Yoga beyond the yoga mat is one of the hardest things to do, yet it is the easiest thing to do. It is hard because we live in a world where there is constant pressure to live as though reality is limited to what we see, hear and feel. If you let yourself drift, you will live and die disconnected from reality. It is the easiest thing to do because it is one thing entirely within everyone’s control. If it is externally influenced or controlled, it is because we ourselves relinquish control to the external.
It is easier to have a set time and a set place where I practice “my yoga” but much more challenging to be a yogi, every time and everywhere, “neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem” but “in spirit and in truth,” as Jesus Christ said. This is one area where if anyone succeeds, they will become an ideal human being, connected to the Father 24/7. In that state, you lack nothing. You can truly say like they say in Jamaica, “no problem man,” because really, there is no problem when you are connected 24/7 with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, in whom we all live, move and have our being. My desire is to be in that state at all times, but how?
It is really simple. I need to set my mind on the Eternal. I must think God. There is nothing spooky about being a yogi, being connected to God 24/7 as Jesus Christ was while He was here. It is as simple as setting my mind on God and the things of the Spirit so that even while I am at work and not in prayer, I am still in God and my mind is “stayed on him.” The more I set my mind on God, the more I think godly thoughts and the more I act in sync with the supreme being, at home, at work, at play. For me, that implies ruminating on the inspired word as it concerns me, “day and night”, rather than trying to “think positive.” Being God’s Word and a collection of thoughts from the supreme being, the scriptures make it easy to think God’s thoughts and it is good that in the early hours of the morning or any other conducive time, I can tell my mind what to focus on for the day. This mind-setting for the day starts in my quiet time and does not end there. It needs to continue all through my day, and the cycle begins again the next day. If I do not set my own mind, it will be only too easily set externally.
My reality is determined by what occupies my mind. Anything that captures my mind has captured me but I have what Stephen Covey calls the “response-ability” to choose my thoughts despite external pressure to drift and think like the average 21st century person, in too much of a hurry for deliberate thought. How tragic! I am what I habitually think, and that for me, is one of the most exciting things about life. If I am discontent about the direction of my life, the solution is as simple as changing my thoughts, which is within my control. It is said, “Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.” It starts from thought and it is futile trying to change my life without changing the seed, which is my thought.
The way to be connected at all times with Deity is to “stay” my mind on Him “day and night.” I drift from Him when my mind drifts and I am connected to Him when my mind is occupied with Him. My thoughts and my actions and therefore my whole life become inspired when I let godly thoughts fill my mind, especially when I am not on the “yoga mat.” This requires discipline but the cost does not even begin to compare with the rewards of being led, being inspired, walking in the spirit or dwelling in the secret place of the most High. It requires banishing thoughts that do not uplift. For me, that includes TV and involves being very targeted in my use of the Internet, amongst others.
Even without these influences, it is a battle setting my mind on the Supreme Being, how much more with them. If whatever you expose yourself to leaves you drained, less than peaceful, less than joyful (not happiness but joy and there is a world of difference), you are 100% not connected to the Most High at that point in time. I would much rather not be “current” than rob myself of peace, of joy unspeakable, of inspiration and of God’s presence. If I have to expose myself to things that have the potential to be depressing or “disinspiring”, I need to make sure I fortify myself with godly thinking so I think about them the way God thinks about them and that way, I remain connected.
Being connected at all times requires the discipline of thinking on “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” It is that simple.