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Three Commitments For Better Yoga And a Happier Life

In Yoga, commitment is the difference between success and failure. Here is a list of three commitments that will put you on the path to success.

Practice

The more you practice, the more you get out of it. Find ways to commit to an enjoyable asana (poses) and pranayama (breathing) practice. Make sure that it makes you feel better. Most practitioners will tell you without thinking that they do Yoga because it makes them feel better.

If you are feeling better, your faith in the process will strengthen along with your commitment.

Hence, the best practice is the one that you do. Be relentless in finding the right approach or approaches that work for you. Ask others who have an established practice what they like about it. Study the vast literature available. Take a yoga teacher training course to broaden your understanding.

Commit to practice.

Study Yourself

Cultivate objectivity about yourself. It’s not easy. For most of us, self study quickly transforms into self criticism, giving rise to feelings that actually block out real understanding.

On the other hand, don’t merely look for reasons to praise yourself. Arrogance and pride are just as harmful to real understanding as self-pity.

What you want to learn about is your mind processes. What are your frequent thoughts? Are they useful? How are you reacting to them? How can you change your reaction? Is your Yoga practice influencing these thought patterns in useful ways?

Commit yourself to objective self study.

Gratitude and Non-Attachment

Ultimately your efforts in Yoga, in life, will yield results. Find ways to surrender your attachment to the results of your efforts. The Yoga Sutra’s term for this is "Ishvarapranidhana", which translates as "devote the fruits of your practice to God." Surrender to something bigger. Getting bogged down in pride of accomplishment is a big hinderance to further progress.

Commit to moving forward in Yoga by simply being grateful for what you have attained thus far. For most of us, Yoga is a lifelong pursuit that is constantly yielding small conquests. Getting too attached to any of them will cut your journey short.

Commit to cultivating gratitude and non-attachment to results.

Students of the Yoga Sutras will recognize these thoughts on commitment deriving from Kriya Yoga: Tapas, svadhaya, Isvarapranidhana. As always we are grateful to Sutras‘ author Pantanjali for guidance on our Yoga journey.

 

Photo by Miumiumi