Thursday, June 20, 2019

International Day of Yoga; The 4 Types of Yoga Help Us In the 4 Pursuits of Life

On The International Day Of Yoga, ChayaVeda Integrative Healing Arts is getting into the essence and core of yoga practice, which begins with the understanding of the 4 types of Yoga that help us achieve the 4 pursuits of life.

Yoga is quite often spoken about as the union of “body, mind and spirit”, with many popular modern day brands, and actually is more accurately described in the ancient teachings as union of the individual consciousness with universal consciousness, which we have interpreted as a return to wholeness, which can happen when we are integrated.

The 4 Pursuits of Life are:
 1. Dharma: Right Action, duty, discipline, purpose, religion. One must be grounded in Dharma first, as it is what sustains you. 

 2. Artha: Prosperity, professional aptitudes, money and economics. 

 3. Kama: Sensual fulfillment, enjoyment, creative play, gives satisfaction to our mind and desires, but should not go against our Dharma, Artha and Kama

 4. Moksha: Liberation, freedom, true nature.

Consider using these pursuits to discern good purpose for your emotions, your responses and they will be transmuted for the free flow of energy that serves creation and integration. The mind is always in opposites, where are you in the battle of duality?

When there are questions of Kama and control, which are often obstacles to success, the clarity attained from yoga is our wake up call to be aware, which offers the way to a permanent solution.

When these 4 pursuits are acknowledged and brought into balance, we feel whole and complete.

Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, describes the science of Yoga and the steps a practitioner must take to still the fluctuations of the mind in order to achieve its ultimate goal of kaivalya, or freedom.

The Baghavad Gita is a story that Yogis read in order to understand the human condition and how to live a yogic life. The story takes place on the battlefield of Dharma for the uplifting of the whole society. It teaches that no one can stay on the field without performing action, that everyone has to perform some form of action and that it is important to discern what right action is.

If there is any doubt, it will not work, but if you are clear, with no doubt or confusion, then you will do right action with your full heart, and you will be successful.

It's difficult to get to the truth with so much manipulation as the common way of navigating life, the Yogi must go higher and gain clarity to discern beyond the common and ordinary perception to know, which if unchecked borders on heresy, but when achieved is pure budhi, or intelligence.

In the Ghita's story of the battle, this is what it means to "fight and to hold your own".

In spiritual or yogic life, clarity of mind is so important to our success, yet we never doubt material life. Arjuna represents the common person who takes to spiritual/dharmic life and so many doubts arise in him. His teacher, Krishna teaches him that they have to be transmuted, otherwise he will fall back down into the trappings of the illusions of the material world. Doubts and all sorts of attachments stemming from ego come in spiritual/dharmic life and attempt to pull you down into the material world.  

The yoga scriptures teach us that it is important to fulfill our responsibility, purpose or dharma first. Then we can focus on our economic situation, Artha and desires, Kama, in a way that is balanced and leads us to make positive choices providing freedom. Consequently, when we don’t have the determination to hold to our dharma, and we are run by Artha and Kama, the wrong choices result, and ultimately pervert our senses, which are our doorways to true perception. 

Without true perception, we are on a treadmill or rather running in front of the treadmill leading to more wrong choices and an impure or dis-eased mind and body.

When we follow the 4 pursuits, keeping our commitment to Dharma, then we can live a life of balance and freedom from the bondage of illusion that leads to wrong choices, suffering and dis-ease.

This inspirational day of yoga is a great time of starting anew, to make the vow to understanding yourself at the deepest level of your existence and what your Dharma and purpose is. 

Often we can't stay focused on our Dharma because we choose the wrong one and we become "wishy washy" and indiscriminate. 

Through the practice of Yoga, which is part of Ayurveda, we strengthen the muscle of the mind and purify the senses so that our perception of our Dharma becomes crystal clear to us, rather than a goal set in the mind, but an intention of the soul. 

This clarity infuses determination that is no longer something of the mind, but rather about being authentic and true to your soul, to yourself and those around you.

Choose and practice the yoga that suites your Ayurvedic constitution:

Karma Yoga -selfless service and the discipline of selfless action as a way to perfection.

Bhakti Yoga- also called Bhakti marga (literally the path of Bhakti), is a spiritual path or spiritual practice, focused on loving devotion towards a personal g-d, guru and/or creation itself.

Jnana Yoga-(wisdom or knowledge) is considered the most difficult of the four main paths of Yoga, requiring great strength of will and intellect. In Jnana yoga, the mind is used to inquire into its own nature and to transcend the mind's identification with its thoughts and ego.

Hatha Yoga-is a general category that includes most modern day yoga styles. It is an old system that includes the practice of coordinating asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), which balance the brain and the nervous system.

All of the paths of yoga assist in helping bring peace to the mind and body, preparing the body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation, which are then spontaneous states of being that bring clarity and knowing of life beyond ordinary perception.

During these times of economic reality, it is this determination to hold to our vows and Dharma, while purifying the senses to get clear about our core values of life that will bring true and permanent riches, rewards, peace, abundance and contentment.

May the inspiration of this International Day of Yoga, uplift your souls and may all beings know peace and be free of suffering.

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