selfless service: not expecting any results from one’s actions, working without ego. If you want to control your mind, emotions and lifestyle... it all starts with good karma.
What to start
If that’s all a little too confusing then here are some simple ideas to get you started in disconnecting from the noise, rediscovering your true self and regaining life balance, both inside and out:
- Go and embrace the beauty of the nature. Make plans to go hiking, swim in the ocean, have a picnic at the park. Nature is a powerful teacher of presence. Notice the natural flow and the peaceful environment.
- Join a yoga studio, be part of the local yoga community. Get to know the healing support of it.
- Be aware of your emotions instead of avoiding or repressing them. Allow them to come to the surface and release them through crying, screaming into a pillow, or moving your body.
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.