We hold within us all infinite wisdom and endless knowledge. Already, we hold within all that we could ever need to come home to the remembrance of who we really are. Ultimately, we require nothing outside of what is here, now and within to remember Truth.
However, we live in an age that tends to have some distractions and confusion which clouds our perception of Reality. To help create ease on your journey, here are four key aspects of yoga to help maintain, inspire and encourage you on the path of awakening and enlightened living.
1) Spiritual Community (Sangha)
If you have even one person in your life on the same or a similar path as you, you’ve encountered a great blessing. In yoga, we call our spiritual community our Sangha. Sangha is a valuable part of our spirituality. Being immersed in a community of like-minded souls is inspiring, grounding, and uplifting. It is invaluable when it comes to living an inspired, conscious yogic life, and realizing the Truth of our own Divine Nature. Your Sangha is an endless source of love, support, inspiration, connection and a safe space to Be As You Are.
When possible, choose to surround yourself with positive, wise, peaceful, truth-seeking, love-embodying people, places and nature that encourage and inspire you on your spiritual journey— on the path to the remembrance of your True Nature.
2) Spiritual Practice (Sadhana)
Practice, practice, practice. Sadhana is our daily spiritual practice or discipline. To experience the true Bliss, Freedom and Peace that is our Natural State, we as yogis have incredibly valuable tools and practices available to us to help guide us into this state of Being.
Create a daily Sadhana that resonates with your heart. Your Sadhana may include yoga poses (Asana,) breathing techniques (Pranayama,) meditation (Dharana,) chanting mantra, kirtan, or self-reflection. Shorter, more frequent practices are more beneficial than longer practices done sporadically. A daily and consistent practice is the key to enlightened living.
3) Spiritual Texts (Svadhyaya)
On our spiritual journey, reading the sacred texts written by the enlightened sages and saints is an invaluable source of wisdom and inspiration. Svadhyaya means “self-study” and includes study of the classical texts of yoga—the authorities of classical yogic and vedic knowledge.
Some simple and inspiring texts to read are:
+ “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahamsa Yogananda
+ “Living with the Himalayan Masters” by Swami Rama
+ “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” commentary by Swami Durgananda
+ “Bhagavad Gita” commentary by Swami Sivananda
+ “Be As You Are” teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi
4) Spiritual Teacher (Guru)
Ultimately, life is full of teachers— teachers come in many forms and the whole world is our classroom. However, it is a great gift to have a spiritual teacher whom we can connect with and receive knowledge and inspiration from.
The Sanskrit word guru means “gu” (darkness,) and “ru” (that which dispels.) The guru is a spiritual teacher who helps guide us from unreal to real, darkness to light, ignorance to knowledge. A Sattvic Guru is an embodiment of Love, Peace and Truth. In their presence, we are uplifted and humbly guided into our own awakening.
You must listen to your heart while searching for your teachers. Seek out a teacher for whom emanates Love, Truth and Peace. Choose a teacher who is devoted to their own practice and awakening, comes from a traditional lineage, and who follows ancient scriptures not only in words but in everyday life.
Additionally, look to the yoga masters for inspiration— the great sages, spiritual masters and realized beings for guidance— teachers like Sri Ramana Maharshi, Amma Sri Karunamayi, Swami Saraswati Sivananda, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Rama, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, the Buddha, Jesus Christ and many other enlightened souls who have devoted their lives to the path of Realization have passed down the ancient traditions of yoga generation after generation.
Immerse yourself in the greatness of Sangha (Spiritual Community,) Sadhana (Spiritual Practice,) Svadhyaya (Self-Study + Spiritual Texts,) and in Wisdom from the Guru (Spiritual Teacher) to inspire you on your journey of Awakening and Yogic living. May we all be blessed as we come Home.