Initially, changes manifest from our physical asana practice. We feel stronger, more flexible, and more open. This in turn effects how we relate to others and they relate to us. As we move beyond our physical yoga practice, these changes become more profound. To go further into personal transformation, try following the first two limbs of the Eight-limbed Path of Yoga, the Yamas and Niyamas.
The Yamas are five personal observances: ahimsa or non-violence, satya or truthfulness, asteya or non-stealing, brahmacarya or moderation, and aparigraha or non-grasping. So, for instance if you practice Ahimsa or non-harming in the way you treat others, it has a positive effect on you. Behaving this way is good for you. You will feel changed. People in your life will experience you differently and your relationships may begin to shift.
The Niyamas are five personal disciplines more focused on how you treat yourself: sauca or cleanliness, santosha or contentment, tapas or discipline, svadhyaya or self-study and isvarapranidhana or connection to the divine. So, for instance by cultivating Santosha or contentment, you’ll reap positive benefits for you. If you can shed the layers weighing you down, you’re closer to becoming your best self. When you live your life in a more authentic, happy way, you affect those around you with your positive energy.
Delving into the darkness of the past and finding forgiveness frees us when we release old anger, pain and hurt. Often these feelings sit in our physical body, holding us back. If we can release them, we become free. Instead of expecting somebody else to give us happiness, peace, or fulfillment, we realize we can obtain it ourselves. Then, we are in the place to offer it to others, whether that is romantic, friendship, family or professional.
If you are the best version of yourself and release past hurts and emotions weighing you down, you’ll be ready for the relationships that will lift you up.
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