By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Yoga has been helping people take control of their lives for 5,000 years, and counting. Taking control of your life is a daily obstacle, but you can easily start, right now. How do you envision your life today, tomorrow, or next week? If we ask one hundred people, we will receive one hundred different answers. Yet, we can classify the resulting answers into the following three categories. People will say their life will be better, worse, or the same. In each case, their viewpoint is a reflection of the personality, the surrounding environment, and their attitude.
If your personality is optimistic, you will naturally look forward to each challenge “life throws at you.” If you are pessimistic, you will respond to each obstacle of life by saying: “Why me?” in every situation. So, it is the personality, which governs the initial perspective of life’s daily struggles. In Yoga training, there are many practices to help us change the personality, but we must first really want to change. You cannot change by reading about it.
You must put Yoga, knowledge, and the desire to change your life for the best, into practice. Applying what you learn separates you from the masses. Most people read, listen to their Yoga teacher, and practice a little, but they go back to their same routine. How many brilliant people, with talent and skill, have you observed who never reached their full potential? We all know a few. The reason why they never succeeded is that they never applied their intelligence, or skill, in a practical way.
Practical application of learned skills, and knowledge, is the same within Yogic methodology, and life, in general. You could train with the ten best Yoga instructors on the planet, but if you do not apply the teachings of Yoga to your life, or the lives of others, you are only an encyclopedia of facts. To be knowledgeable is a wonderful thing, but this is only a reflection of potential and not a measurement of success. Some people are very successful in life, but they are not brilliant at all. As a matter of fact, some are of average intelligence, and without a college education.
How is this possible? They applied their knowledge, and that of their mentors, completely. They saw an opportunity, focused completely, and used every possible skill to accomplish the end result. A person with limited intelligence can easily accomplish much by making friends, creating partnerships, influencing, and applying what they have learned with complete focus. Should we give up and stop learning new ideas? Of course not, but we should see the value in applying what we learn.
For example: If you are going to attend a Yoga teacher certification course, workshop, retreat, seminar, or classes, make sure that each aspect you learn will be applied to your life, and the lives of others, who you influence. When you choose a Yoga teacher, Guru, or Swami, choose a person who is knowledgeable of techniques you want to put into practice. Otherwise, you are wasting your time, energy, and financial resources.
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