The United Nations proclaimed that 21st June is International Yoga day, an auspicious day as its Summer Solstice also. A day for us to recognise the importance of yoga in our lives and remember that it isn’t just about the postures, keeping our body healthy but the philosophy of yoga is a constant guide on how to navigate through the journey of life. Yoga philosophy is ancient but it is still appropriate in our lives today.
This year on the International day of Yoga, The Bihar School of Yoga suggested that we cultivate a Yama & Niyama. Yamas and Niyamas are moral and social codes to live by. We usually use the 10 that the sage Patanjali talks about in the yoga sutras but there are other yoga books that list yamas and niyamas. These 2 chosen are from Hatha Ratnavali and are:
- Yama: Manahprasad, or happiness
So how do we cultivate happiness?
Everyone has their own recipe for happiness but here are 6 habits of happiness that are worth cultivating:
- Gratitude – count your blessings, we are so lucky in this country, we turn on a tap and water appears, we have abundance of all we need, give thanks for what you have.
- Be Social – make time to be with your family & friends.
- Forgive – ourselves and others
- Give – give unconditionally your love, time, money, wise words, a listening ear, hugs, a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand, a smile
- Get Active – especially in nature, do whatever you enjoy.
- Awareness – or the new buzzword mindfulness. Meditation is great for our wellbeing but we can also make our whole lives a moving meditation by being aware of our environment, situations and events & how they influence us.
- Niyama: Namaskara, or greeting others with bhava (feeling)
How would it be to meet & greet everyone with feeling? It maybe a smile, a kind word or a listening ear but do it with feeling. It’s contagious, once you start this it comes back many fold.
‘We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do’. Mother Teresa