“I have only 3 things to teach: simplicity, patience and compassion – and with these 3 you can go a long way.”
Lao Tzu, 7th Century Chinese philosopher and the father of Tao
The words of Lao Tzu have been lovingly treasured for centuries, coming down to us today to guide us. As a teacher, I think I too have only 3 things to teach: meditate, exercise the body-mind, live simply and with these 3 our health will go a long way.
Living Simply with Yoga is about simple living, a simple daily routine, living in the moment with awareness.
Simple Living is about living consciously and in the moment. Consciousness is about awareness and this “Simple Living” process helps you to raise your awareness of how you’re living your life – and teaches you to live in the magic of life unfolding. And here are the steps:
Meditate: give yourself time for deep inner nurturing and nourishing.
Go to the “sweetspot” regularly: listen to meditative music. The Yogis believed we have a little sac of “Amber Nectar” (the nectar of the Gods) deep within our brains. The way to connect with our “sweetspot” is through relaxation and music, raising our vibrations.
Practice Right Diet: dietary control is very important in living with Yoga in your life. We eat those foods which contain the most life force energy and which feed our bodymind emotions and spirits. Traditionally vegetarianism suits the Yoga bodymind – but books such as “Eat Right 4 Your Type” have taught us that not everyone can be vegetarian or eat raw food diets. Understanding a little about the Ayurvedic Doshas can also be very illuminating! Learn what you can about your body and what foods are going to bring you optimum health. Eating little and often suits the Yoga body.
Practice Mindfulness: focused concentration. Be fully aware of your actions throughout the day, being in the moment as much as possible. Becoming familiar with the 7 Spiritual Laws of Yoga is very beneficial and can give you a daily framework for your mindfulness practice.
Get Inspiration: read uplifting books, watch inspiring DVD’s, listen to beautiful poetry and teachings. The Yogis have always insisted that the dedicated Yoga student (especially meditation practitioners) take Satsangs, teachings of the Masters, an important part of our Sadhana (practice) which teaches us humility.
Spend Time in Self-care and Self-nurturing: and this is time you spend alone. Make time for time with yourself. Ayurvedic Self-care rituals are a wonderful way of doing this: for example making a weekly ritual of self-massage prior to visualisation and relaxation. Investing a little attention, time, money and care in your practice space adds immeasurably to the quality of your experience.
Daily Intention: focus on a simple, positive goal each day. This will teach you about the power of intention in your life.
Express Yourself Creatively: art, music, beauty, writing were all important to the Ancient Yogis, because they said we experience the thrill of the vibration of the Universe through creativity – Universal Life Force Energy is creative energy. Journal regularly if this is your only means of creative expression.
Slow Down: you can only experience the miracle of life and living, seeing the magic in life, if you slow down. Learning Yogic breathing is wonderful for this, as is appreciating your senses. In Yoga Meditation you withdraw your senses to heighten your sensitivity. Life then becomes an experience to be lived, and not just something that we have to do.
Move: move your bodymind regularly. Allow energy to flow through your bodymind and emotions. Make your bodymind a more comfortable place for your Spirit to dwell.
Go through the above steps slowly, introducing one step at a time into your routine until your life has transformed.
Practice for many years has proved to me and other teachers that the values of simplicity, practice, time and dedication work for us very beneficially to enrich our experience of life. Practice may not be easy, but it’s the only way for some of us.
And balance in your life comes when you know in your heart that that way is right . . .
Susan’s Note: Here are some additional reading sources: Eat Right 4 Your Type, by Dr Peter D’Adamo and Catherine Whitney, The Ayurvedic Year, by Christina Brown, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra.
Susan Ni Rahilly is founder of http://www.suzenyoga.com: Spirituality, Understanding, Zen, Energy and Nutrition through dedication to Yoga practice.