We all want to enjoy the benefits from a regular yoga practice, like a better mood, vibrant energy, and a stronger more supple body. And a consistent daily practice, however brief, can change your life in profound ways you may not have contemplated. According to the Yoga Sutras, practicing yoga is also considered the path to avoiding future suffering.
Yoga Sutra 2.16- heyam duhkham anagatam, in the second chapter of the sutras on Sadhana or practice, loosely translated means, “pain yet to come is to be avoided.” What exactly does Patanjali mean in this thread of yogic wisdom?
Essentially, we do have the ability to avoid or minimize future pain and suffering through our routine yoga practice. In other words, what we do today can help alleviate our future suffering. Our human experience includes pain, but through yoga you can shift your perspective and what you may have perceived as pain changes.
By practicing yoga every day, we tune into our true thoughts and feelings. When we pay more attention to our values and desires, we begin to make better choices in all areas of our lives. Consider the analogy of a yogi being like a gardener or a farmer. Today, you are planting seeds and cultivating your garden with hope and intention for the future.
Sometimes, if we aren’t connected with our own thoughts and desires, we can unintentionally create futures that don’t truly resonate or represent what we desire.
These unintended or careless actions now can manifest as challenges in the future that could have been avoided by paying attention to what we create each and every day. By practicing yoga, we become more aligned with our true selves and more mindful of how our current actions impact our futures. In other words, we make better choices.
Yoga practice isn’t optional––you cannot nurture your desires and the life of your dreams if you don’t practice. Period. To cultivate awareness takes effort.
The good news is that even when you’re really busy, you can still squeeze in a quick yoga practice and garner the benefits. Don’t be hard on yourself if your schedule is full––consider quality over quantity.
Release any pre-conceived notion that you’ve got to practice at a certain time every day for a minimum period of time to receive the gifts of yoga. Of course, to have a truly well rounded practice including pranayama (breath work) and meditation, you’re going to need more than ten or fifteen minutes. But if you’re flexible, you can squeeze in a quick class some days and balance with longer classes on others. Consistency is key. Choose to feel better today and all your tomorrows.
1. Elise Fabricant - Morning Quickie 2 (FREE CLASS)
2. Robert Sidoti - 5 Poses for Flexibility
3. Pradeep Teotia - Alternate Nostril Breathing
4. Jackie Casal Mahrou - Anytime Sun Salutations
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