Yogic lifestyle

YOGA PRINCIPLES

In Alkimia we aim to adopt a Yogic lifestyle. And this is not about doing Yoga postures! It is very much about living in integrity with the values of our Self. Below is a brief description of some of these values, according to Yoga philosophy.

Ahimsa – Compassion instead of violence

Ahimsa is about removing violence from our thoughts, speech and actions, and replacing it with compassion. An extreme example could be physical aggression, but violence doesn’t have to be related to the use of force at all. We may think “I would never beat someone up” and yet yell at them when we’re angry or simply wish them harm, and the same violence is behind all of those.

Satya – Truthfulness

Satya is based on the truth but not bound by it. For example, let’s say a killer asks us if we know where his victim is hiding and we happen to know where it is, it is not Satya to answer the truth, because that would not be helpful and would lead to suffering. So Satya is about being truthful but with an honest aspiration to say only what is kind and necessary.

Asteya – Non stealing

Asteya is the practice of not taking anything that has not been freely given to us. And that may be something obvious such as steeling a TV set, or something more subtle, as stealing someone’s time when they would prefer to do something else, depriving them of the freedom to act in a certain way due to fear of being judged by us or downloading music without the author’s consent.

Brahmacharya – Continence

Brahmacharya consists in replacing the desire for finite objects for the attraction towards the ultimate reality. This relates to the nature of our relationship with all things. At the very bottom of this lies our tendency to see the objects of our desire as finite, and therefore want to spend all our energy in keeping them for ourselves. If we see everything as a manifestation of the divine, it will give us the inner understanding of the abundance of all things in the universe, so we can appreciate them, honour them and interact with them at that level, spending a balanced and appropriate amount of energy to do so.

Aparigraha – Non Accumulation

Aparigraha consists of non-accumulation, which can manifest in very subtle ways. As long as our happiness relies on having things, we will never be free, as we will depend on them to be happy. Only when we give up our attachment to things will we be able to be truly free. It is quite common to experience fear of not having enough, which can be manifested in different forms of accumulation such as overeating, overspending, holding on to things for years without ever using them, etc. That fear can happen because we fail to see the abundance of life, and trust the universe to bring us what we need.

Saucha – Purity

Saucha is the practice of purity, which encompasses all levels of life. Maintaining a pure body, speech, emotions, mind, and environment allows us to create the conditions to make room for our consciousness to manifest. When we nourish our body or eat healthy food we may feel our energy increase. When we are in beautiful places or listening to gentle music our mind can become more peaceful. When we surround ourselves by inspiring people we can experience more elevated emotions. When we speak kindly our words can have a profound impact on the lives of others… and so forth.

Santosha – Contentment

Santosha is a state of serene contentment, equanimity and fulfilment. It shouldn’t be confused with happiness, as we can be in difficult circumstances and still remain in peace internally. It should also not be confused with complacency, in which we allow ourselves to stagnate in our growth. Through Santosha we are able to feel a genuine acceptance of things and people as they are, without the pressure of our expectations.

Tapas – Spiritual effort

Tapas relates to having a regular and persistent practice towards a goal of spiritual nature. This can be applied to our own practice, let’s say we commit to an hour of a specific practice per day, in order to achieve a specific goal. With Tapas we direct our full focus and energy towards hat commitment, which generates great strength that goes towards that goal. Tapas helps break the barriers of the mind and our mental tendencies.

Svadhyaya – Deep study of spirituality

This refers to the deep study of the spiritual truths about our inner self and of the Universe. It can involve a number of different elements such as attending lectures, reading books and spiritual texts, etc., and then understanding and meditating upon their significance and underlying ideas, and applying them into our lives so that the knowledge becomes experiential and enriches our lives.

Ishvara pranidhana – Conscience of a superior reality

We have all had the experience of looking back in our lives into an event that felt sad or disconcerting, and realising that it was exactly what we needed for our growth. Clearly the world is much more complex and multifaceted than we can even conceive of let alone understand, so it becomes quite evident that there is an intelligence larger than our own guiding our universe and holding it together. This Niyama involves becoming aware of that higher intelligence, having deep esteem and admiration for it, and seeking to connect with it..

 

THE EIGHT LIMBS OF YOGA

Patanjali describes 8 elements of Yoga in the Yoga Sutras (sacred scriptures of Yoga). Through practice, we can integrate parts of this (or all of it) into our daily lives.



  • Yama (Our relationship with the world): Ahimsa (compassion instead of violence), Satya (honesty), Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (continence), and Aparigraha (non-accumulation).
  • Niyama (Our relationship with ourselves): Shaucha (purity), Santosha (contentment), Tapas (spiritual effort), Svadhyaya (knowledge of the spiritual truths), and Ishvara Pranidhana (conscience of a superior reality).
  • Asana: Posture.
  • Pranayama (“Breath”): Also interpreted as control of the life force.
  • Pratyahara (“Abstraction”): Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.
  • Dharana (“Concentration”): Fixing the attention on a single object.
  • Dhyana (“Meditation”): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
  • Samadhi (“Liberation”): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.

MORE ABOUT HOW TO APPLY YOGA TO DAILY LIFE

Here is one of many resources that expands on the information above, and on how to apply ancient Yoga principles to modern lifestyles.

This is an online course that synthesises ancient yoga philosophies and modern psychologies, focusing on how to integrate these into daily life. The teachings and concepts shared here support a personal development journey towards introspection, freedom & inner peace. The answers to depression, anxiety, overthinking & emotional distress, from the comfort of your own home & at your own pace (no time limit – estimated duration 3-6 weeks).

Link: https://yoga-applied-to-daily-life.thinkific.com/courses/reclaim-yourself