For me yoga is a way of life. I live by the first two stages of yoga, Yama and Niyama.
Yama for me is to practice and to live in a way that is gentle, balanced, giving of nourishment and freedom.
Gentle is Ahimsa.
Balanced is Satya.
Giving, the opposite of taking is Asteya.
And for me Brahmacharya means not to not make love, but rather to nourish relationships.
Aparigraha non-attachment, means to be free.
Niyama means to me the passionate inner quest to remove the obstacles of happiness and loving connection.
Satya is to clean, but for me it’s to remove the obstacles that block the movement of energy inside us.
We need to tense less, stretch less or make our body moved more balanced. Breath less. Fitness is when you learn to do things while breathing less. Do more things while breathing less. Think less. Concentration, focus more.
Santosha, is sometimes said to be contentment, but actually it’s the choice to feel how you want to feel. Santosha is the choice to be happy not to wait to be happy, to recognise that happiness is not something that you wait for, but rather happiness is something you choose. And you could choose misery as well, but happiness is a good choice if you want it.
Tapas is not just austerity, it’s not the burning desire, the passionate desire to do your best.
Svadhyaya is not just study, but it’s inner study, study of self. Find out what you’re here for. Why we here, who you are, why we are.
And Isvara Pranidhana is not just devotion to external god, but is the recognition that we’re all connected, connected like a mother and child in love. So for me it’s the devotional recognition the recognition that we live in an ocean of love. So I try and live by three principles. Enjoy your life, look after your body, and help other people enjoy their lives.
Enjoy your life sounds selfish. But you can enjoy your life as a choice. It doesn’t matter, what you’re doing, or how you are enjoying, but it’s a choice, and it’s a good choice. Look after your body, because without looking after your body you can’t do much in your life. And the most important thing perhaps to do with your body is to help other people enjoy their lives.
And if the world lived like this, the world would be a better place, I think. And therefore, I think it’s our personal commitment to every day do something, some personal practice, your yoga, your meditation, your walk, whatever you do.
Some people don’t even want to call what they do yoga. But allow that personal time to connect with yourself, to give some love to yourself, to appreciate yourself, to give some space, time and energy to yourself, so that once you’re given to yourself and you know what gentle loving care to yourself feels like, then you can share it with the others.
Give it to yourself first, look after your own body first. Your own health first. And once you’ve done that, a little bit, every day. Then give it to the world. Share it with your family, your friends, the people you love, the people you don’t know. Even the people you don’t like. And make it the most important yoga, the yoga of connection. To connect with others, connect with the world and to eventually recognise and appreciate and make full use of the fact that we’re fully connected as one family, one universe in love. I think this is the most important yoga. – Simon Borg-Oliver