The Yoga of Compassion
The yoga of compassion is referring to the ways in which we can increase our ability to share love and compassion with ourselves, our environment and others in our daily lives. While living in an ashram, we practice this day in and day out, as the environment supports this type of behavior. While out in the matrix of the working world, it is an incredible opportunity to act as a lighthouse and share the teachings of yoga and compassion. Although yoga has been in my personal journey throughout my life, the unconscious unloving behaviors of the human condition still came to be experienced through my consciousness, as it does with each and every one of us when we don’t have a strong practice. Here are a few ways we can all increase our ability to be compassionate in this world:
Change Your Diet
Take care of your vessel! Whether you choose to eat vegan, vegetarian, or even organic, it is important that we watch what we feed our temples with so that we may remain strong, healthy, and with vitality for living a full life. If this is the beginning of your journey, and you love your junk food, take this as an opportunity to cut them out, starting one day a week with no sodas, no candy, processed sugar, white flour, and especially no fast food! The most important thing is to be your own best friend throughout the process. Change is hard, and we only make it harder when we bully ourselves, so be easy, be kind, and forgive yourself throughout the process! Once you can introduce this, at your own pace, then you can think about how you want to detoxify yourself. I personally love juice cleanses, which I do for two days then eat raw veggies and fruits and until I feel lighter and healthier. As well, I love to go on a coconut water fast for 3 days to rebuild my immunity, my digestive system, and re-boost my energy (sounds counterproductive but it WORKS!). This is a slow process so be kind to yourself! Listen to what your body is craving, and begin to make changes to your diet that promote health and well being.
Get Your SLEEP!
My close friends and family know that I am a princess about my sleep. I grew up with insomnia, never being able to adjust to the societal clock of a 9-5 (or even a 9-3 for school!), which deeply affected my mental health. It wasn’t until I started traveling when I could live on my own clock, that I began to understand myself without the external pressure of when I had to wake up, and could actually begin to sleep more easily. It REALLY wasn’t until I started practicing yoga and meditating regularly that I began to sleep soundly, easily, and daily. This was HUGE for me, so I understand the pressures of needing to wake up and start the day on 3-4 hours of sleep, when most of the night was spent tossing and turning, and I know the benefits of meditation, yoga, and a healthy diet which helped me to create a healthier relationship with my sleep. I personally need a GOOD 8 hours, sometimes, even more, when my body needs to rebuild itself after working hard. It’s all about the quality of sleep so before bed, make some tea and relax. Open up a nice book and allow things to slow down in your world. No more phone time, just time for yourself. Then when you’re sleepy, try humming for fifteen minutes before you sleep. This balances the nervous system which allows you to sleep more easily. If you can when you wake up, write down your dreams too!
Take Care Of Your Body
With this, I mean by no indulging in sexual intercourse that is damaging to your energy, cutting out alcohol and any other habits that are harming your health. Before you can reflect any of your light into the world, you must start with the internal cleaning. Yes, the physical aspect of yoga, asana, is very great for physically detoxifying the body, but the whole point of the Eight Limbs Of Yoga is an entire journey through the self to reconnect with the self. It’s all about the little things. One of my Gurus told me he likes to live his life as he is pregnant. Walking slower, eating well, not indulging in anything damaging, and more. Sounds silly but it’s a great and foolproof way to ultimately care for your vessel!
Please, for the love of life, remember to have fun and not take it all so seriously. Yoga is a celebration of life, it is a dance of the elements. Smile more, laugh more, and do more things that make you feel good. So often we drown ourselves in our day to day activities but it’s time to stop that and just breathe in the beauty around you. You deserve it!