Why Is Your Yoga Practice Important to You?

Yoga is a lifelong journey – I’m on board for life and always refining.

Balance, peace, health, truth, and clarity.

It accelerates the pace of my personal evolution, in all ways.

Because it keeps me peaceful and healthy and in alignment with my soul and purpose.

Because it connects me deeper to humanity and to the practice off-the-mat

It helps to keep me somewhat sane.

life. peace. freedom. humility. compassion. awareness.

It is the pathway to my own growth and awareness.

Yoga is among my most important self-care and personal therapy practices.

It’s a blueprint to being comfortable in my own skin

It keeps me alive.

Yoga is everything

My Yoga practice is my inner sanctuary where I reconnect with poise and serenity in the middle of life’s demands.

Yoga is my pathway toward Divine guidance on a daily basis.

keeps mind & body flexible, steady & open

My yoga practice always brings me back to my center in the present moment.

The energetics of my practice is a part of my life; the art is inseparable from my way of being in the world.

It informs my path and purpose and helps me be congruent with what I’m teaching.

My yoga practice brings me both peace of mind and the fire to create an action (karma)

My yoga practice gives me the balance of mind, body, and spirit to be able to serve humanity from a grounded, whole place of love, and devotion for our collective healing and transformation.

Yoga brings peace and comfort, especially during difficult periods.

I practice yoga because it allows me to elevate my consciousness and character

Yoga is a practice for how I want to live my life.

Yoga provides me with tools that enhances my personal and professional development.

Because practicing yoga confers benefits on the body, nervous system, and mind all at the same time.

My being wants freedom and my heart needs stillness.

Practicing doesn’t mean I get it perfect every time; it actually means we need more practice.

What it Means to Discover and Develop Your Most Sovereign Self

Nov 10, 2020Beyond Asana, Philosophy & Theory, YŪ Articles

Acharya Shunya holding her new book with title Sovereign Self

There’s a reason that the Vedas, a 5,000-year-old collection of celebrated verses from ancient India, have given rise to several world religions and influenced Western thinkers from Emerson to Ram Dass—they provide us with a uniquely accessible and effective path to yogic liberation and sovereignty. With her new book Sovereign Self, Acharya Shunya shares a groundbreaking guide to the wisdom of these classic texts so that each of us may emancipate ourselves from restrictive belief systems and discover our true nature—that which is always whole, joyful, and free.

As the first female lineage holder in a 2,000-year-old line of spiritual teachers, Shunya provides a rare opportunity to receive these authentic teachings from a genuine Vedic master—one with a distinctly down-to-earth, feminine flavor who never lets us forget that our humanity is to be embodied and enjoyed.

Throughout Sovereign Self, Shunya adeptly guides us through the core concepts and practices of the Vedas, demystifying and contextualizing sacred concepts for modern life. We asked Shunya to define for us what she perceived as the Sovereign Self. 

Shunya is a Yoga Unify Honorary Qualified Professional, a member of the Advisory Board, and serving on the Governing Council for Consequential Ethics. Click here to join Shunya in the Founding Circle and learn more about YU membership.

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YU: In these trying times, is it more important than ever to hone in on your most sovereign self? 

AC: Knowing the Sovereign Self in our heart can alter the course of our life. This knowledge can become a source of inner yoga or mental and emotional equanimity in any circumstance in life, not only when life is fun and people around us are acting supportively and lovingly, but also when we are dealing with a life threatening pandemic, narcissistic leaders, or social and racial injustice. Now, more than ever, the sanctuary beyond fear and impermanence lies within the re-discovery of our true invincible nature.  And if you are someone who believes in yogic values of dharma, non-violence,  equality, and justice for all, knowledge of the Sovereign Self can act like a flame lit softly in a pitch dark room.

However, here lies a catch. The true Self, that is eternally sovereign and infinitely creative, is non material or non physical, therefore unknowable by the usual means of sensory perception and cognitive confirmation. We have to be led to the Self like the blindfolded are led to a source of light. Only then can we acknowledge its invisible yet undeniable presence, through eyes of wisdom—wisdom that is imparted by one who knows this Self already.

In the meantime, our mind  gives birth to an illusory or false self, known as “Jiva” in Sanskrit.  It suffers from the “five kleshas” that Sage Patanjali talks about, beginning with avidya or Self-ignorance. The Jiva pretends to be free and powerful but is imprisoned by the chains of false beliefs and incessant thoughts.

YU: Is it possible to dive deep into these ancient texts without a guide / teacher?

AC: All great spiritual wisdom traditions emerging from India suggest seeking out a sincere teacher, who not only talks about the Self, but also walks on the path of inner sovereignty and can impart the awakening wisdom step by step systematically. (who does not ask to be worshipped but teaches you to tap into the divinity within).

Gautama Buddha shared some beautiful words on this topic: “One should cultivate the company of such a wise one… who can point to the hidden treasure. He who cultivates a person like that is the better for it, not worse.” (Dhammapada, 76)

My own life has been a journey from darkness to light. And the light is very much a gift of my teacher (and grandfather)  Baba Ayodhya Nath from Uttar Pradesh India – a yogi, a seer, and an awakened teacher. But in the era of false gurus and drive through teachings, until we are five hundred percent sure, we should rely on authentic sources of this wisdom, such as books and source texts. 

I hope my book is a step in that direction, and until people find that outer guru who awakens their inner guru, my undiluted writings and exposition on the orginal verses can start them towards a splendid inner discovery!

Get a free chapter and purchase this important new work here

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