Create Pray Love – Day 8

Create Pray Love – Day 8

Yoga and Random Acts of Kindness

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Yoga practice is a journey of self-discovery. Depending upon your point of view, Yoga may be perceived as a way of life, an art of life, a science of life, or a series of exercises you practice on a mat. Despite all the differences in what Yoga means to each of us, most practitioners continue to pursue knowledge and advance in their practice.

What is an advanced practitioner of Yoga? An advanced practitioner has been practicing for years and often decades. A serious practitioner applies the lessons learned from practice toward life. Meditation, study, pranayama, asana, and many other Yogic methods are practical applications we learn to use in daily life.

If the prime emphasis of Yoga was performing difficult asanas, we could ignore all of the classic writings of the past. We could discount Raja, Karma, Bhakti, Jnana, and many more styles that have existed for thousands of years. We could forget all the lives that have been improved through practice and application. Yet, every advanced practitioner knows that the value of applying Yoga goes far beyond the mat.

One, who has advanced in practice, applies what he or she knows toward daily situations. One aspect we learn from Yogic studies is doing the right thing. If someone needs help, we stop and help them. Granted, there are a few people who need help for life. In such cases, it is best to point them in the direction of self-help.

Most people just need a little nudge forward to proceed in a positive direction. If we help someone, it must be needed. Who wants to take advice, or help, when it is not asked for? As parents, we learn that our free advice can be perceived as worthless, but our timely help is appreciated for life.

When to do the right thing can be a very difficult learning process, because we learn when exactly to give assistance. Our efforts to help others mean nothing if the timing is not right. If you are not hungry, a loaf of bread has little value at that moment in time. Random acts of kindness are not flower petals to throw on the ground. Too much of a good thing becomes something that is taken for granted.

When reading the Yoga Sutras, of Patanjali, we learn that Yoga is an extremely deep practice. We also learn that moderation is a key component to all Yogic principles. Random acts of kindness must be timely in order to be useful.

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