My dog trainer once said to me that a happy dog is a calm dog and a calm dog is one that is balanced both mentally and physically. As much as we humans might think we are different from our pets, in this respect, we are very much the same. We need a proper diet, proper exercise and proper mental stimulation to lead a happy and healthy life. When we are happy and healthy, we are calm. Pretty simple. This is why I have a yoga and meditation practice, it creates balance in my life.
Going to yoga is like taking myself on a walk. But it doesn’t stop there, if I just exercised I would be denying a very important part of my livelihood: my brain, my emotions, my feelings my thoughts, my mental state. This is why I meditate.
Meditation and yoga are like a yin yang. At the heart of yoga is meditation and at the heart of meditation is yoga. Yoga is a form of meditation because focusing on movement isn’t in the future and it isn’t in the past, it is right now. If you are completely focused on a pose you are in the present moment. The reversed also holds true, if you are present holding a pose is easy. Focusing on your breath, on balance, on fluid movement is all being present and being present improves these things. We crave stimulation, exercise and movement. When we have this it is easier for the mind to be quiet and be still.
Yoga means unity: this includes unity of the body and the mind. We must remember that mind and body aren’t separate, they are one, and so unity is a natural state. Sometimes we think of our brain as being “in” our body. Quite the opposite, our brain is “a part of” our body. It isn’t separate from everything else. It is affected by and affects everything else in the body simultaneously. The brain and the body work together melodically. If one is out of key the entire composition may appear amuck.
To have balance of the body without balance of the mind is an incomplete practice and makes for an ultimately unbalanced person. The opposite is also the same. A fighting dog that is physically exercised all day to the point of exhaustion is not happy or healthy, it is aggressive. A lazy house dog that sits, watches and thinks all day but rarely gets a walk beyond the fence where he poops is not happy or healthy.
Take care of yourself in the way you would a dog. Yoga and meditation belong together. Together they are a unity, and they create harmony within one’s self.
Live your life, find your peace, experience your journey, know that it is spiritual!