Spiritual Practice in Everyday Life

By Lynn Felder, RYT

Most of us are householders – not monks or renunciates – so it's good for us to find ways to practice yoga and still participate in the world. It is my hope that yoga practice can make us better citizens, friends, parents, children and partners - not to mention happier people.

Here is a list of 10 ways to bring spiritual practice into daily life suggested in a speech by Swami Ramananda, the director of the Integral Yoga Association in New York City.

10 Ways to Bring Spiritual Practice into Daily Life
1) Use your posture. The body informs the mind and emotions, and the emotions inform the body and mind.
2) Know your purpose. Know your overall goal in life. How do you discern that? Look at what you want to experience; look at what you value. Write a personal Mission Statement and review it from time to time.
3) Stop the war within. Open your heart to yourself – as you are. You have to know where you are before you can get to where you want to go.
4) Practice being free. Hatha Yoga practice is a way to do this. Being free doesn't mean being free of emotions; it means being free to feel them.
5) Practice some teaching for a period of time. For example: Pick a wise teaching such as "Be impeccable with your word," and paste it to your pc terminal, bathroom mirror, fridge, etc., and try to put it into action for a week. Keep it simple.
6) Dedicate your work or your service to a Higher Power. "I offer myself to thee …", "Make me a channel of thy peace …" However you pray, whomever you pray to.
7) Make some time for Sabbath. That is: time that looks like you're "doing nothing," time for "play." Lighten up.
8) Spend time in good company. That is: a community of like minds, such as Sangha or yoga class.
9) Expose your mind to the light. Meditate. Within each of us is a healing silence, an innate goodness, an ability to open our hearts to ourselves.
10) Develop a relationship with the divine. Use symbols to remind yourself of the eternal: gods and goddesses, seashells, pictures of beauty. Find what works for you. It is, after all, a personal relationship.

 

Copyright by Lynn Felder December 2005, from a speech by Swami Ramananda given in Nov. 2005. Lynn Felder is an award-winning journalist, a yoga teacher registered with the Yoga Alliance and the author of the DVD “Gentle Yoga for Cancer Patients,” available at www.artsofyoga.com.

You’re welcome to “reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to lynn@artsofyoga.com and link to www.artsofyoga.com.