7 Laws to Live Your Yoga
World-renowned author, Deepak Chopra, proclaims that by following these seven laws, we can attain vitality, joy, and enthusiasm for life. These laws which stem from two of Chopra’s best selling books will offer practical suggestions for abundance on and off the yoga mat. For more information, read The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and/or The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga, both written by Deepak Chopra. Enjoy!
1. The Law of Pure Potentiality: Take some time each day to just be. This can be in the form of meditation, but it can also be by taking a walk in nature, watching the sunset; allowing yourself to observe the beauty that exists in all things. On the mat, you practice pure potentiality by cultivating stillness in the mind as you move through yoga postures. Begin your practice with the intention that you will not judge others, or yourself. When practicing this law, you embrace self-acceptance, just as you are.
2. The Law of Giving: Wherever you go, offer a gift. This gift does not have to be monetary. It can be the gift of a smile, a compliment, or an encouraging word. Deepak Chopra even suggests offering a silent prayer to everyone you encounter. Most importantly, note that the intention behind the giving is what matters most. Give out of love and happiness, unconditionally from your heart. In addition, be willing to accept with gratitude all that you receive. As long as you are in the habit of giving, you will receive, as well. On your yoga mat, acknowledge the giving and receiving of breath and life force that flows through your body. Celebrate your ability and willingness to perform the postures, while being willing to surrender to the needs of your body.
3. The Law of Karma: Be a witness to all the decisions you make in your day. Be conscious of the choices you make by contemplating: “What are the consequences of my decisions, and will this choice create happiness for myself and others?” Notice your physical response when asking yourself these questions, and trust that your intuition or “gut feeling” is always right. On the mat, trust your intuition as well, and be a witness as to the stage of the posture that is right for you. Move through the postures with the guidance of comfort and discomfort, guided by the question: “Will this choice bring happiness and fulfillment to myself and those around me?”
4. The Law of Least Effort: Know that this moment is exactly as it should be. When you struggle against the moment, you struggle against the universe. The universe is never wrong! Accept the moment, as it is, not how you wish it were. In acceptance, we take responsibility for circumstances that we view as problematic. Let go of blaming others for your circumstances and relinquish your need to defend your point of view. On your yoga mat, accept your body as it is. Although you may desire your body to be different, know that your body and your life is exactly how it’s supposed to be. Give up the struggle, and find acceptance. Make a commitment to continue the practice of yoga, and make mindful decisions about eating consciously. Remember that every challenge you face is an opportunity for growth, so embrace it!
5. The Law of Intention and Desire: Make a list of all your desires, and carry the list around with you. Visit your list before you go to sleep at night and before you sit for meditation. Enjoy every moment of your life, and let go of being attached to an outcome. Trust the power of your intention to handle the details of your desires. On the mat, remain present in the postures, and cultivate present moment awareness to harness all that you desire.
6. The Law of Detachment: Remain open to an infinite amount of possibilities, and become content with uncertainty. When you accept uncertainty, solutions to your problems easily surface, as you are no longer rigid and attached. On the mat, in the midst of challenge and turbulence, cultivate an attitude of innocence and curiosity. Maintain a calm and centered self, and let go of your need for control.
7. The Law of Dharma: Ask yourself daily: “How can I be of service to others?’ Express your unique talents, and share them for the benefit of humanity. On your mat, allow yoga to release any blockages in your life that are holding you back or preventing you from embracing your life’s purpose. Most importantly, offer yourself to a higher power. Even your asana (physical postures) can be a gift and an offering to humanity, and/or something greater than yourself.
Lisa Mitchell is an ERYT-500 Yoga-Alliance-certified instructor. Mitchell owns the hot vinyasa yoga studio, Dana Hot Yoga, where she also directs 200-hour yoga teacher trainings. Mitchell completed her doctoral studies in special education and utilizes her knowledge to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder practice yoga. She currently resides in Pennsylvania and when she's not teaching yoga, she serves as an adjunct professor in the graduation education department of St. Joseph's University and is a mother to two daughters.