All forms of Yoga are being given a closer look by medical and scientific communities, due to the benefits of living a Yogic lifestyle. We often read or hear about the benefits of Yoga poses (asana), Yogic breathing techniques (pranayama), or meditation.
Yet, the benefits of taking Yoga lessons into daily life are not usually taken into account. The Yogic lifestyle, itself, is hard to put under a microscope. Daily application of lessons occurs when we are out in the world. Here is one of the many ways that Yoga can be applied toward healing, without a mat or a visit to the local ashram.
Love: To show kindness to others, and all creatures, makes sleeping a lot easier. True compassion is not an easy task. This requires the ability to forgive others. Compassion for all creatures is most difficult. To become a vegetarian may be impossible for many people, but hardly anyone would allow a colony of termites or carpenter ants to devour their home without putting up a fight.
There has to be a reasonable level of moderate love in all matters. We must avoid extremes in our thoughts, actions, and our failure to act. Showing loving kindness toward others is a natural healing remedy. It allows us to discard negative feelings, which drain us of good health.
That said: Your compassion is not an open invitation to be taken advantage of by those who do not value your acts of kindness. Loving kindness is not weakness or foolishness. To accept others the way they are, without judging them, is a deep form of compassion.
As parents, we guide our children with the best of intentions. However, children have minds of their own, and do not always follow our advice. Do we love our children less because they refuse our opinions or instructions?
Of course not, because we accept each child the way he or she is. All children are uniquely different. As time passes, each parent begins to realize it is impossible to create an exact mold that a child will adhere to. We can do our best, but parenting is an art form and a constant work in progress.
People often forget that friendships are based upon this same principle. We must accept friends as they are. Good intentions are not enough, when you invade a friend’s “space” and tell him or her how to live. You can be a good friend, and a living example of Yoga, by giving compassionate advice; that is useful, when it is asked for.