Many years ago I consulted with a lady who is one of the most famous women in the world. After talking about her successes, she finally said that she needed my advice. I asked her what advice she could possibly need because she seemed to have everything that everybody wants! She said, “I don’t understand. Yes, I have everything that everybody thinks will make them happy. What I want your advice upon is: Why am I so miserable?” She continued, “You seem to be always smiling and always happy. I want to be like that.”
We both realized that though she had what other people wanted, she had not achieved her wealth and fame from an inner calling but just because it was the thing to do. I call this:climbing the ladder of success, only to find, when you have reached the top, that it was leaning against the wrong wall.
We did yoga, we applied the ancient philosophy into her life, and after deep meditation, she discovered her own true purpose and ever since then has turned her life around to be a truly happy person.
So, understanding the importance of the connection with your Self is understanding the importance of living a life with meaning. Meaning leads to joyful effort, and joyful effort is always fulfilling.
In its essence, yoga is about connections, about unity. At an individual level, when my thoughts are connected with my words and my words are connected with my actions then my life becomes a life of integrity. Then, when I speak or act, I seldom have regrets for my words or actions. This relieves the burden that most people are under, the heavy weight of not saying or doing the right thing. This gives me freedom, makes me smile, brings joy into my life.
At the collective level, when I believe that what I do affects and influences people around me and then what they do affects and influences people around them, I realize that my actions truly affect the world. These are powerful concepts because they put the onus of responsibility on each individual’s head. It is what I do and you do today which will affect what everyone else does in the future. Indeed, we are deeply connected.
Realizing this, I must make a decision as to whether I will continue to live a life without focus and with disregard to everything except my own ego or, whether I will live with awareness. This decision is the decision of Purna yoga. This decision changes the direction of life from that of a drifter who is affected by every external wind and tide to that of the creator or who lives life with purpose, direction and joy.
Yoga has practically nothing to do with exercise or postures or contortionism or sweating! As yoga becomes more popular it becomes less profound. The true essence of yoga is exploring the reason for my birth, discovering it, then fulfilling that purpose through my thoughts words and actions. It sounds boring but, actually, it is truly joyful to live a life of meaning and realize that each one of us is here for a purpose. Remember the story of the rich and famous lady.
The only reason for asana (postures) is to bring awareness into the body, open the channels for energy flow and then establish the power of the energy in the body so that I feel more alive. This is the connection between the mind and the body. When my mind and body are connected I’m seldom tired and rarely unwell. I have vibrant health and feel good all day.
Also, please note that, in classical yoga, there is any importance to the word “artha” which translates to “the acquisition of wealth and means.” So, in yoga we do not deny wealth. We simply realize that wealth and things, toys and possessions all give us happiness. But only a deep connection with ourselves and with the people we love can ever bring us joy or bliss.
Join Aadil Palkhivala at the Inner Peace Conference on Saturday for Living Your Dharma (wisdom talk), Restoring Your Body (yoga), and/or Purna Yoga Twists (yoga) and on Sunday forBackbends (yoga) and/or Finding Your Inner Light (meditation): connect your mind and body!
© Copyright 2000-2016, Aadil Palkhivala, Purna Yoga. All Content, All Rights Reserved. No re-writing or duplication without permission.
Article posted on August 26, 2016 at: