Rita guides you through a most loving and sacred yoga practice. Her gentle nature and lightness allow for the most wonderful unfolding to take place in her class. As a fellow student and teacher I am always appreciative of her gifts and radiant smile she shares with others. ... Aarti Ganesh           Read more...

Adopting the Yogic Attitude

Adopting the Yogic attitude aims at evolution of mind. It teaches us as to how we can develop a strong, stable and calm mind under difficult circumstances. How can we face life so as to live a full and happy existence. How can we make the most of our time here on the planet. These questions have been around for a long time and as a result philosophies such as Yoga have arisen.

Yoga has been developed by the great sages and seers of the past as a gift to humankind, to help us manage our lives better and to grow into higher awareness of the purpose of our existence. Yoga teaches us that we can take our lives into our own hands and, using its techniques and methods, guide ourselves into greater inner strength so as to face life with a greater capacity to respond to the problems that arise with creativity, spontaneity and skill. Yoga teaches us to develop core strength and tremendous, dynamic inner peace; a strong inner core, like a flexible steel rod in our spines, and a responsive outer layer that is appropriate to the moment.

WHAT IS THE YOGIC ATTITUDE

The Yogic attitude makes us learn to face both the pleasurable and the un-pleasurable events with the same detachment. In fact by this attitude we can utilize painful events to develop greater inner strength. For example if you find that you are getting into a stressful situation, you do not panic. You use this opportunity to make your body healthy and strong and also develop a healthy attitude of mind.

With Yogic attitude you will find that with the change in your perspective, you work more efficiently in whatever you do, your decision making is better and the prospects of all-round growth begin to look brighter in your working life. Then you can make stress either a problem or a challenge. If you look at stress as a problem, the solution may necessarily have to come from outside. If you face stress as a challenge, then you are able to handle it through Yoga and your changed perspective on life. In short the Yogic attitude is "I am responsible for the situation I am in. So I can handle it". And so can you!

Boat Pose

Vajrasana


HOW TO ACHIEVE THIS YOGIC ATTITUDE

Here are a few points that will help you to achieve the Yogic attitude:

BE AWAKE

The most important of all is Be awake in every situation by watching the mind. Watch how your mind reacts in a particular situation. How do you get your ideas, concepts, experiences, conditioning, attitudes, etc.. Ask yourself "Why do I think like this?" Examine each of your attitudes, ideas and concepts. Throw out what is old, useless, negative or unhealthy. 

Through the practice of Antar Mouna and Meditation, you can change your attitude, emotions and mental concepts at any time. You can learn to smile at circumstances, you can learn to see every stressful situation as a challenge or an opportunity to learn, give, serve and love. Meditation allows you to realise your own true beautiful nature. For example if your plane or train is late, what would be your reaction or response to it. Many different reactions are possible. As soon as you realise you have a choice, you can stop for a moment, witness and choose the way you would really like to react. This leads to mental control.

WHAT AND HOW TO EAT

You are what you eat. How you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Therefore, the right foods, taken in the right amounts, are essential for good health and spiritual Sadhana. Just how much one should eat is clearly laid down in several texts: "The Yogi should fill two parts of the stomach with food and the third part with water, leaving the fourth part free for air to aid digestion."

Hatha Yoga Pradipika 1:58

You shouldn’t be fussy about food. It doesn't matter if you eat vegetarian or non-vegetarian food. But eat less (never overeat), eat when hungry, eat at the right time, eat the correct combinations and most important of all eat with a relaxed mind.

Do not eat when angry; poisons are secreted by the glands and thrown into the blood stream when you eat whilst angry. Take food as medicine; give up gluttony. Be regular in taking meals and don't eat or drink between meals. Don't overcook your food or discard the cooking water. Keep the food simple, light and pure. Less sugar and less fat is better. Observe silence while eating; sit in Vajrasana for ten minutes after eating, and take a half an hour rest after meals. Remember God and pray to him before and after taking food.

THE PATH TO GOOD HEALTH

Health means wholeness. The word health is derived from the old English root which means 'whole'. Health also means well-being, feeling good, energetic and responsive to the world around us. Health implies strength and the ability to cope with all the problems of modern stress. 

Thus when we are healthy we feel on top of the world; living becomes a joy and a means of creatively fulfilling the time spent on the planet Earth. The path to good health is not a long one. All you need is just 20 to 30 minutes, twice a day. Through Asana, Pranayama and Yogic relaxation techniques you will be able to generate more energy, conserve more energy and would be in a position to redirect more energy. 

The five keys to good health are (a) Be active; (b) Eat less; (c) Sleep well; (d) Keep a relaxed mind; (e) Enjoy yourself. Yoga helps to promote activity, digestion, sleep, rest, relaxation, makes life enjoyable lo yourself, and through you, to the others in the family.

MORE AWARENESS MEANS MORE HAPPINESS

Awareness gives you the key to life, and enables you to live in joy and happiness. Awareness is the ability to witness. As awareness expands, you become more and more aware of the consciousness or the self or truth. Consciousness also implies truth, perfection, love, and pure intelligence.

In Yoga, awareness does not mean knowing something, for example, when you are feeling angry or depressed. In Yogic awareness it means that we know that we know we are angry or depressed. It is impartial witnessing, which is able to separate the object of our awareness and observe it from a certain distance, rather than identifying with our passing thoughts or feelings.

Yoga transforms us subtly through greater awareness of our day to day activities, adding a new dimension to even mundane things like eating, talking, fighting, listening, sleeping, working, walking, pain, pleasure, everything! With greater awareness developing within us we are able to know ourselves better, understand others better, understand life, to see situations as they really are, to solve problems, to become intelligent in every sense of the word, to see our mindset, our fixed pattern of habitual responses and neurotic behaviour, to recognise and eliminate disharmony, conflicts, negativity and knots in our mind.............and to evolve into real humans.

FOUR TOOLS OF AWARENESS

We have four tools of awareness- (i) Manas, the thinking and counter thinking process, (ii) Buddhi, decisions, discrimination, discernment, (iii) Chitta, awareness, remembering, feeling, (iv) Ahamkara, the ego or id. Buddhi (intellect or higher mind) is the highest faculty of our mind in association with conscience and Viveka (discrimination). 

Even the most intelligent of us operate with ordinary intelligence without using Buddhi. Thus an immense, infinite intelligence remains untapped, just because we are too stressed to be able to switch on our Buddhi! 

When there is no Buddhi to lead, the lower faculties of the mind create chaos, imbalance and mismanagement. When Buddhi is awakened, it brings order and harmony into the lower faculties; Manas (emotions/feelings); Chitta (thoughts/logic); and Ahamkara (ego principle). It should become our aim to reassert the dominance of Buddhi. Buddhi exists for the one who has found the state of equilibrium, free from highs and lows, from distress and distress. In traditional 'encounters', observation is equated to experience, and experience remains objective. With the awakening of Buddhi, every encounter becomes a subjective experience, resulting in greater understanding and broader view point.

METHODS OF DEVELOPING AWARENESS

• According to Kundalini Yoga, the vehicle of supreme awareness is a central nerve in the body, which has connections with different psychic centres, beginning at the base of the spinal cord and ascending to the centre of the brain. This nerve is known as Sushumna. It is the channel which carries this supreme awareness. However, the awakening of Sushumna and certain physical centres and glands responsible for the manifestation of Supramental faculties is a difficult matter which needs careful guidance, discipline and a regulated lifestyle.

• Another method is to become aware of certain factors by a continual process of Self-observation. In this process there is also a corresponding process of separation. The material aspect of the personality is slowly detached in our consciousness. There comes a time when we become absolutely aware and we remain aware, neither of the physical body nor of the impressions of the mind, but of the Supreme or pure awareness. It takes time.

WHAT HAPPENS IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS AWARENESS

The dormant potentialities express themselves. You do not have to run after them, as many have been doing. Even if you are not aware of the fact that these great powers or abilities are part of your being, you will develop them. The path or method should be correct. We develop a theme or work out a program point by point, stage by stage.

A lot of preparation must be made. We must remember one thing: the awareness is within us; it is complete in itself. All we have to do is to give it an opportunity to manifest. If there are obstacles or hindrances, we have to remove them. The awareness that is in us in all its fullness has to manifest through our life, our body, our actions, in such a manner that we are able to behold it. The supreme awareness is the secret of the great potential within us.

CONCLUSION

The Yogic attitude talks of the journey from gross to most subtle. Basically, attitudinal Yoga is being positive in whatever situation we find ourselves in life. So, this process of self-observation or self-understanding leads to the experience of optimum health and well-being. With the development of awareness, we start to deidentify from our mental or emotional state and become non-attached. You can slowly readjust your lifestyle. The time that you will be devoting to the practice of Yoga does not mean that you will be snatching good time away from your life. On the contrary, you will be adding hours of blissful health and enjoyment to your life every day.


Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna
Aum Shanti