Two Components to Reunion With Your True Self
by Nischala Joy Devi.
February 18, 2014.
We all want to soar in our yoga practice and spiritual growth. In the Yoga Sutras, Sri Patanjali talks about the importance of teaming devoted spiritual practice with remembrance of the True Self. Both are vital to our spiritual advancement.
Book 1, Sutra 12
Consciousness is elevated by
Abhyasa (devoted practice) and Vairagya (remembering the self).
Here are two necessary components to reunite us with our True Self. Imagine that Abhyasa, devoted practice, and Vairagya, remembering the Self, are two wings of the same bird. They are companions in play as they flash in unison, enabling the bird to fly. When they are seemingly still, the bird glides. Moving into a change of position, one wing lowers and the other raises. This complementary movement allows the bird to fly with grace and ease. Rhythm is the secret to the bird retaining its elevation; for us, rhythm keeps our consciousness elevated.
When a devoted practice is cultivated, that inspires us to remember the Self. This balances and brings grace to our daily rhythm. As we remember the Self, the effects of our simplest actions are considered. We relinquish old mindless habits (samskaras) by intentionally choosing what to invite into our bodies, minds, hearts, and lives.
“If I eat this large meal late at night,” you might ask yourself, “will I be able to wake up early and be alert for Sadhana (spiritual practice)?” With keener awareness, the correlation between eating a big meal in the evening and feeling less than light and alert in the morning becomes clear.
It takes time and patience to cultivate such understanding. At first, opting for immediate gratification, we may toss all consequences to the wind and indulge in that large meal at night. The lethargy of the next morning encourages us to have a deeper consideration the next time a similar situation presents itself. With this new awareness, we are able to evaluate both the immediate and long-term effects of our decisions.
In order to soar, the bird needs both wings to flap to the same rhythm. When in balance, both wings are strengthened. Whatever challenges are encountered, with Abhyasa and Vairagya we embody the skill and assurance to ride the currents.
In my next blog, I’ll talk more about Abhyasa (devoted practice).
♥ portions excerpted from The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi