What if you can stop sabotaging yourself in 3 simple, but effective ways? Are you willing to give it a try?
Firstly, each of us has an enormous potential. In fact, most of us can become healthy in body, mind, and spirit. Given that, you are reading this blog, you already have a strong desire to optimize and transform your life.
Secondly, where do you start? We start by taking looking at each of our actions. The Yoga of Action (Kriya Yoga) offers guidance on how to Stop Sabotaging Yourself.
How to Stop Sabotaging Yourself with Yoga of Action
An action is considered yogic in nature if it has intensity, mindfulness, and attitude of acceptance. We can achieve a state of yoga by taking correct actions.
YS II.1 Tapah-Svadhyaya-Isvarapranidhanani-Kriya-Yogah
Yoga of Action is composed of correct practice, personal inquiry and attitude of surrender.
1) Tapah – Practice, Discipline
With self-discipline most anything is possible.
The practice of yoga is about replacing habits that no longer serve us with more productive habits.
Imagine a perfect diamond, covered with dirt. You are just like this diamond, whole, perfect but the dirt is preventing you from truly shining. Tapah is about removing what’s not shining. Contrary to the popular believe, this does not mean to heat the body or head in any random way. Instead, tapah is practicing a discipline which leads you to the goal of yoga.
It can be tricky to stay on the path of correct practice. We tend to head towards familiar territory, reinforcing existing and not so helpful tendencies. For example, some of us, who are already “hot-headed,” like to overload ourselves with activities. For this reason, a very active practice even hot yoga is typically our first choice. So, these practices generate more heat. But, what we really need is more cooling and centering discipline. On the other hand, the slow-moving types, are drawn to a very gentle and relaxing practice. These people can really benefit from more active and stimulating practice.
Typically, a yoga practice is recommended by a qualified teacher. However, this subject is beyond this article.
2) Svadhyaya –
Svadhyaya is the inner antenna which we develop with an ongoing reflection.
Instead of going through life on auto-pilot, we stop and ask ourselves:
Where am I now?
What is the direction am I heading towards?
Why am I taking this action?
Eventually, we can understand our patterns and our “whys.”
Personal inquiry traditionally involves the study of the sacred text. In addition, you can use other tools like keeping a journal.
As Gary Kraftsow wrote in the Yoga for Transformation:
“Mantras and textual studies offered by the classical tradition function as references from which we can measure where we are. If we come back to the image of the inner navigator, then the mantras and texts can be seen as the polestar, which shows us true north.”
Furthermore, we can also see how important it is to link self-reflection (svadhyaya) and practice (tapah). A mindless application of practice is not only useless but can lead to injuries and unnecessary stress. Tapas can aid svadhyaya and vice verse.
To understand yourself is to know the world.
As we progress in our journey, we can see that self-knowledge is a step to a discovery of the bigger “diamond-Self.”
3) Isvara Pranidhanai –
Gratitude of Acceptance
Yoga is not a religion. Anyone can practice. That’s what I really love about yoga!
With that said, Isvara Pranidhanai is to surrender to the supreme force and to understand that there is a higher power beyond us. To some of us, it could be religion. While, for others it could science, a universe or the power of nature.
So, Isvara Pranidhanai is about accepting and honoring what is beyond us. Also, the concept is about cultivating love and generosity.
Don’t become attached to the results of your actions. Don’t do actions in order to get results. Do an action simply because it is the right action.
Our knee-jerk reactions are often based on the “obvious” values of the world around us. The bigger picture is beyond our control. As your mind becomes more refined, with practice, you know what the right action and this is a practice of yoga.
To conclude, all of our actions and thoughts can be yogic in nature when we follow correct practices, reflect on our behavior and don’t cling to results. Therefore, to stop sabotaging yourself 1) have discipline 2) practice self-awareness and 3) focus on your actions and not the results.
The Yoga of Action is an ongoing and intelligent process where the alchemy of yogic transformation can bring our minds into the state of yoga. Our whole being is in harmony with the deepest currents of our true selves.
Now remember, yoga is a practical “how-to” guide.
So, choose any activity. Whether it’s doing homework with your children, knitting or making dinner. Make an effort to practice mindfulness, observing your behavior and not clinging to results.
What is your experience?
Resources: 1. Liberating Isolation: The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali: Translation & Commentary by Frans Moors; 2. The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali by Edwin Bryant; 3. On-line Classes with Chase Bossart.