Does life feel like a carnival ride? How do we deal with life’s challenges? What do you consider happiness to be? Can Hatha Yoga really open the “Gateway to Happiness?” Let’s look at solutions to happiness, which you can find in your Hatha Yoga practice.
Life is often compared to a carnival ride. The “ups and downs” of life cause us pleasure and pain. To a degree, we all need a certain amount of stress, but Hatha Yoga practice can help you gauge the amount of stress you take.
Picture stress like water: You need some water to live, but too much water can become a flood. Hatha Yoga controls stress, like a dam controls water. We want a steady flow, but not too much.
How do we deal with life’s challenges? Many people want to avoid challenges and stress, but in the proper “dosage, ” challenges are what keep us going. Start or finish your day with Yoga, and you will face life’s daily challenges with positive energy in your heart.
What do you consider happiness to be? Is it money, possessions, power, fame, retirement, or something else? All of these things tax our spirit. The more we have, the more we want, the more we are bored, and the more there is to worry about.
Happiness cannot be bought. Look at the lives of the “rich and famous, ” if you need proof. Happiness is a choice, and Hatha Yoga can help anyone find the path of happiness.
Can Yoga really open the gateway to happiness? Absolutely! All forms of Yoga teach meditation and Pranayama. In Hatha Yoga, these concepts sometimes become secondary to Yoga postures (Asanas). Yet, all three of these concepts combined will help you feel more cheerful - even during disappointing times.
Yoga can be practiced all day long. When you display acts of kindness, you will feel gratified in knowing you helped someone. Loving kindness is a universal Yogic concept. This is just one of many methods of “Yoga off the mat. ”
You can practice loving kindness by giving to others. Let someone in front of you, while you are in traffic, or help someone in need. If you have no money, loving kindness does not have to be material. Karma Yoga is selfless service; all you have to do is help or listen to someone who needs you.
Lastly, every time you give, help, or listen, it “comes back. ” This should not be your primary motivation for helping others, but giving is always rewarded in one way or another. This is just one example of the law of cause and effect, which we also know as “Karma. ”
© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. www.riyoga.com He has been a certified Master Yoga teacher since 1995. To receive a Free e-Book: “Yoga in Practice, " and a Free Yoga Newsletter, please visit: www.yoga-teacher-training.org/index.html