By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
How can Yoga help people live inspired lives? Yogic methods are perceived by many to be a physical exercise system, only. Some classes teach nothing about the eight limbs of Yoga. The entire practice may be devoted to posturing only. How can a practitioner, with only a taste of Yoga, learn about the deeper aspects and benefits of this practice?
Here is how Yoga inspires the mind, body, and spirit. Many people see inspiration as a form of motivation. Inspiration is much different from motivation. Motivation (positive energy) is the fuel that encourages people to get out of bed every morning. Inspiration is a sustained, and controlled level, of motivation. More to the point – inspiration is the arousal of the mind, due to higher levels of motivation and creativity.
Yoga practitioners learn to create higher levels of motivation, and creativity, at will. Thus, there is a steady supply of fuel for inspiration, through regular Yoga practice. For most people, it is a puzzle to maintain higher levels of positive energy.
Hatha Yoga teachers and students create a perpetual source of positive energy through the daily practice of meditation, pranayama, asana, niyama, and yama. One who does not practice a Yogic lifestyle may ask – How is it possible to achieve so much by practicing Yoga?
The answer is not complicated. All aspects of Yoga aid the practitioner to cultivate positive energy. Most people understand how pranayama can help one cultivate positive energy, because the physically feel it. Yet, practicing Yama or Niyama, for cultivating positive energy, which leads to inspiration, may be a mystery.
If we practice ahimsa (non-harming), how can we feel inspiration? This level of inspiration is emotional, mental, and spiritual, in nature. If we see our pet chewing on an electrical cord, we may purposely distract this animal to avoid harm. We do not have to hit a pet to help it. We may be concerned about future lessons, but we feel good because we helped our pet avoid a life-threatening situation.
There are many lessons for us to consider, within this one example. The Yoga Sutras refer to five yamas and five niyamas. The foundation of Yogic principles can be found within yama and niyama. Yoga is a lifestyle. Ahimsa is just one Yama, but practicing ahimsa is inspiring.
The opposite of harming is helping. You practice ahimsa by helping as much as by not harming. Helping others makes you feel better about your life, by giving you purpose, positive energy, and ultimately – inspiration.
Practicing yama and niyama is practicing the Yoga described by Patanjali. Yama and Niyama are the first two, of the eight limbs, described in the Yoga Sutras. Many practitioners still know little about yama, niyama, or Patanjali, but the knowledge is slowly spreading worldwide.
© Copyright 2010 – Dr. Paul Jerard – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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