By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Can Yoga help you with finding yourself? Some people claim to find themselves after practicing Yoga faithfully – but how can this be? Yoga is an art of living. In fact, Yoga is a 5,000-year-old archive of solutions for the many forms of suffering that plague humankind.
Understanding One’s Self
There are many different interpretations of what it means to “find yourself.” For some, it may mean coming to a greater understanding of who you are as a person and what you want out of life. For others, it may simply mean becoming more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and actions in the present moment. Yoga can be a helpful tool for both of these types of “self-discovery.”
Journey of Self-Acceptance
Through the practice of yoga postures (asanas), breath work (pranayama), and meditation, you can learn more about your mind, body, and spirit — and how they all work together. This process can lead to a greater sense of self-awareness and self-acceptance. Of course, finding yourself is not something that happens overnight. It is a lifelong journey that requires patience, dedication, and willingness to explore.
Causes of Suffering
What causes most of humankind’s suffering? A lack of something can cause suffering. Which is worse: Lack of food, lack of water, lack of a job, or lack of good health? They are bad, and some of these situations are potentially fatal. We now know that a lack of something critical can cause profound suffering. Lack of oxygen will shorten our lives in minutes.
Money and the Blame Game
Many people blame the lack of money for all of their suffering. If they had a million dollars, they would be able to enjoy their family and life. The mindset is, “If life were fair, I’d be rich.” Yet, most of the world’s rich and famous do not seem to live in bliss. For them, money and power can be the source of their suffering.
True intentions in business, relationships, marriages, and friendships, can be murky when money and power are at stake. However, lack of thought is common in many types of suffering. If you fall into a lake, with water over your head, and think you are finished – you could be. If you think losing your job is the end of the world – it might be. The real problem is not having a solution to the issue at hand.
It is also tough to devise solutions to problems without proper training. Yet, Yoga trains your mind and body for logical thinking in various critical situations. If you can handle any situation that comes your way, your mind and body have been trained, conditioned, and prepared for most of what life has to offer.
It is not a coincidence when someone responds to a stressful situation with logical solutions and answers. Being able to react to sudden problems with viable solutions will also help you find that a problem could be the gateway to a better life. How is that possible?
A Practical Example of Finding One’s Self
There are times in life when years fly by. Our family situation is stable, and we daydream about better times ahead. Some days go by slowly in an unstable family, job, or both. Here is just one example: Firstly, Mary has a dead-end job, but her family situation is good. Secondly, she has worked for her company for three years. Thirdly, Mary never gets a raise. Additionally, she shows up to work on time every day, never takes time off, and works overtime when asked.
Should Mary Wait?
Mary is ethical, honest, respected by her fellow workers, and has positive suggestions, but management does not care, and they have promoted less qualified people over her head. She has many choices, even if she does not see them. Mary could wait for her wage to go up. She could also wait for recognition. Mary could wait for an opening in another department. Do you believe Mary will be rewarded by waiting?
The Great Leap Forward
Based on the company’s performance, it is doubtful that Mary will ever be promoted, appreciated, noticed, or rewarded. In a good economy, Mary’s best solution might be to work at another company, which will appreciate her skills and work ethic – or work for herself. This solution may seem logical to you and me, but this is a great leap forward for Mary. Unless her mind is trained to realize her self-worth, she will stay at her present job, hoping for success but receiving no recognition, frustration, or regret.
In truth, Mary will benefit from a Yoga class, where she will find self-worth and confidence and build a better self-image. Yoga training will create an actual state of self-realization. Mary will become aware of her value at work, life, and home. Mary decides to react to this situation with a logical solution, and finding the right job, results in a 15% to 70% wage increase at a company which appreciates her skills and character. She saw going into business at this time as too risky, but Mary is finding herself and her family will benefit from her solution.
About Finding One’s Self
Creative thoughts, dreams, and desires are a form of energy that wait for us to help them become a reality. Before the first light bulb glowed, it was a thought in someone’s mind. It was likely a thought in many minds for many years before the light bulb was invented. One lesson every Yoga practitioner should be aware of is the immense power of a thought, a plan, and an action.
You might make a mistake, but who has never made a mistake? Very often, mistakes are the foundation of success. The application of Yogic principles toward daily life creates a better world, where you achieve a state of finding yourself and your life purpose.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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