The term ‘spirituality’ has become as omnipresent and meaningless as the word ‘detox,’ yet there’s so much dialogue, thought and discussion about these things. Theory is nice, but in order to integrate spirituality into our lives we need to practice it. While there are overwhelming numbers of Yoga practitioners out there, meditating about eternity, very few of these carry their practice and realizations beyond their Yoga mat. If you’re among those who, despite occasional enlightenment, still yells at your kids on the daily, or goes nuts when the checkout line is taking too long, or has a meltdown when the dishwasher wasn’t loaded properly then you might find solace in these five practical tips, and some ways to integrate spirituality into your daily life.
It starts with the little things
Practicing generosity is easier than you think: even small gestures can produce big results.A friendly smile, a gentle touch when someone close to you seems sad, for example. Making space when Yoga class is packed and someone is looking for a spot. Or letting the stressed-out mom with the screaming kid go first at the checkout line. Subbing Yoga classes, even when the timing’s a bit inconvenient. Every small step towards kindness – big word! – broadens your consciousness. You become more awake and aware of your surroundings and are given the opportunity to truly practice mindfulness.
Have you ever experienced a really good listener? One who doesn’t constantly give advice, but simply listens? It’s a gift. Unfortunately, we’re often too distracted to be that present for someone else. Practice listening. Be there – completely- for someone. A while ago, I wrote an article about listening. It’s a discipline, a true spiritual practice.
At Yoga retreats or teacher trainings, at work or in the family – there’s always someone who’s a bit left out or who refuses to integrate themselves into the group. Even if it’s hard, try opening your arms and your heart and inviting this person into the happenings.
I’m sure there are those in your life who inspire you. Show them recognition. Often, others are not aware of their positive radiance. Showing positive affirmation for the work, actions and existence of others is a mark of true strength.
Watch your words
Everything you say or do creates a vibration in the world around you. Watch out for gossip and mean spiritedness. We’ll probably never banish these completely from our system, but the more awareness we bring to curtailing them, the more clear focused and just plain better you’ll feel.
How about taking one of these points as a focus for the coming week? A graceful handstand or an hour’s meditation in lotus pose don’t make us better people.
Sweater von Asananas Yoga Club