How to Transform Your Life Through Yoga
“Nothing in this world purifies like spiritual wisdom. It is the perfection achieved in time through the path of yoga, the path which leads to the Self within” ~ Bhagavad Gita 4-38
Why yoga is more than just a physical practice
The Bhagavad Gita, one of India’s great spiritual texts, is a philosophical poem about Arjuna, a warrior prince who loses his will to fight on the battlefield. His charioteer, Lord Krishna, tells Arjuna that he must surrender his personal interest and act according to his duty.
Metaphorically, the Gita describes the war within oneself. Arjuna represents man in his present state, while Krishna represents the Divine, or your true self. Krishna teaches Arjuna how to live a life of yoga as he fulfils his duty as a warrior. The yogic life is a liberating path to God, and self. And one way to enter this path is through Karma yoga, the yoga of action and path of selfless service.
Like Arjuna, for a long time I suffered an internal battle between what I wanted to do, and what I thought was best for me.
Making the hard choice
Becoming pregnant with my first child wasn’t planned. I’d already sacrificed the comforts of my home in Los Angeles, my friends and family, and my entrepreneurial career to move to London. I was just about to re-launch my career, but life had something else planned for me. Being a mother has been the biggest sacrifice I’ve had to make, and the most difficult job I’ve ever done.
But looking back, I would not have it any other way. Motherhood has also been the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done, and my most beautiful job.
For me, motherhood is best described in the Gita when Krishna says, “through selfless service, you will always be fruitful and find the fulfilment of your desires”. Through selfless service to my children, I have got back so much more than I could ever have imagined. They have taught me patience, generosity, how to be present and most importantly, they have also brought me unconditional love – much more than a corporate job ever could have.
It wasn’t until I surrendered to the outcome of my life that I was able to fully embrace my situation and see the beauty in what God had given me.
How yoga has changed my life
This conscious surrendering of the fruits of my work has helped me detach from my ego, and was the beginning of a road to spiritual development. These last few years, as I’ve witnessed loved ones fight serious illness, I’ve become more conscious of my own mortality and my purpose in life. Through yoga, I’ve been able to mindfully channel my emotions and grief – a profound practice that has a conscious affect on all those around me.
Through yoga and meditation I’ve found “strength…beauty…spiritual power…[the] spark of [God’s] essence” in even the most difficult of situations. And I hope that through my karma yoga, my selfless service as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend and contributor to society, I’ll continue to contribute in my own way to the evolution of consciousness – that somehow my work and my life will incrementally create a better world.
A manual for how to live
The Gita is a manual for living. It challenges us to make choices, even when sometimes it appears there are no great options. Yoga and meditation are the essence of the Gita, empowering us to live in conscious awareness of the divinity of every moment.
Krishna says that we should “strive constantly to serve the welfare of the world; by devotion to selfless work one attains the supreme goal of life…work with the welfare of others always in mind”. Whether you revere Krishna or not, the wisdom of the Gita is deep and meaningful. It is the everlasting dialogue that all of us struggle with throughout life – good versus bad, right versus wrong. And it offers spiritual instruction towards life and meaning.
As always, I’d love connecting with you and hear how the practice of yoga has helped transform your life. Head over to the comments section below to share your thoughts.
With love and gratitude,