Yoga is mostly associated with stretching and flexibility exercises and is popularized across the globe for its breathing and endurance techniques. However, Yoga is much more than a tool to help us get in touch with the physical body.
Principles of yoga are not limited to breathing exercises, stretching, and relaxation. It blends the power of the mind with strength, coordination, and power of the body to help us ascend and level up on all levels of ourselves.
What is Yoga Really About?
Yoga is so much more than an ancient physical practice. It Is a philosophy, a lifestyle, and a set of principles that has been used for ages to help people ascend on their spiritual journey.
Expansion of Consciousness
Yoga is about raising self-awareness, getting in touch with the spiritual self, and awakening one’s soul and true potential. More than anything, it is a holistic approach to self-development and philosophy that helps us live consciously and purposefully.
Principles of yoga promote alignment of all aspects of self – physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional. It encourages mindfulness and creates space for strengthening the connection between the self and the Divine, as well as the self and the worlds that surround us.
Yoga promotes the strength of the body as much as it does the strength of the spirit. Through yoga practices, we learn to use focus, willpower, and determination to grow. It integrates the physical aspect of exercise with spiritual practice, allowing us to improve focus, strengthen mental abilities, build endurance, and develop inner strength.
The main premise of yoga practices lies in developing personal potential through self-discovery and finding inner peace and balance. It promotes oneness, and harmony and encourages us to transcend the limitations of the mind in order to find equilibrium and develop a true sense of contentment.
What Are the Principles of Yoga & How Can You Bring Them Into Your Everyday Life?
Integrating ancient principles of yoga allows us to tap into our full potential and live mindfully and authentically. We can include them in our daily rituals to raise our vibration and stay aligned with what serves our wellbeing.
As one of the essential ancient virtues, Ahimsa is associated with abstinence from harm and hostility. It encourages compassion for all that lives among us and promotes inhibition of violence against living things. To practice these yoga principles, try to:
- Eat plant-based food and avoid meat.
- Plant a seed and nourish plants.
- Take care of your circadian rhythms and rest well to abstain from hostility towards yourself.
- Cultivate positive thoughts about your body to enhance healthy self-acceptance when practicing yoga.
Satya is one of the essential principles of yoga and it promotes truthfulness and sincerity in the entirety of our being, how we act, speak and think. Incorporating it into daily yoga practice ensures a peaceful mind and clear consciousness. Try:
- Being truthful with yourself in your thoughts and while journaling.
- Choosing truth over a comfortable lie.
Asteya represents justice and fairness, the absence of fraud and stealing. It encourages honesty and a balanced exchange of goods and thoughts. To incorporate it into your practice, try:
- Sharing what you have aplenty with those in need.
- Choosing kindness, integrity, and fairness when you are tempted by greed.
- Respecting those who can’t give you anything.
As one of the principles of yoga , Brahmacharia represents the ultimate path to wisdom and higher knowledge. To be Brahmachari is to be tuned into your higher self. It promotes a healthy relationship between the body and the soul and our ability to consciously use our energy.
This principle is associated with abstinence from anything that drains and depletes us, such as unhealthy habits, binge eating, or indulging in guilty pleasures. As such, it can help alleviate symptoms of depression and seasonal affective disorder. Try to:
- Incorporate mindful eating and breathing in your daily routine. Breathe and eat slowly and consciously.
- Be aware of your impulses to indulge.
- Do a digital detox.
In the world of excessive consumerism, Aparigraha brings balance and harmony into daily routines. As one of the principles of yoga, it encourages non-attachment to positions, and promotes living humbly and choosing a simple life instead of hoarding and excessive consumption. Try these ideas:
- Clean your living space and eliminate everything that you haven’t used for the past year.
- Buy mindfully. Choose only items that you need.
- Choose to be generous whenever you can.
Worship of the Spiritual Goal (Ishvara-Pranidhana)
Ishvara-Pranidhana means devotion to the Divine, the spirit, and the development of the spiritual self. This principle can help us ascend, raise awareness, and connect with our guides and the creator.
Through using meditation, prayers, and spiritual yoga principles, we can ascend and strengthen our faith. Practices and rituals to help you integrate Ishvara-Pranidhana include:
- Incorporating gratitude prayers before bed.
- Spending time in nature in silence to reflect on your surroundings.
- Practicing Savasana when overwhelmed by life.
Sacrifice the Ego (Shaucha)
Joy and peace are found when we stop acting from ego and choose our higher self. Shaucha represents ultimate purity and speaks of the sacrifice of the ego-self in order to achieve a greater sense of fulfillment in life.
This opens up the path to finding genuine, meaningful love, authentic connections, and true happiness. To incorporate Saucha principles of yoga in your routine, try to:
- Practice self-forgiveness and forgiving others daily.
- Clean your space with sage from negative energies.
- Practice Mayurasana to help generate healthy self-love.
Diligence, self-discipline, and courage are the essentials for living a prosperous life and actualizing dreams and goals.
Tapas principles of yoga help us connect with our inner flame and awaken our zest for life so we can reach our fullest potential. You can awaken the fire within and embrace austerity, including Tapas, in your life by:
- Setting small goals that you can accomplish every day.
- Making a vision board and creating a step-by-step action plan to realize your dreams.
- Practicing lower chakra meditations. Sit in a lotus pose and visualize red, orange, and yellow light shining from within in your lower abdominal area.
Svadhyaya is associated with self-reflection and self-discovery; incorporating it into your spiritual practice can help you tap into what makes you truly authentic. Through gaining knowledge and learning about your essence in more depth while practicing Svadhyaya principles of yoga, you can lead a more meaningful life. Try to:
- Journal your thoughts.
- Study philosophy to innovate your own philosophy of life.
- Spend time in nature and away from the digital world.
- Create something – paint, craft, grow a plant.
When there is gratitude, there is bliss and joy. Santosha teaches us to embrace all the blessings given to us and find contentment through acceptance of what our reality is, rather than what we’d like it to be. To live a more mindful life and include Santosha in your routine, you can:
- Connect with the world around you with your senses rather than the mind.
- Meditate in silence for at least 10 minutes.
- Be open for newness to come and outdated things to leave your life.
- Chant mantras like: I go with the flow. I am open.
Self-improvement and leveling up involve not only the physical aspect of self but the spiritual and mental as well. Yoga blends philosophy with exercise and mental development, allowing us to elevate all aspects of being, not just the physical exterior.