By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
What is Yogic Happiness? Many philosophers and authors have speculated about happiness and its place in the world. Perhaps Aristotle said it best when he claimed, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” If we walk through life without happiness, what is the point? Many people struggle with finding true happiness throughout their entire lives, often looking to other sources or people to find it. Achieving a complete sense of contentment, actually comes from within. Everyone has the capacity to lead a happy and full life. Happiness will not be found from outside of the self, but rather from deep within.
Yoga has been proven to instill a sense of gratification, peace, and calm within those who practice it on a regular basis. It is a way for people to take a break from all of life’s stresses, and go within themselves for a time. It allows us to focus on basics, like breathing, stretching, meditating, and releasing negative energy. Yoga is an extremely powerful way to learn how to acknowledge negative thoughts and feelings, let them go, and replace them with positive thoughts and feelings. Along with nurturing a positive mindset, Yoga also nurtures the body’s muscles, organs, and blood flow to create overall health. People who experience overall health often have a more positive outlook on life, which contributes to that which we are all searching for: happiness.
The more happy people in the world, the better off our world will be. Happy people make healthy choices, and strive to do what’s best for themselves as well as those around them. Happy people do not harbor resentment, seek revenge, or act out of malice. Imagine a world full of truly happy people, and you will imagine a world society free from social issues like injustice, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and greed.
On a smaller scale, the more people who practice Yoga while realizing its benefits and often life-changing results, the closer we are to an ideal type of world. History tells us that the world will most likely never be completely free from conflict and violence, but those who achieve Yogic happiness will certainly point us in the right direction.
Each of us knows pain and suffering to some degree. We can dwell on our pain or find solutions to relieve our suffering. The choice to be happy rests within each of us. The Yogic path is in the middle of the road of life. The Yogic journey is filled with happiness as we learn to avoid extremes. With that said, people who choose to be unhappy are often attracted to extremes. Although your heart may be in the right place, do not expect to reason with the unreasonable. Setting an example of a Yogic lifestyle is much more powerful than preaching.
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