Yoga Philosophy and Life
Yoga is an ancient practice with origins in India. Its philosophy has been documented in Hindu texts, written on stones, and found at archaeological sites. The practice of yoga has dramatically transformed over many centuries, accumulating changes and gaining mass appeal through exposure to cultures outside India, such as the Western world.
Yoga is not solely a spiritual tradition. It is a practice that can be followed for physical reasons or even as a form of mental therapy.
The article will explore yoga philosophy, its principles, and the ways of integrating it into daily life to enhance your overall well-being.
What’s yoga philosophy?
Yoga philosophy is the systematic study of yoga art and knowledge. It is a holistic approach that bundles principles and practices to achieve harmony and unity between the body, mind, and spirit.
It revolves around physical poses (asanas), breathing activities (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana). The goal of yoga philosophy is to integrate the principles and practices of yoga into daily life and achieve a state of conscious awareness.
The ultimate purpose of yoga philosophy is to model individuals to achieve that union with themselves and the universe. It helps you eliminate negative emotions and experiences, create a sense of balance and regain focus.
Yoga philosophy is founded on the concept of "ahimsa," which is often translated as "non-violence." It means we should learn to live in harmony with our fellow beings and nature.
5 Principles of yoga philosophy
Now that we know yoga philosophy let us explore its main principles and how they can be applied to life. Here are five main principles of yoga philosophy to follow:
1. Asanas (Proper exercise)
Asanas top our list of yoga philosophy principles because they are considered the foundation of yoga. They are physical poses that you can practice to exercise and maintain multiple areas of the body, such as your heart, spine, and joints.
These poses you encounter while at yoga classes or at home workouts boost your flexibility, improve your posture and help you tone your muscles. You also become more familiar with your body and learn how to move it healthily and safely.
2. Pranayama (Pranic breathing)
Pranayama consists of breathing exercises and methods that encourage controlled inhalation, exhalation, and breath retention to foster inner peace and awareness.
It is also called pranic breathing because this particular type of breathing activates the flow of prana - the subtle life force energy in our body.
Breathing more deeply and slowly helps stimulate our nervous system to release excess energy from the mind, body, and spirit. It allows more oxygen to circulate in your body, which benefits your skin tone and mental health.
You can use it as a stress-reduction technique or to achieve a meditative state. As you become familiar with this practice, you modify your bad habits, like huffing or sighing when faced with stressful situations.
3. Savasana (Proper relaxation)
It spotlights relaxation after your yoga practice. The term means "corpse pose," which is a resting position you assume after completing asanas and pranayama.
Savasana helps you feel recharged and energized, which makes it easier to resist stress. It also allows your body to recover from the strenuous activity you have just endured. In some cases, savasana can give you a sense of relief when your body is in discomfort due to injury or sickness.
4. Proper diet and nutrition
Good yoga practice is related to more than exercise and rest. It would be wise to know that what you consume is equally important.
Our bodies need proper nourishment and nutrition to function properly, which means you should eat the right food to support your yoga goals.
If you opt for a vegan diet, consume more fruits and vegetables than meats, eggs, and dairy products. It gives you a balance of carbs and proteins while boosting your energy levels. You also avoid processed sugars and fats that can contribute to weight gain or affect your digestive health.
Most yogis must rely heavily on a plant-based diet for easy digestion and a calm mind. However, you should also consume enough protein to maintain and maintain your muscles well-nourished.
5. Positive thinking and meditation
The last and most crucial principle of yoga philosophy is positive thinking. A positive attitude helps you overcome struggles and obstacles in your life. It creates more energy and enthusiasm and will power you to take on tasks you deem impossible.
You can exercise the principle during yoga sessions or daily routines to maintain a healthy attitude. When you are with people who believe the same philosophy, it uplifts your outlook. You can talk about your feelings and discuss ideas that energize you to work on those goals that matter most to you.
Including mindful meditation as a daily habit can also increase your self-awareness and happiness. It allows you to concentrate on the present without being overwhelmed by the past or future. It also enables you to experience inner peace and clarity.
How to integrate yoga philosophy into daily life
You can emulate these ways to integrate yoga philosophy into your daily routine:
1. Have a yoga routine
Yoga needs much consistency for it to be effective. You can do it as part of your daily routine at home or during a class. Get familiar with those asana poses and breathing practices. They will also help you define and maintain healthy habits that support your yoga goals.
2. Meditate regularly
Meditation is a proven technique to achieve mental and emotional balance. It would help if you did it twice or more times a day, depending on your schedule.
Here are several different ways to meditate:
● Sitting meditation: This is the most common version of meditation where you sit straight with your legs crossed and hands resting gently in your lap at heart level.
● Chakra meditation: Chakra meditation is a popular method for focusing on a chakra that corresponds to the one you want to benefit from.
● Mantra meditation: Mantra meditation helps you achieve mental focus by repeatedly repeating a word or words in your mind.
3. Think positively daily
Every morning, choose at least three things to smile at. Scout around and look up to see the good things happening around you instead of focusing on gossiping with your friends or online news feed. Count on your blessings and nourish a grateful heart. It keeps you energized, motivated, and optimistic about your goals and responsibilities. Also, remember positive thoughts will always attract positive results.
4. Be present
Acknowledge the presence of other people and see how they relate to their goals. You can share their happiness because they have something to be happy about.
Be aware of your love for your family, friends, and colleagues because it makes them happy. Give them high praise when they deserve it. Pat them on their back when they do good deeds before you. Also, recognize your success because it encourages you to reach your greatest potential.
5. Get a balance
It is natural to love doing some things and hate doing others. To feel whole, try to do a little of everything, whether working out, cross-stitching, or trying a new dinner recipe. Instead of focusing only on one thing, you also learn to value every aspect of your life, including your weekends and holidays.
6. Listen to your body
The body desperately needs rest, nourishment, and hydration. Listen to your body's signals when it is hungry or feeling ill.
Do not push yourself too much when you feel you can't handle the pressure from work or school. Also, sleep early, eat healthy, and drink enough water to keep your energy up for the whole day.
7. Take meaningful breaths
You should not only practice good pranayamas in yoga but also while outside. The benefits of mindful breathing are endless.
When you feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, try deep-breathing exercises. Breathe in and out five times through your nose and slowly exhale for five seconds. It will calm your mind and relieve pressure from your chest. Remember to breathe nicely to create positive feelings when you are with people.
8. Accept yourself for who you are
You do not need to change into someone else to get love or appreciation from people around you. You need to accept yourself before they can do the same or accept you as an individual with good values, ideas, and opinions that matter most to them, no matter what kind of person they are.
9. Have a mindful diet plan
10. Appreciate your fitness level
Take this time to appreciate what your body can do for you instead of dwelling on all the things it cannot do, like running fast or jumping high. You work hard to improve your physical health to move more comfortably and freely.
11. Locate a guru
It is safe to reach out to a mentor or a sage who can guide you on your journey to self-development. They will help remove obstacles and offer solutions for your problems. Also, they can teach you how to focus on the bigger picture of things like serving humanity or preserving the environment.
12. Follow the universal laws of karma and dharma
You should always maintain a positive attitude in life because both contribute to a better way of living for yourself and other people around you. If something does not go your way, accept it with gratitude as if someone bestowed you a great gift from heaven above instead of being sad about it.
13. Connect with nature
14. Love your neighborhood
Try to build relationships with your neighbors and share similar hobbies and interests. Interact with them by listening to their stories and enjoying their company occasionally. Instead of only loving or hating them, you will understand what kind of person they are.
15. Habitualize self-care
Self-care is not just another buzzword that people use because they mean something else. Incorporate regular and effective self-care rituals to maintain healthy mental, emotional, physical, and social well-being.
16. Make a bucket list
Plan several goals or things you want to experience before you leave this world. Make sure it's achievable in the next two years to cross each one from your bucket list when the time comes. Engage more in activities that bring you joy.
17. Be compassionate
Show empathy and compassion in your words and actions, not only to others but also to yourself. Your actions should reflect your words. When you compliment others, please don't say it sarcastically or with a negative tone but sincerely and positively to create positive energy.
18. Be an active listener
When someone is telling you something, listen intently to what they are saying by asking questions if necessary, then show them that you are genuinely interested in learning more about their lives and what they want to share with you.
19. Commit to transformation
Committing to transformation is essential to integrating yoga philosophy into daily life. It involves being open to change, growth, and evolution and consciously transforming negative habits, patterns, and behaviors into positive ones.
Here are some ways to commit to transformation:
● Set intentions: Start each day by setting an intention for how you want to appear. It can help you to stay focused on your goals and values and guide your actions throughout the day.
● Embrace challenges: Embrace challenges and difficulties as opportunities for growth and learning. Remember that obstacles and setbacks are part of the journey and can help you to develop resilience and strength.
● Practice self-reflection: Reflect on your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It can help you identify patterns and habits that may hold you back and make positive changes.
Yoga is a rewarding practice that can improve your life and well-being. Yoga can benefit you significantly if you do it the right way and apply the principles mentioned above.