HONORING SIMPLICITY IN YOGA AWARENESS MONTH


September is National Yoga month as it is the perfect transitional month to start a healthy lifestyle.

Summer comes to an end and many people look forward to maintaining and living a healthier life. In the USA an awareness campaign launches every September to educate people about the health benefits of yoga and to inspire a healthy lifestyle.

September is a celebratory month for yoga awareness which focuses on stance, spirituality and emotions within the practice. This is alongside the beneficial effects on the mental and physical wellbeing.

Even if you already have a solid yoga practise, September is the perfect month for finding new awareness within it.

We can all develop a yoga practise but is it one that complements your life or really gives you a true feeling of Yoga ?

The beauty of Yoga is that it is an understated practice.

You only need a yoga mat, a clear mind and the an open space to carry out this practice.

Being aware of your yoga practise can also reduce the physical strain on your body while giving yourself the opportunity to move beyond the physical practise.

Through the practice of simplicity, we can begin to acknowledge and make mental notes of each action and movement that has evolved into a regular routine within the practice.

When we remember that every second on our mat is another chance to infuse the moment with a complete breathe and open, welcoming heart, we can find a new appreciation of simplicity.  Perhaps it is this appreciation for simplicity that allows for clarity of thought, expression and freedom from the confines of the mind.

Simplicity is one of the ITIES of Swami Sivananda. It can be applied to all walks and aspects of life.

Simplicity reflects in the way we talk, the way we dress, the food we eat, the space we live in, the way we behave and interact with others. It affects our way of thinking, it colours our attitudes, our motives, nature and lifestyle. It influences our family, social, professional and personal life. And it can apply to our yoga practise to make it more meaningful.

Simplicity in life could be defined as doing what is necessary and makes sense. The way we live reflects in the way we think. If our life is complicated, our way of thinking will be so, to a greater or lesser degree. By making our life simpler, our mind gradually starts to think in a simple way.

If we simplify our practise we will find it easier to keep balance in whatever we do.

If we live with less we can also find the essence of yoga.

One of Patanjali’s yoga sutras is based on the principle of one, meaning to adopt as many ones in our life as possible.

For example, a person owns one bed, one pair of shoes, one girlfriend or boyfriend, one mantra...This will help the mind to be less dispersed over a variety of things and as a result there will be less tension and more energy.

Simplicity in speech could be interpreted as speaking with frankness, truthfulness and sweetness, communicating in a clear and straightforward way.

Simplicity in nature, according to Swami Sivananda, is to be childlike, to be pure and spontaneous like a child, but not childish.

Simplicity in diet is reflected in the food of the ashram. Sooner or later you eat because you need to eat, not because you like to eat. The ashram diet is not oriented to satisfying desires for taste, but is more healthy and nutritious. It is simple.

Simplicity in dress could apply to both a neat appearance and an optimum quantity of clothing.

A simple environment is a spacious environment and at the same time a functional and comfortable one.

A simple Yoga practise could look something like this, it does not need to be hours of Asanas.

Stand tall
Take a deep breath
Exhale
Close your eyes
Inhale
Exhale
Bend at the waist
Reach for your toes
Take another deep breath
Let the air out
Inhale
Stand tall

Can you find the essence of simplicity in yoga awareness month?