Posts Tagged With: Hinduism

Karma yoga and fame?!

Karma yoga is the yoga of selfless (altruistic) service or the ‘discipline of action’. It is based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Sanskrit scripture of Hinduism. Karma is derived from the Sanskrit word kri, meaning ‘to do’ and refers to the universal principle of cause and effect. It is the path of doing the right thing and following ones’ personal dharma or life purpose and accepting destiny as it comes. This includes acting without being attached to the fruits of one’s deeds. If you do your work without selfish expectations it purifies your mind.

Karma yoga is performed by right means and does not harm anybody or anything. The so-called ‘doer’ is dropped from the action, since you are a mere tool of the divine. If you practise karma yoga, you’re expressing the unity and the divine, ego plays no part. A karma yoga teacher is aware that the result of the teaching is out of his/her hands. You are an instrument, a servant of truth or love. Unique about karma yoga is the focus on the spiritual and the philosophy behind the process you experience on your mat. Karma yoga can assist you with living your role or dharma in life without actively seeking any remuneration in the shape of wealth, satisfaction or fame.

How do you inspire?

How do you inspire?

Then I start to wonder, what is my dharma or life purpose? I can easily think of aspects of my dream job; freelance writing, teaching yoga, counselling, inspire people. Not sure how, when and where yet. I find it challenging to disconnect this with remuneration. Once I made a vision board about my future wishes and without thinking I wrote down the word famous. Why? Maybe it is a wish to be seen and heard, hidden behind my introverted character. Or a deep desire to accomplish something extraordinary in life. I guess – as long as you are not obsessed with your goals and enjoying ‘the ride’- it is okay to strive for them.

For me karma yoga and the associated dharma means; go with the flow in life. You certainly can have specific life goals and at the same time you’re flexible or willing to change your path, while listening to the dedicated signs the universe provides you with. I am the owner of a strong will and I am ‘blessed’ with an abundance of self-discipline and perseverance. Though, at times these characteristics are not very helpful. I tend to ignore my intuition and I don’t listen to the small signals life throws on my path. Whilst the average person already has decided to take another direction, I am still trying hard to go where my rigid mind thinks I have to go to. Yoga is a perfect way to reconnect with my inner world. Practicing yoga allows me to start fresh – like a beginner – with learning to listen and follow my breath. This rhythmic flow of the inhalation and exhalation teaches me to flow more with life and brings me to undiscovered places. I realize once again how wonderful and subtle life is.

Life flow chart

Life flow chart

Categories: Happiness, Inspiration, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sanskrit – the yoga and ancient language from India

If your yoga practice starts to deepen, for sure you will come across Sanskrit: the oldest language known to man. During my regular yoga classes I have learned several Sanskrit names for commonly practised asanas (poses). For example: Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose), Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Utkatasana (Chair Pose), Garudasana (Eagle Pose). With my Yoga Teacher’s Training coming up, I’m keen to explore the Sanskrit language more and expand my knowledge.

A dead language

The connection between Sanskrit and yoga has existed since yoga’s beginnings in India. The language has remained crucial in the practice of Buddhism and Hinduism for thousands years. Patanjali’s foundational texts, the Yoga Sutras, were written in Sanskrit, as well as the Vedas, the universally accepted first scriptures of humanity. Nowadays, Sanskrit is considered to be a ‘dead’ language to many, since it has ceased evolving. Although, it is still spoken by many people all over the world and is acknowledged as one of the 22 official languages of India.

The Devas

Sanskrit is even considered to be the origin of language itself. All languages have in some way arisen or evolved from this ancient language. In addition, numerous important works including classic literature and historical texts in the great sciences of astrology, astronomy, medicine, architecture and the physical sciences were written in this ancient language. In India it is believed that Sanskrit is the language of the Devas (Gods). In the 17th century the Western world began to take intellectual interest in Sanskrit and many scholars started to translate classical texts into English and other Western languages.

The perfect language

It is believed that the language of Sanskrit itself arises from the ‘root sounds’ or vibrations of the Universe. The various vowels and consonants of the Sanskrit language represent these root vibrations, also know as bijas. A Sanskrit word is not merely a word chosen to name something, but an actual reflection of the inherent ‘sound’ of that object, concept or phenomena. Therefore, the perfect pronunciation of a Sanskrit word can replicate the essence of that which it is referring too. The Quantum physics clarifies and confirms this, because it has revealed that everything consists of vibration and the primary essence of any object or phenomena could be thought of as its own unique pattern of vibrations. Sanskrit is for this reason referred to as the ‘perfect language’.

Sanskrit Journeys

As a yoga student, I think it is helpful to have an understanding of the Sanskrit language. It is even essential to have knowledge of Sanskrit to study the ancient scriptures and thereby get to know the depth and profoundness of yoga. Since only a fraction of the ancient scriptures has been translated into our contemporary languages. For now, I keep on expanding my Sanskrit knowledge through yoga DVDs, books and yoga classes. During a yoga class I silently repeat the Sanskrit word after I’ve heard my yoga instructor say the name for the pose I am practising. As for learning any new language, repetition is important. You will also realize there are common words which are added at the beginning of poses like ardha (half) in for example Ardha Chandrasana (Balanced Half Moon), urdhva (upward) in Urdhava Makha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog) and adho (downward) in Adho Mukha Svansana (Downward Facing Dog). I’m definitely keen to deepen my Sanskrit knowledge. Please feel invited to share you personal Sanskrit journeys.




Categories: Sharing, Yoga | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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