It comes as no surprise the popularity of yoga in both eastern and western cultures is booming. Within this age of information, our lifestyles are becoming increasingly rapid, bringing about more stress and less contentment. Yoga practice has proven not only to help relieve physical and emotional tension, but its deeper, more subtle, effects can revolutionize our lives. Why is it that a teaching as ancient as yoga and meditation is gaining such widespread appeal, touching nearly 40 million lives?
We all want to experience more meaning from life, to feel that we are living expansively with hearts filled with love and joy. Though we desire the good things from life, our experience seems to always come up short of lasting fulfillment. What if we had a road-map that offered full proof guidance through all of life’s experiences so that joy IS awaiting us behind every experience? Yoga is that road-map!
When we practice yoga and meditation,we are not only relieving physical and emotional tension through a series of techniques, we are connecting to a Higher Reality. One of the beauties of these teachings is that you don’t need to study intensely to benefit from your practice. Yoga is not an intellectual science. Yoga is a doorway that lead to experiences that transcend all mental conceptions of who we think we are and align our lives to Divinity right within us.
Paramhansa Yogananda often encouraged his students to put the teachings of yoga to the test, to prove that we have within us a ‘portable paradise’ of love and joy. We aren’t creating this reality nor are we simply believing in pleasant platitudes. Behind every asana and meditation technique we practice, we’re tuning the ‘radio’ of our consciousness to a very real Divine presence that is ours by birthright.
If we step back from our daily demands for a moment and ask ourselves, “what’s my motivation in life?” try to feel that behind every ambition lies that one, eternal, yearning for true and lasting happiness. Then reflect, “Have I found what I’m looking for? Have my desires lent a helpful hand in manifesting this lasting fulfillment, or am I still craving for that something else?”
As we approach this International Day of Yoga, let us remember that the answers to these questions only lie within our hearts. The teachings of all the great Religions remind us that happiness lies within, not externally in the fleeting scenes of this world. May our practice of Yoga enliven this truth in our lives, infusing our every thought and action with the blessings of deep calmness and joy.