A journey of one thousand miles begins with the 1st step. This is the case with learning how to live a yoga lifestyle.
At Yoga Journey for Life, we focus the 1st step on inviting you to live a REAL Yoga lifestyle.
This is the primary way in which to find true fulfillment. Our focus is not primarily on sharing various yoga styles but on life and how to live in alignment with it.
The song Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) begins with the main character 0f the song asking the following questions:-
Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality.
Most articles that invite you to live a yoga lifestyle do not focus on real life.
REAL Yoga moves you beyond the fantasy life that is your identification with your overthinking mind. This is the never-ending voice in your head that creates the sense of the separate sense of personal self.
This over identification with the personal sense of self is the primary cause of most unnecessary suffering in the world. Without moving beyond such identification with the personal sense of self, there will be no true fulfilment.
With REAL Yoga we take you on a quest to become a Seer.
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see,
In learning how to live a real yoga lifestyle, you gain a vision for living your one wild and precious life. (The Summer Day – Mary Oliver).
What is a Yoga Lifestyle?
If you take the phrase “Yoga Lifestyle,” the order of importance of the words is:-
If you do not get a clear understanding of the 1st two stages (Life and Yoga) you will take the journey referred to as The Voyage and Return. This is to the road more travelled by. The other road, the road less travelled by, is the journey of realization and revelation.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost
The Voyage and Return is a journey of life without discovering the meaning and purpose of life and your relationship to this One Life.
Your focus is on ‘your life’ rather than on being in alignment with life as it designed you to express through you. Your focus is on the personal rather than the union of the personal with the universal (Yoga).
The true Yoga lifestyle has as its primary intention living your life in alignment with Love’s Purpose.
Living a true yoga lifestyle means you commit to the true purpose and meaning of yoga.
The yoga experience is an experience of the real-life beyond the normal idea of the separate personal self. To live the real-life means that your primary intention is living from a direct revelation of union (yoga).
Any other yoga lifestyle can lead you away from the road less taken. This is the road referred to in mythology as The Voyage and Return.
The real-life allows you to become a Seer and a visionary.
It allows you to find the true meaning and purpose of your personal life in alignment with the real.
You experience the real-life as unifying the:-
- Personal with the Universal.
- Time with Eternity.
- Knowledge with KNOWING.
- Lower with the Higher–(YES)
Real Yoga is a map of the territory for living your life beyond the limitation of the sense of the personal self.
You leave the Matrix of the collective identification with the personal that sucks the life out of you. You become The One who KNOWS who and why they are.
Yoga versus Real Yoga
In this website, I distinguish between yoga and REAL Yoga.
Yoga is defined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This sage is the father of Yoga as developed in India thousands of years ago.
Patanjali defines yoga in this way.
Yoga is the union of the self with the Self through the Self–The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
If your practice of yoga is not as defined by Patanjali then, in the opinion of this writer, you are not engaged in living a true yoga lifestyle.
We can state this true purpose of yoga in various ways.
Yoga is the union of the personal with the universal through the personal.
The Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung defines the journey of yoga in this way:-
The 1st half of life is to develop an ego and the 2nd half of life is to surrender the ego–Carl Jung
The word ‘ego’ is synonymous with the word ‘personal.’
The self versus the Self
Most of those who practice some form of yoga have probably never been introduced to “the self” and “the Self.”
Yet this idea and experience is at the very heart of Yoga. It is the core reason you practice yoga postures (asanas). It is to prepare the body/mind for a revelation of the Self.
The modern Christian mystic Thomas Merton distinguished between the False self and the True Self.
Characteristics of the self or false self are:-
- Personal identification—I am.
- Sense bound.
- Suffering self
Characteristics of the True Self are:-
- Divine identity—I AM.
- Beyond sensational.
- Free of suffering
Do not judge the false self as wrong.
It is necessary in order to live within this time and space dimension. However, if you believe it to be who you are, I guarantee you will suffer unnecessarily.
Yoga frees you from the drama, the tragedy, the saga your mind creates and allows you to experience your True Self – Yoga Power and Spirit – Patanjali the Shaman
Real yoga is the journey into freedom from all unnecessary suffering. This is the real purpose of learning how to live a yoga lifestyle.
Yoga Lifestyle and Beyond
This is Part I of a three-part invitation to learning how to live a true yoga lifestyle.
This 1st part has focused on the keywords of the phrase yoga lifestyle, which are ‘life’ and ‘yoga’. Without a clear guide to the real meaning of life and yoga, your focus may move to that of style.
A style of yoga is important but not essential.
More important is a practice of meditation, prayer and/or contemplation. More important is intention and commitment to a practice or practices that focus on realization and revelation.
The next two parts of this invitation take you into:-
- Key aspects of a Yoga lifestyle
- How to live a Yoga lifestyle.
There are many benefits to practicing a style of yoga aligned with your personality type.
This is often how people begin the practice of Yoga as we understand it in the West. However, this identification with style may take you deeper into identification with the false self.
Live a yoga lifestyle but commit to making it a whole lifestyle and a real lifestyle. Your True Self knows reality. It KNOWS the real-life and The Real You.
It allows you to look up to the sky and see. (Bohemian Rhapsody). This seeing is a vision for the life you are here to live in alignment with Love’s Purpose (Yoga).