Honouring The Practise Of Yoga
Honouring The Practise Of Yoga

Yoga is not something we do just one day. It is about building a practice. Sometimes the human mind becomes unstable or lazy. This instability can be reined in through practice.

Maharishi Patanjali, one of the profounders of yoga, mentions that any practice requires time, and it should be done with honour without any gap/interruption, for one to be established in it.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are life's threads, each one rich with knowledge and techniques to guide the mind and help bring one's very being into full expression.

Usually, we start a practice well but drop it after some time. We get lost in the fantasies of our minds. We practice when we feel like it and abandon it when we feel lazy, which is a disrespect to the practice.

The Yoga Sutras explain the five modulations of the mind that keep you from experiencing your own bliss. The modulations of the mind are five fold - 'wanting proof, wrong understanding, imagination, sleep and memory'. The mind gets stuck in the patterns of the past, or it can try to logically justify why one should not continue something. Just become aware again and again that the mind tends to get engaged in the five modulations of the mind and keep coming back to the center, to the seer. This is Abhyasa. If you are practising something like yoga, continue it for some time. It is important to practice it with honour.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar meditates amidst vedic chanting and bhajans
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar meditates amidst vedic chanting and bhajansAoL

Any practice is meaningful only when it is done continuously for a long time and with respect and devotion. Respecting your breath and holding it in high regard is pranayama. Only then do you attain stability in your breathing. So, yoga, meditation and pranayama should always be practised with feelings of respect, honour, and gratitude.

To attain anything valuable in life and become established in it, you need to nurture it. You go to a gym, does not happen overnight. Muscles take quite some time to grow. Whether it is cooking, music, playing the sitar, or playing the flute, it takes time to attain mastery in any art. Similarly, the mind needs even more time for its growth. Any practice you build takes time. It need not be too long a time, but sufficiently long. Whether you want to become an athlete, learn music, or delve into the depth of a spiritual practice, you need a Guru. When it comes to the mind, understanding its complexities requires a skilled Guru who can remove all your troubles and guide you on the spiritual path.

Any practice is meaningful only when it is done continuously for a long time and with respect and devotion.

Let us take an example here. If you are learning meditation and if you do not feel satisfied and refreshed after meditation, examine why is this happening. Ask yourself, "Have I practised continuously?" If yes, then why is this happening? Maybe you have not given full respect to your life force or have not honoured your technique. Respecting the technique given by the Guru is respecting the Guru. When you practice with this feeling and meditate, you will easily experience the depth of it as well.

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Note: This is an authored article by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a renowned spiritual leader and the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, a volunteer-based, humanitarian and educational non-governmental organization. He is a global advocate for peace and humanitarian values, with a mission to promote individual well-being and societal harmony. Through his teachings and initiatives, he has reached millions of people across the world, offering programs that combine practical wisdom with ancient spiritual practices. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's work spans numerous areas, including conflict resolution, disaster relief, and education, making him a pivotal figure in contemporary spirituality and global humanitarian efforts.