Dec 11, 2019
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras we are gifted a method to find liberation in this life. To find more joy. Joy that is sustainable regardless of our external circumstances.
And in Sutra 1.20 he tells us that in order to be free we must first have faith.
Faith in God.
Faith in the path of Yoga.
We gain trust in this path through direct experience. With a consistent practice and with daily habits that keep our bodies in alignment and our nervous system in rhythmic balance we begin to see the impact that this practice has on our lives, our relationships, our work. We begin to see more clearly what our true life purpose is, our dharma, our reason for being here.
As we direct our energy towards the practices that keep us well in mind, body and spirit we learn to discern when it is time to pause and rest and when it is time to speak and act. We learn ways to replenish our energy and reset our physiology. Sleep, mindfulness, meditation, abhyanga (self-massage), caring for our senses, choosing nutrient rich foods, moving our bodies, breath practices, getting our feet on the earth...all are ways we can keep our energy balanced so that we do not get so depleted that we have nothing to give.
Cultivating Abhyasa (a devoted spiritual practice) and Vairagya (remembering who you truly are) is necessary for me to stay focused on the big picture. I have faith that these practices will keep me on this path toward liberation...not just liberation of myself, but of the collective. I believe that the very human experience I am having in this body not just about me. That we are interconnected and my choices impact the whole. And because of this I choose to take care of this body so that I can show up as the highest version of me. A version that is honest, kind, compassionate and focused. This is the wisdom that we unveil through a committed, consistent spiritual practice. This is is true self-care. Going beyond the self and choosing collective care. Having faith that through this work we will all be free.
“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”
Faith is to believe in something without proof. It’s to trust. Ultimately it is to surrender to something beyond ourselves. To God, spirit, the Universe. Choose what resonates.
For me it’s the belief that in the end love always wins. Without it I don’t know if I could continue to move forward in a world where there is so much suffering. It’s similar to hope. But, faith brings us into the present moment and asks us to surrender...right here, right now.
I believe that a spiritual practice is mandatory for personal evolution. And it is necessary for any movement of social change to be sustainable.
Personally, I have faith that the spiritual path of yoga is the one that works for me.
I know that this practice, both on and off the mat, has made me a better person and empowered me to live a life that feels more integral and on purpose. It has awakened me to live with more compassion, grace and ease. It has invited me to become more keenly aware of the ways my own thoughts and actions impact not only my own health and wellness, but the wellness of the whole.
This practice has been an invitation to uncover my shadow. It has begun to make the unconscious conscious. This practice is not easy. There will be resistance. It is counter-culture. I don’t mean the asana practice which has become culturally accepted. Rather the deeper layers of the path. There are many times I want to walk away from this practice and instead plow forward without doing the work. And every single time I do this God reminds me that it doesn’t work that way. Because what we do not transform, we transmit.
May each of us do the work of personal evolution first. May we have faith that the world will emerge into the light.
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