The Yoga Code Ancient Wisdom for a Modern World - Part 2

10 Universal Principles for living with more  Peace, Balance and Joy by Jackie Dumaine

We are very excited to be hosting Jackie Dumaine at BLOOM 2015 who has written the following article to support her talk about the Yoga Code at this year's festival.

You’ve all heard about yoga. You may have even tried a class or perhaps you’ve been practicing for a while.

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Photo credit: Jenn Crebas Photography

Whatever your experience is with yoga, there’s no denying its power to create shift and transformation.

However, yoga’s transformative power goes way beyond the bending and twisting poses that we see in magazines and yoga studios.

In fact, yoga has very little to do with the postures.

The Yoga Sutras is an ancient yogic text written thousands of years about by the Indian sage Patanjali. In essence, this is the bible of yoga and is written in 196 verses, each describing how we can use the wisdom of yoga to end a life of suffering and move towards a life with more peace, balance and joy.

Out of these 196 verses, only three of them talk about the physical postures. Only three!

Yet in our body and image obsessed world it’s all we focus on, missing out on a huge percentage of what yoga truly is.

The Yoga Sutras reveals 10 Universal Principles that were created to be the absolute foundation of yoga.   Developed with the intention to be mastered before you ever bust a yoga move, these principles act as a blueprint or “code” for creating a beautiful and inspired life free from drama.

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Inspired by these principles, I created The Yoga Code: A step by step blueprint for designing a life that is alignment with who you truly are – free from all the masks that we’re asked to wear on a daily basis.

 

You can apply The Yoga Code to all areas of life: Parenting, Relationships, Health, Finances, Business/Career, Spirituality.

The 10 Universal Principles of The Yoga Code are like a GPS for your soul.

When you go off track, the act as a spiritual road map to gently guide you back to the main path.

 

Here is a very small glimpse into each principle (along with their sanskrit translation) with ways you can begin to immediately implement them into your life:

PRINCIPLE #4 - MODERATION (Brahmacharya)

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Let’s face it, we live in a world of excess. Consumerism, food, alcohol, even exercise can be taken to the extreme. We’ll use food as an example for this purpose since we can all relate to eating too much. Whenever we pass the point of having “enough” we deplete our spiritual energy. When we learn to see the divine in everything we consume, we will naturally refrain from going overboard.

 

How you can practice this:

Go buy your favorite food, something that you would consider a treat. Now take a moment to set the tone. Light a candle, sit down in a comfortable chair. Take a small portion, less than half of what you normally would and “make love” to it. Feel the texture, taste the flavours, chew it until it dissolves and then - stop. Repeat the next day. Notice how you’ll become satisfied with so much less, allowing you to enjoy your treats more often.

 

PRINCIPLE #5 - NON-ATTACHMENT (Aparigraha)

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We all carry attachments. Attachments to material objects, to people & relationships, to beliefs, to our status in the community, to careers, to outcomes. Attachments are simply an avoidance pattern. When we cling to something external, we avoid the inner work that needs to be done. Attachments weigh us down. They are energetically heavy and are often the cause of exhaustion. When we let go of these attachments, we are gifted with an abundance of freedom.

How you can practice this:

Awareness is the first step towards letting go. Go into your closet and pick out 5 items that you’ve been hanging onto yet haven’t worn in years. Ask yourself: Why am I still keeping this? What is the story that I’m attached to? Will my life be affected negatively if I didn’t keep them? The answer will most likely be no. Pack them up and bring them to a homeless shelter and then notice how that feels. Repeat.

 

PRINCIPLE #6 - PURITY & SIMPLICITY (Saucha)

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Everything we see, do, say and feel make up the total of our life’s experiences, and each of these experiences leaves an impression on and takes up space in our body, mind, and spirit. When we learn how to simplify our complicated lives, we can begin to create space within these areas, moving us from a state of contraction to a state of expansion - and this is where the magic of manifestation happens.

How you can practice this

There are several ways to practice purity and simplicity.

Surroundings: Declutter your home and create a sacred space that feeds your soul.

Body: Simplify your diet. Eat foods that are alive and feed your body with nourishment and energy. Do yoga.

Mind: Meditate and take time for stillness. A disorganized inner life = a disorganized outer life.

Soul: Practice forgiveness.

 

PRINCIPLE #7 - CONTENTMENT (Santosha)

Life is a series of experiences that come to us in ebbs and flows. We tend to label these experiences as either “good” or “bad”, causing us to feel low in the bad times and then worry that the good ones will end. Learning to find joy and contentment in our lives regardless of our external circumstances will propel us into a state of calm inner peace, ending our needless suffering.

How you can practice this:

Practice Gratitude. When we spiral into a tornado of negativity and despair we move further away from contentment. The next time you are feeling overwhelmed or in a state of chaos, write down 10 things that you are grateful for in your life. Read this list 3 times and notice how your energy changes.

 

PRINCIPLE #8 - COMMITMENT (Tapas)

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Translated from sanskrit, Tapas literally means heat and this principle asks us to hang in there when we feel the fire. It is through our darkest and most challenging moments that we are asked to dig deep, to gather our courage and determination so that we may take another breath. By doing so, we emerge stronger, more confident and ready to leap into the beauty of life.

How you can practice this:

Take a blank sheet of paper and write down some of your most difficult experiences in your life. The moments that you believed you couldn’t take another step - but you did. What did you learn? How did you grow? Can you see the gift that was hidden deep within your struggles?

 

PRINCIPLE #9 - SELF-INQUIRY (Svadhyaya)

In our desire to create more meaning and purpose in our lives, we must begin with self-reflection. By committing to a path of continuous learning and spiritual growth, we become able to see our true selves without the various masks we wear to hide our divine identity. In turn, we see others as who they truly are as well. As we heal and nurture our relationship with Self, we strengthen our connection with others.

 

How you can practice this:

For one entire day, use a journal to document your reactions to people and circumstances. What triggers you in a positive way? In a negative way? Observe your thoughts, words, actions and note how it feels when you display them. At the end of the day, go through your journal and make note of anything that stands out.

 

PRINCIPLE #10 - SURRENDER (Ishvara Pranidhana)

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Each of the previous nine principles have brought us here. We are asked to show up, do the work as best as we can, then simply allow the Universe to take over from there. By accepting that there is a force much greater than us at work, we take some of the pressure off ourselves from having to have it all “figured out”.

 

How you can practice this:

The yoga pose associated with this principle is savasana or corpse pose. Upon completing the poses, you are gifted the opportunity to surrender. If you can, attend a yoga class (or practice at home) and allow yourself a long, beautiful savasana. If the physical aspect of yoga isn’t your thing, then schedule time in your day to pause and do nothing. Let your day and your life integrate. Give it space to breathe so that you may have space to “be”.

What will you begin to notice once you start applying the principles of The Yoga Code into your life?

Although this may be different for everyone (and the results will evolve as you evolve) the development of a heightened sense of intuition is the most common feedback.

As you become more self-aware, the connection to your inner wisdom begins to strengthen, allowing you to trust your decisions – and yourself - in a much deeper way.

And when you begin to trust yourself, the whole world will open up to miracles.

Article written by Jackie Dumaine.