THE THIRD PILLAR OF YOGA – ROUTINES / ACHARA (from Sanskrit)
A conscious use of energy is the goal of a yogic lifestyle.
What is the most important thing in life?
Yoga teaches us that one of the most important things in life is to build healthy routines as this would balance our effort throughout the day, throughout the years, and ultimately throughout the life. Implementing healthy routines helps us to structure the day and use our time efficiently, and not only. When routines are practiced with a feeling of commitment it will develop habits and become our second nature.
To easily move towards self-development and accomplish our goals with more ease we constantly have to be aware of what stays on our way, what are the mental tendencies and limitations.
One of yoga’s definition is: “ yoga means to break old routines/habits and build healthy new one”. By paying attention to what is happening as it happens we learn to accept life with both painful reality and pleasant reality. Only healthy routines will create the capacity in ourselves to tolerate the experience of life and feel that reality is the safest place to be.
Why is it so important to build healthy routines?
Ancient yogic noticed that the biggest mind problem is to bear the moment-to-moment life. To face the reality of life is the hardest thing to do for the mind. It is very easy to lose grip on the present moment as the mind has the ability to escape into past memories, impressions, daydreaming, imagination and ignorance.
The mind would do anything to avoid the task in front, and unconsciously will create space for falling into criticizing, blaming, comparing, defending, denying, repressing, projecting, escaping, rejecting, pretending, controlling, postponing, hiding, judging, suffering…Moreover, all these tendencies of the mind will surface (pop up into acting) when life will call for a real change, or when already finding ourselves in a changing situation.
It is our life duty to stay aware of what is happening in our mind and how that affects the way we live and the benefits we gain from such living. Understanding our life purpose would help us to improve our routines/habits. Ones we build clarity and learn to discriminate real from unreal we stop disappointing ourselves. Many times we are conscious of certain routines and habits that become part of our lives and we even realize the consequences, but we keep going with practicing them.
There is a very interesting old ancient story about a villager that with very much enthusiasm went to watch a theater drama performance. When he reached the place where the performance was scheduled he found out that he was too early for the performance, and decided to rest for a while. Meanwhile, he fell asleep. While he was asleep the performance was already taken place. He woke up and find out that he missed on the performance.
This villager represents all of us. We came here to enjoy our life, but unfortunately all our life we try to figure out the meaning and purpose of life and rarely understanding our role in it.
Another interesting observation yogis found is that the mind perceives time as number one enemy as it realizes that we have allocated a limited time here on earth. What really makes a difference in perceiving time with a different attitude is to have a sense of awareness invested in what we do and how we do, and only then we start to act like we do know the value of time. When we become more conscious of mind-time relationship we find the strength to break the old mental habits and change things.
” Surely no one ever can remain without action even for a moment: everyone is driven to action by nature-born qualities.”
In the next post, I will continue about how important is to build a yoga practice routine.
HealthYoga Therapist, Teacher, and Student,