For those of us who wish for our lives to become integrated (which is the goal of yoga), it is necessary to return to the sutras to check and re-check ourselves in relation to this road map.

At the beginning of the sutras, we are told that the aim of yoga is to be able to direct the mind and sustain its focus. We are told that practice and detachment are necessary ways for us to learn.

Our practices must be disciplined and regular, and have a quality of joy and devotion within them. To be able to do this, we have to be in control of our desires by detaching ourselves from them sufficiently to make good choices that take us in the proper direction.

However, if our practice becomes rigid and harsh in its discipline, we lose sight of our soul. Our journey in yoga is to reconnect with our inner self on all different levels: physically, mentally and emotionally. This is an individual journey and to proceed along the way, we have to be alert and give ourselves freedom to respond to delicate inner messages through “the still, small voice,” and not just follow a method or teacher, mindlessly.

It is a lifelong process, as change is always happening. New things and attitudes come in, and old attitudes and habits go out. This is life.

The journey will not always be easy or smooth, and this is where we need faith and courage and the ability to persevere. However, as the saying goes: “Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.” – Sheng Yen

The secret is awareness and the ability to choose our own direction, remembering that whatever we do is our choice.

[Photo by Sami Taipale – CC BY]

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