Calm down the “running” of thoughts – perhaps the most difficult task to date, which sets itself each of us. For the inhabitants of a big city, a constant jump from the topic to the topic, eternal planning of the future and analysis of the past is the norm.
We think about the work during the concert of our favorite band, plan where we will go with the family at the weekend, sitting in the office, and very rarely realize where we are, what we feel and what we are doing at the moment of time. So learning to live here and now is becoming an urgent task for a modern person.
It’s no secret that yoga is a practice that works not only with our physical body, but also has a serious impact on our consciousness, helping to overcome psychological clips, limitations, concepts of mind, and to shift attention from the past and the future to the present.
How does yoga begin to become conscious and how does it manifest itself in life?
Yoga always implies a comprehensive approach, because it is not for nothing that this concept is translated as “unity”. In yoga there is always a unity of heart, mind and body through physical activity, breathing, meditation, mantra. We can say that yoga and meditation is a whole science.
Before us, millions of people have gone the same way and come to a certain result, which is available today for us as well. All the great Masters and Teachers, inspired by their example, show us that we too can rise to such a level of awareness and love for ourselves and others.
It is a mistake to think that we are only human beings and that we are limited in our capabilities: the awareness of ourselves in all its fullness is only available to man, and this distinguishes us from animals.
Breathing is one of the most effective ways to learn how to be here and now. It helps to concentrate and keep attention inside.
Mantras are also a good help here – these are the words of the ancient Sanskrit language, which help people to rise from material life to a more mature state of consciousness, to develop their spiritual component.
Consciousness is an opportunity to be in the moment. But in order to be in the moment, one must constantly practice. And then the practice will become a life: you will be able to do everyday things, go to work, walk, communicate with people, but every second you will understand what you are talking about and what you are doing – you will realize the value of the present moment.
So it is impossible to achieve consciousness without constant practice?
First, let’s see what we mean by “practice”. Modern society pays a lot of attention to the body, to what it looks like. But yoga is not just about physical activity. Yoga and meditation teach you to be happy and conscious, keeping your attention inside and revealing your inner potential.
Meditation and yoga are first of all about knowing oneself, but not a complex of physical exercises. And breathing, mantras are the most effective ways to achieve consciousness.
Every person should have a culture of consciousness, which can be opened not only by practicing for the improvement of the body, but also by engaging in a huge system of yoga: exercises for the body, meditation, pranayama.
So you can acquire consciousness if you start practicing and practice regularly. Of course, with the acquisition of life experience a certain amount of consciousness will somehow come into your life, but this path may be long and not easy, while the practice of yoga can give us wisdom and knowledge here and now.
And what else is important on the way to awareness at the beginning? How do you choose the right practice for this? After all, the most difficult thing is to start.
In my experience, my meditation and yoga teacher, Paramahams Shri Swami Viswananda, was the key to my “science of awareness”. When you start studying, it is very important that you have a teacher. A teacher is not just about passing on knowledge, but wisdom.
There is a lot of knowledge in the modern world, you can read any book, be very well-read and knowledgeable, but it will not give you wisdom. And a teacher is the one who conveys an important skill non-verbally, at the level of energy. Of course, you can try different methods, but if you feel you have found your teacher at some point, it will be wonderful.
Also, try to allocate enough time to try some practice, say a month. Watch and observe what is happening to you and your consciousness, how comfortable it is for you to work. I recommend you to spare no effort, no time, no money for what you develop and leads to a state of peace, harmony and happiness. Just do not confuse the feeling of happiness and temporary satisfaction.
Choose the practice, guided by your feelings – whether you like the teacher, whether you find a response to what he tells you. Remember: there is no one correct practice leading to consciousness, all yoga is aimed at achieving this state.
Also, always ask yourself why you are doing this or that action. Practice this technique during the day and in yoga classes. The more you ask yourself why you are doing this, the higher your level of awareness will be.
Let’s talk about what’s going on in class. Tell us why it is important to concentrate on the area in yoga, on the place that is being worked on in the asana. How can these thoughts help?
Yoga and meditation say that everything is energy. This means that everything you direct your attention to fills you up. Our thoughts are also certain kinds of energy and have the property to manifest themselves in the material world.
A simple example: if a person is constantly gloomy, always thinking about something bad, always afraid of something, then in life he will face the fears and experiences that fill him up. This is the law of consistency and karma.
People who practice yoga and meditation remember that everything is energy, and are very sensitive to what happens in their consciousness. They use meditation to switch the thought flow into a positive direction.
Our thinking process cannot be stopped, but we can learn not to cling to negative thoughts. Meditation provides an opportunity to overcome the limitations of our minds, learn how to lively perception of reality, do not miss the life around us.