“An ounce of practice is better than tons of theory,” said yoga proponent Swami Sivananda. The practice of virtues fall in this segment. The day-to-day practice of virtue/s gives one peace and empowerment, ‘as virtue is strength, power and the key to peace’, maintained the profound practitioner of yoga.
Here are a few virtues for day-to-day practice. How long should one practice? Yoga is a way of life, and hence virtues ought to be practised till it becomes a person’s nature. It is the journey of life itself. You are not separate from divine and the divinity in you encourages you to practice the pure energies and have a ‘taste’ of them. Pure energies boost your vibration, helps feel good, and live good. Isn’t that the whole point for which you strive for?
Daily observance of virtue/s is a step-by-step, incremental work, not an overwhelming task, in that, the daily progress happens and the moderate pace allows processing of the transformed experiences.
Pick the virtue that annoys you the most, because that is where the vibration is low and needs practice of the energetic lift. Practice initially for 21 days with the attitude of having taken a vow. When you falter, don’t worry, doubt, or judge yourself, simply get back to the practice again.
Non-violence: Your any act that hurts others, emotionally, mentally, physically is violence. Any thought, word, deed, behaviour, actions, reactions, imbued with negative intention and negative emotion is violence. A non-violent feeling ‘feels’ like compassion, empathy and selfless love.
Truth: Saying the truth needs articulation, wisdom of expression. This wisdom is not easy to gain but needs practice of silence and reflection. Only the practice of silence will lead to reflection, which will further lead to, what is being said and how it is being said.
Empathy: For a moment, shed your perspective, your point of view and embrace other person’s view. See things from their eyes and feel what they feel. Temporarily, ‘wear’ their feeling; how does it feel to be in their shoes, live their life and see life from their perspective. This will open new doors of wisdom for you.
Forgiveness: you practice forgiveness by letting go of all those emotions that don’t make you feel good, which sap your energy. See to what extent and to what degree can you forgive in your day-to-day living. More importantly, what is stopping you from forgiving fully and completely. Your reflections will be your guiding master in further practice.
Silence: Speak less, observe more, be aware that you are observing and processing information in the state of neutrality, without judgement. The mouth likes to speak/ express, but of what kind, notice. Words used while speaking holds your vibration, the state of your feeling. Can you practice observing silence for two hours each day? And see how it changes you?
Love/appreciation: Being good, feeling good and creating good is the outcome of love. In love, arises faith. Absence of faith can manifest as fear, anxiety, doubt, worry, anger etc. Have faith that everything is happening for your good reason. Now this is a very hard concept to digest, especially during testing times, though in hindsight, all becomes clear. In holding faith amid tough times, pain is reduced. Practice appreciating all experiences.
Limiting feelings occur naturally, call it, unconsciously; be aware of them, acknowledge their presence, be aware of the outcomes they create when you act from that constricted-vibration space. Consciously move to the positive; from ‘what is’ (going on) to how ‘best things can be’ (tapping possibilities which are latent yet, and activate them). This is conscious living, the art of it.
Disclaimer: Urmila Rao is an emotional healer and a forgiveness teacher. All the ideas expressed herein are her own and not professional advice or medical prescription. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org