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Friday, April 13, 2012

Yoga Practice:Let's Evolve

From many years of yoga practice, I have come to see that we are either in a state of evolution, stagnancy or regression. Our soul craves to evolve but often we stagnate with old habits and regress to what we know are unhealthy choices. Some helpful questions we can ask ourselves are what relationships, food choices and projects move us forward? What ones are causing us to stagnate or regress? It is up to us on a daily basis to decide what evolves our soul. Yoga is a great tool for getting back in touch with how our body and mind are evolving. Are we focusing on the goodness of the universe or are we kept busy with thoughts of fear and stagnating self-criticism?

Yoga is a tool that helps us evolve by purifying our body, mind and soul. Included in a yoga lifestyle is the practice of ahimsa (non-violence). Ahimsa is not just limited to the physical world but can include being mindful of what images we take into our brain. Are we watching uplifting movies that inspire us to evolve or is what we watch cultivating fear and showing us more violence to move us into a state of regression and despair? Our ultimate evolution will have the outcome of enlightenment, which is the goal of yoga.

Everything we do has the potential to evolve us forward, if we place on our actions the intention of enlightening the soul. Some signs of your evolution are a better feeling body and more focused mind. Our breath will become fuller and, as our life force moves through us more freely, we are able to evolve. Through the evolutionary practice of being in the moment, you will find you have a more peaceful and less cluttered mind. For example, we can make a choice to evolve with a positive conversation. Our heart gets happier when we serve others. This is the practice of karma yoga. Even a simple uplifting word to a friend will help us to evolve towards enlightenment rather than living life immersed in our often-stagnating habits that we repeat and therefore become wired into us as a result of the mind's separation from consciousness. We need to work to overcome the separation in order to evolve forward from our cycles.

We need to affirm each day that our life is a one that can do the world good. By encouraging and allowing our own soul to evolve, we help the world. Take time to nourish your soul with yoga, quiet time to just breathe and be, and meditation. We need to move into the stillness in order to evolve past the busyness of the seemingly unstoppable "monkey mind."

The time to evolve is now. As for my life, now living on the island of Samoa in the South Pacific, and as a person from the western world, I learn daily how to laugh more and analyze less. In visiting with the Samoan people, there is abundant playful laughter within each conversation. Leading yoga retreats on this peaceful island and with a state such as stress being a new term here, it feels evolutionary to be learning and evolving my own humanity towards optimum health and peace by serving one person at a time. We all have ways, big or small, that we can help the world right now. By contemplating on our own evolution, we help the world! If we are more peaceful, the world becomes happier. My own evolutionary journey is moment to moment and is enhanced by the beauty that is abundant amidst island life. I am learning to evolve by analyzing less and enjoying stillness more.

The greatest advice I received lately from one of my yoga teachers is this: Try to remain kind to yourself as you journey forward. Pat yourself on the back for what you have already done for yourself and enjoy the move forward on your evolutionary path towards lasting joy and radiant peace.

Because you are alive, everything is possible.
---Thich Nhat Hanh

Our life is enough. May you experience lasting peace, flow and joy cultivated through the practice of yoga.

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Reposted By Nurkholis for this blog

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