You must have heard a saying that ‘Knowledge comes with theory, but wisdom comes with the application of the knowledge. The true power of wisdom can only come to us when we bring our learnings into action.
Same way, yoga is an art of application. By integrating it with our daily activities, we become yogis or yoginis.
If you are practising yoga daily, and at work bossing around your subordinates, calling them ordinary for not doing yoga does not make you a yogi. It is only making you the opposite of that.
You may have learned yoga but have not integrated it into your habits. When your habits are combined with your learning, they become a lifestyle. And yoga becomes a lifestyle when you live it at all levels of your routine.
What is a Yogic Lifestyle?
As the term sound itself, a yogic lifestyle is living life like a yogi.
How’s the life of a yogi?
A yogi’s life is calm, serene, centred, with a heightened state of awareness and developed consciousness. His life is a harmonious blend of opposite forces of nature; i.e. he follows the sattvic path (a state of equanimity) in the middle of Rajas (hyperactivity) and Tamas (inertia).
A yogic lifestyle is about applying the moral and ethical principles of yoga in every aspect of life. Including 5 Yamas and 5 Niyamas, there are 10 principles of yoga that are considered keys for ‘right living’.
5 Yamas are about interaction with outer world
- Ahimsa (nonviolence)
- Satya (truthfulness),
- Asteya (non-stealing)
- Brahmacharya (abstinence)
- Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)
5 Niyamas are about relationship with our physical and psychological selves
- Soucha (internal and external cleanliness)
- Santosha (contentment)
- Tapas (penance)
- Swadhyaya (self-study)
- Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to God)
When we align our thought, attitude, habits, and daily routine to the rules of Yamas and Niyamas, then certainly we are living a yogic lifestyle.
Most of these rules are fairly straightforward pieces of advice to understand that help us simplify life and bring a greater sense of peace and happiness. For example, the very first of 5 Yamas is Ahimsa that tells us not to do violence in any form with any living entity.
Characteristics of a Yogic Lifestyle
Yogic lifestyle comprises a number of activities that make you stay on the path of yoga and enhance your well-being as a result. Here, it is not just limited to applying asana exercise but also extending your routine to applying mental practices of yoga as well.
Let’s take a look at a few habits that characterize a yogic lifestyle.
1. Following the Principles of Yoga
We learn the concepts of yoga in some lectures or YouTube videos and even start behaving like that too. But when a person not just follows them mechanically but integrates those morals truly in his life, he is living a yogic lifestyle.
Yogic lifestyle asks a person to take the teachings of yoga in every activity of your every day. In this, a yogi is enthusiastic about living those teachings in routine and sincerely tries to follow them throughout. Even if there are obstacles in the way, he is willing to get past them by applying the yogic principles.
2. Sticking to Individual Sadhana
A yogi’s personal sadhana is the most important factor in pertaining to a yogic lifestyle. His passion for yoga improves with personal sadhana and he is then able to better integrate it with his daily life.
With the regular practice of asana, pranayama, a yogi develops a positive mental atmosphere that acts as an encouragement. We might wonder what a yogi does in his routine. He essentially sticks to his individual sadhana no matter how many obstacles or failures come.
3. Practicing Karma Yoga
Karma Yoga is considered a very important practice if one wants to combine yogic living with his lifestyle. When we integrate selfless actions, without imagining and expecting the fruits of those actions, we can live a yogic lifestyle.
The practise of Karma Yoga is beneficial for the person’s mental peace. Implementing the ideas of Karma Yoga makes one more understanding, compassionate, and selfless, attaining fewer expectations and more calm.
4. Attaining Healthy Living
To integrate a yogic lifestyle, we must live a healthy routine in terms of physical, mental, and spiritual health. It includes eating a sattvic diet that proves advantageous for your personal yogic sadhana and doing regular exercises that keeps your body healthy.
Healthy living is also acquired by spending time with nature, admiring Mother Earth for giving us this beautiful place to live. To live a yogic lifestyle, one has to consciously make such changes in his routine.
5. Developing Gratitude and Compassion
Obeying a sincere yogic routine is followed by the development of many healthy mental habits. Thus, a yogi grows to be more compassionate and grateful about his own living and others.
Sometimes, these attitudes have to be developed consciously if we want to integrate yogic routine with our lifestyle. Being grateful for our life brings us closer to surrendering our ego and false identities and witnessing the ultimate presence that is our true nature.
Benefits of Living a Yogic Lifestyle
Living a yogic lifestyle offers a wide range of physical, mental, as well as spiritual benefits. First of all, a person who undergoes change through yoga becomes more positive, enthusiastic, and adaptive towards the transformation process in himself.
Yoga reduces ill-health and helps the person progress towards physical and mental well-being. It helps replace stressful thoughts with a peaceful feeling, which can, in turn, contribute to the person’s sound mental health.
Here are some important benefits of a yogic lifestyle that helps clear the yogi’s way to self-discovery.
- It helps the you stay physically fit and healthy.
- It acts as a therapy against various physical and mental diseases.
- Yogic lifestyle can help prevent the onset of many physical or mental disorders.
- It increases the positive element in our thoughts, making our attitude about everything optimistic.
- It deepens a person’s understanding of himself and eventually of the other people, eventually developing the feelings of gratitude.
- Yogic lifestyle helps drop off one’s ego by surrendering it to the higher self
- Adopting yoga to everyday routine makes a person productive, creative, calm, compassionate, and blissful.
5 Ways to live a Yogic Lifestyle
Starting a yogic routine to progress in your spiritual journey does not only accelerates your growth but also makes your living peaceful and satisfactory. We may be afraid about how to apply the seemingly difficult yogic concepts in life. But the best way to start is to start simple and start from where you are.
Here are a few simple ways we can live a yogic lifestyle.
1. Indulge Yourself in Sattvic Activities
Sattva is the essence of a yogi. To progress on the yogic path one can indulge in performing the sattvic activities. You can develop a minimalistic living where you don’t need more material things than the ones necessary.
Developing a sattvic attitude can start by performing karma yoga in practice. You can associate yourself with social service or community activities that benefit others and leave you satisfied. You can also serve our nature by doing environment-friendly activities.
2. Never Give Up on Your Practice
Determination is the key to developing a yogic lifestyle. You must have heard many stories of people saying ‘I never give up on my routine of jogging or running.’ Similarly, sticking to your practice routine can bring you closer to the yogic lifestyle.
When you anticipate obstacles going to hinder your routine, you also prepare to deal with them. Sometimes it may not be possible to do the practice as you plan. At such times, do little or as much as you can, but do. Taking a holiday from your yogic practice is not good if you want to make it a lifestyle.
3. Remember to Stay Calm
Calmness is a key characteristic of a yogi. If you want to practice it throughout, remember to maintain a peaceful attitude when you perform any task. It is definitely not a simple thing to do. But if you keep reminding yourself to keep calm, it certainly becomes a habit.
And the decisions taken with a peaceful mind are always beneficial. You can bring peace at all levels of your life if you remember to develop this habit. It decreases the mental troubles to a great extent and also guides your way through applying yogic principles to the routine.
4. Eat and Think Healthy
Our food habits largely influence our thinking. Hence, if you wish to bring a change in your lifestyle and make it more yogic, you should make changes to your diet.
A yogic diet which can also be called a sattvic diet is totally vegetarian. Include organic and minimally processed food in your meal. In general, sattvic foods are ripe, raw, or lightly cooked and freshly prepared.
Moreover, the health of our thoughts is also correlated with the quality of life. If we indulge in positive thinking, love, and compassion for others, we surely grow as a human. Keeping your mind away from the negative is surely a way to a healthy and yogic lifestyle.
5. Be Grateful
Yogic lifestyle is characterized by feelings of gratitude and compassion. There is a reason for that. Being grateful is necessary to leave aside our ego and wrong identifications. It is only when a person surrenders his ego, he can progress towards self-realization.
Thus, always be grateful to God, to your family, spouse, or kids for making your life filled with love and bliss. You can also maintain notes of the people you are grateful for and what they teach you. This exercise can definitely encourage you to transform and guide your yogic journey forward.
Integrating yoga into your daily life is about dedication and commitment. There are many attractions out there to allure us and interrupt our yogic journey. But through sadhana, we can make our routine itself so interesting that the material attractions won’t bother anymore.
Developing a yogic living is not just making an Instagram page, sharing yogic quotes. But it means to contemplate on those quotes through our actions, live them in practice. Yoga is a lifestyle of transformation. A kind of transformation that is going to uplift you towards pure peace and bliss.