Wear Your Yoga Glasses: Seeing Life Through a Yogic Lens

Hello, fellow yogis and seekers of serenity,

As you might know, yesterday was International Yoga Day. Did you strike a pose or find your zen? Whether you flowed through sun salutations at sunrise or simply paused to take a deep, mindful breath amidst your day, we’ve all felt the ripple of yoga’s calming influence.

But wait—why confine this celebration to just one day? Let’s unravel the mystique of yoga beyond its designated date. Dive with me into the depths of what yoga truly means, beyond the mat and into the realms of mindfulness, unity, and spiritual awakening. Together, let’s stretch our minds and hearts to embrace yoga’s timeless wisdom in our daily lives.

Join me in exploring how yoga can transform our existence, one breath at a time.


Exploring the Meaning of Yoga

Yoga, often perceived as a series of stretches and poses, is a tapestry woven with the vibrant threads of philosophy, spirituality, and profound inner transformation. It’s a holistic practice that transcends the physical realm, touching the essence of our beings, uniting mind, body, and spirit in a harmonious symphony.

Origins and Evolution

The roots of yoga stretch deep into the ancient soils of India, a gift from the sages of yore documented in revered texts like the Vedas and the Upanishads. It was in these scriptures that the term yoga first appeared, derived from the Sanskrit word yuj, which means to yoke or unite. This union isn’t merely about aligning one’s body; it’s about aligning the individual self with the universal self, a concept that has echoed through millennia.

One of the most pivotal texts in yoga is the Bhagavad Gita, where Lord Krishna imparts the wisdom of yoga to the warrior Arjuna, caught in the moral turmoil of battle. Krishna speaks of Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Jnana Yoga—paths that guide practitioners in actions, devotion, and knowledge, respectively. Each path offers a different route to the same destination of self-realization and enlightenment.

The Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Another cornerstone is Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, composed around the second century BCE. This collection of aphorisms elucidates the path of Raja Yoga, often called the “eight limbs of yoga,” which provides a structured guide to the spiritual ascent. Patanjali’s methodical approach brings an accessible framework to the otherwise esoteric spiritual practices.

Yoga in the Modern World

Fast forward to the modern era, and yoga has transcended geographical and cultural boundaries, evolving in its journey westward. While it often arrives packaged as health and wellness routines, at its core, yoga remains a profound spiritual practice. Its adaptability and applicability in the hustle of contemporary life speak volumes about its timeless relevance. As T.K.V. Desikachar, one of the great modern yoga teachers, remarked:

“The practice of yoga is not about imposing a form upon yourself. It is discovering your own form and revealing it to yourself and others.”

In the spirit of understanding yoga’s profound impact, consider the story of a modern yogi who found solace and recovery in yoga during a time of deep personal crisis. After a devastating accident that left him physically and mentally scarred, he turned to yoga as a form of rehabilitation. Through daily practice, he not only healed his body but also discovered a deep sense of peace and a newfound purpose in helping others heal.

Yoga teaches us that our potential is not bound by our physical capabilities but is instead a vast reservoir of untapped energy. As the legendary yoga teacher B.K.S. Iyengar once said:

“Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.”

This transformative experience is at the heart of yoga—it molds us into instruments of our own peace, empowering us to extend that peace outward.


A Day in Union: My Experience

On this recent International Yoga Day, I rose with the sun, eager to embrace the day with stillness and celebration. It was a morning infused with intention and a sense of connection, knowing that across the globe, countless others were also greeting the day with similar reverence for the practice of yoga.

I welcomed the dawn with a series of yoga asanas, pranayamas, and a deep, reflective meditation session. These initial moments set a profound tone for the day, grounding me in a sense of peace and connection that I carried forward.

Throughout the day, I consciously nurtured a state of mindfulness, fully immersing myself in the present and deeply attuning to the feelings of union and joy that yoga promotes. Each breath, each movement, was an act of conscious awareness, allowing me to become a silent witness to the beauty of my surroundings and the richness of each interaction. This mindfulness transformed ordinary moments into extraordinary ones, where I could genuinely connect with others and share the positive energy cultivated through my morning practices.

As the sun climbed higher, I ventured outside, eager to connect more deeply with nature and those around me. Walking through the local park, the vibrant colors of blooming flowers seemed more vivid, and the rustling leaves underfoot sang a rhythmic tune that only a quiet mind could hear. It was during this walk that I encountered an elderly gentleman sitting alone on a bench, his eyes closed, face tilted towards the sun.

Drawing on the day’s theme of connection, I approached him, and we struck up a conversation. Initially, his demeanor seemed subdued; he mentioned having a disagreement with his wife earlier that day. As we talked, he began sharing stories of his youth—days filled with adventure and nights under starlit skies—recalling a time when people were more present in their lives and their relationships. His stories, vibrant with memories of a more connected era, resonated deeply with me, reinforcing the day’s lesson on the importance of being truly present.

As we conversed, I noticed a subtle shift in his expression. His initial somberness gradually gave way to a more animated and joyful demeanor as he recounted his tales. We exchanged a few yoga tips and mindfulness exercises, and as he spoke of incorporating these practices into his daily routine, there was a sparkle in his eye—an indication of his renewed hope to reclaim some of his former zest for life. Our conversation, a simple yet profound exchange, highlighted how meaningful interactions can uplift spirits and transform moments of solitude into connections of joy and understanding. This encounter was a vivid illustration of how mindfulness and empathy can elevate our daily interactions and deepen our connections with others.

Later, as I returned home where my mom had prepared the delicious lunch, I took the time to be grateful for every aspect of the food, from Mother Earth who nurtured the veggies to the farmer whose hard work made them flourish. It was an exercise in mindfulness, making the meal not just food, but an expression of gratitude and awareness.

These mindful practices highlighted how even mundane activities could be transformed into meaningful experiences. It wasn’t just about the food or a casual chat; it was about recognizing and embracing the joy in those moments, fostering a sense of connection that transcends the physical and enters the spiritual.

Through these experiences, the true essence of yoga revealed itself not in grand gestures but in quiet moments of connection—with nature, with others, and with myself.

Life Beyond the Screen

One of the most transformative experiences of the day was imposing a device curfew on myself. Yes, I chose to step away from all screens—no social media, no emails, no digital interruptions. This decision significantly slowed down the passage of time, making the day feel almost like two. Freed from the usual digital distractions, I found an abundance of time at my disposal, which allowed me to engage more deeply with the world around me and savor each moment.

This digital detox brought an enlightening realization: in our modern, screen-dominated lives, we often find ourselves merely role-playing through our days. Caught up in the virtual world, we miss out on the authentic experiences that define a life truly lived. Yesterday reminded me that there is a vibrant world beyond the screen, one that deserves our full attention and presence.

As a writer, I’m accustomed to the swift passage of time, with hours flying by as I weave words together. However, this experience of elongated time without digital distractions was eye-opening. It underscored the fact that, although our devices are powerful tools for connection and creativity, they also risk distancing us from the very life we seek to capture and express.


Celebrating Yoga Every Day

Yoga, in its deepest sense, is a continuous journey—a daily practice that can infuse our lives with balance, health, and serenity. Let’s explore how we can celebrate and integrate the spirit of yoga into every day, making it a lifestyle rather than a once-a-year event.Yoga teaches us that at our core, we are not just individual beings navigating through life separately; we are all interconnected parts of a greater whole. Let’s explore how we can integrate these spiritual aspects of yoga into our daily lives, embracing the essence of union and the deeper reality of our existence.


Integrating Yoga into Daily Life

1. Start with Small Steps: Begin by integrating small yoga practices into your daily routine. This could be as simple as doing a few stretches each morning, practicing breathing exercises (Pranayama) during breaks, or meditating for five minutes before bed. These small steps help build a sustainable yoga practice that can easily become a part of your daily life.

2. Meditation on Oneness: Start or end your day with a meditation focused on the concept of oneness. Sit quietly and contemplate the idea that although we appear as separate entities, we are all part of a vast, interconnected web of existence. This practice can help cultivate a sense of universal connection and reduce feelings of isolation or separation.

3. Practice of Non-Attachment: Yoga teaches us the practice of non-attachment (Vairagya) to our physical forms and ego-driven desires. Throughout your day, observe and note down moments when you are overly attached to outcomes or material possessions. Remind yourself that these do not define your True Self, which is a part of a larger, impermanent play of the universe.

4. Mindful Awareness of the Body’s Autonomy: As you go about your day, become more aware of how your body operates autonomously. Notice your breathing, heartbeat, or the way your body heals itself without conscious effort from you. This awareness can deepen your understanding of the body as an instrument of the soul, rather than the essence of your being.

5. Reflection on the Unity of Existence: Spend time in nature or in quiet reflection, contemplating how the universe operates as a unified whole. Just as waves in the ocean are not separate from the ocean, we are not separate from the universe. This can foster a deeper appreciation for every living thing and a more compassionate approach to how you interact with the world.

6. Applying the Concept of Unity in Interactions: In your interactions with others, practice seeing yourself in others and them in you. This approach is rooted in the yogic principle of ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ or ‘Thou Art That’, which teaches that everyone and everything is interconnected. This can transform relationships, fostering more empathy, patience, and kindness.

6. Study and Share Philosophical Insights: Regularly read and share insights from yogic and spiritual texts that discuss these concepts. Engaging in discussions with like-minded individuals can also help reinforce these ideas and integrate them into your daily life.


Wisdom from the Masters

Ram Dass on Interconnectedness:
Ram Dass beautifully captured the essence of yoga when he said, “We’re all just walking each other home.” This simple yet profound statement reminds us of our interconnectedness and the role we play in supporting one another on our spiritual journeys. His teachings encourage us to see the divine in everyone and to treat each interaction with compassion and empathy.

Ramana Maharshi on the Nature of Self:

Ramana Maharshi, a revered sage, emphasized the importance of self-inquiry as a path to enlightenment. He often said, “Look, it’s all within. Who am I?” His teachings encourage us to question the nature of our identity and to recognize that our true self is not limited to the body or mind, but is part of a larger, interconnected consciousness.

The Dalai Lama on Compassion:

His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a global symbol of peace and compassion, beautifully ties his teachings to the concept of interconnectedness and universal kindness. “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion,” he advises. This mirrors the yogic principle of seeing oneself in others and fostering an attitude of empathy and understanding toward all beings.

Swami Vivekananda on the Unity of Existence:

Swami Vivekananda, a pivotal figure in bringing yoga to the West, spoke frequently on the Vedantic idea that all life is interconnected. He said, “The microcosm and the macrocosm are built on the same plan. Just as the individual soul is encased in the living body, so is the Universal Soul encased in the living Prakriti (Nature).” This highlights the yogic view that we are waves in the ocean of the universe—not separate, but part of a vast, dynamic whole.


My Challenge for You

Tomorrow, and perhaps for the next week, I encourage you to consciously integrate the principles of yoga into every aspect of your day. Whether it’s through a morning yoga practice, practicing deep breathing during your workday, or simply being fully present with your loved ones, let the essence of yoga infuse your actions.

Here’s Your Challenge:

  1. Start Your Day with Intention: Set a clear, positive intention each morning. This could be anything from maintaining peace in stressful situations to showing kindness to everyone you meet.
  2. Mindful Moments: Throughout your day, pause for brief moments of mindfulness. Observe your surroundings, tune into your senses, and bring your focus back to the present.
  3. See Yourself in Everyone: As you interact with others, try to see a reflection of yourself in them and them in yourself. This practice of identifying with others can deepen your sense of connection and empathy, helping you to recognize our shared human experience.
  4. Reflect in the Evening: End your day with a few minutes of reflection or journaling. What did you learn? How did the practice of yoga principles change your interactions and your feelings?

Share Your Journey:

I would love to hear how this challenge affects your life. Please share your experiences, insights, and any changes you notice in your quality of life, joy, or serenity in the comments section below. Your stories will not only inspire our community but also foster a deeper connection among us as we share this path.

This isn’t merely about practicing physical postures; it’s an opportunity to weave yoga into the very fabric of our daily existence. By adopting yoga’s principles every day, we cultivate a life filled with greater mindfulness, compassion, and joy.

My Commitment to You:

I will be participating in this challenge alongside you, reflecting on my own experiences and sharing them right here. Together, let’s explore the powerful transformation that yoga can bring into our lives when practiced as a daily discipline.

Thank you for joining me on this transformative journey. I’m excited to see where this week leads each of us, individually and together. Let’s embrace this change, share our journeys, and celebrate the spirit of yoga every single day.



1 thought on “Wear Your Yoga Glasses: Seeing Life Through a Yogic Lens”

  1. My Reflection: A Week of Union and Growth

    Now, as I sit down to reflect on the week that has passed since I issued this challenge, I am filled with a profound sense of gratitude and joy. This week was not without its challenges. There were moments when staying present was difficult, but I managed to realign myself with the principles of yoga.

    Not Every Moment Was Perfect
    I want to share with you that not every moment was perfect. There were times when I struggled to maintain my mindfulness, when the chaos of the world seemed overwhelming. However, those moments of disconnection served as powerful reminders of the peace that yoga brings when we do reconnect. Each time I returned to my breath, to my practice, I found myself grounded once more, experiencing a profound sense of union with everything around me.

    Moments of Joy and Stillness
    Whenever I did find that union, it was like entering a different realm. There was a profound joy in simply being, in observing my thoughts and actions with compassion and understanding. These moments were static in the best way possible – a stillness that was deeply alive and vibrant. It reminded me of the true power of yoga: to bring us back to ourselves, to the present moment, and to the interconnectedness of all life.

    Transformation and Inspiration
    This week has been transformative, and I hope it has been for you as well. The practice of integrating yoga into every aspect of my day has deepened my sense of connection to myself and to the world. It has inspired me to continue this practice beyond the week, to make it a lifelong journey.


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