When you hear the word "faith" what does it conjure up for you? In my previous life, I equated faith with religion and had a negative view of it as being for the weak of mind, those who couldn't think critically or for themselves. Well, that's all changed!
My dive into self-awakening has opened up a completely new understanding of faith. I now see it as a mental process, a mindset thing and being more about belief in oneself than anything else.
When I accidentally started this work - that's right, I had no idea that doing yoga teacher training in 2004 would bring me on a spiritual journey - I was steeped in negativity and doubt.
What's the opposite of faith? Doubt. That was me, stuck in a mindset of negativity. The foundation for this was really a bunch of psychic pain that filled all levels of my being. But that's a topic for another email.
I had already committed to regular yoga practice before I did my first training. Adding knowledge from the yoga tradition into the mix through the training shifted something within me.
At the same time that I was shedding my previous beliefs and patterns - there were lots of tears during that first and subsequent training for sure - I was becoming lighter and open to seeing things differently. Clarity of mind replaced a heavy, dull, stuck mind.
The teachings, practices, knowledge and community I found during my studies awakened in me a deep trust in it all. Faith was building. The yoga tradition refers to this faith as sraddha. As the heaviness in my heart lifted I learned how this ancient wisdom works. It's not about fancy poses, sexy clothes, posh yoga studios and such, but the tradition serves up a plethora of tools and techniques to help you reconnect with yourself.
The beauty of this work is in time you realize the subtle aspects of yoga are those that reap the most transformational benefit. For example, using a systematic approach to breathwork with pranayama has tremendous results, more than you can muster from any physical practice.
And then there's the real gem, meditation. Ah yes, getting that busy mind to still itself, if only briefly.
Faith grows as your journey deepens. When monumental changes are happening as a direct result of efforts you're making on your mat, in your life and with your teacher(s), you know you have the power to change.
My online yoga membership introduces you to this approach to yoga. It's a faith-filled community that is working together. Join now!
Each day when I move my body on my mat then transition into pranayama and end with meditation I have a deep and abiding faith in these efforts.
Is my life perfect? Far from it. I have my challenges just like everyone else, but the sweet thing is that it's so much easier not to sweat the small stuff and get stuck in the challenges.
One of my previous posts was about life's curveballs. They happen. But your yoga practice should keep you calm, cool and collected more often than not. If it's not, let's do something about that.
The nemesis of faith, doubt, always lurks, waiting for an opportunity to take hold and bring you down. It will happen. But with a less-addled mind, one that is cradled daily in the stillness of meditation, you will rise above the doubt. Acknowledge it, thank it even, then move on.
When faith springs eternal - that's your ideal - life is simply a series of experiences. This is a non-dual approach to life; having experiences, neither good nor bad, right or wrong, which we learn from.
A faith-filled life sees opportunity not adversity, faces challenges creatively, rejoices in the success of others and holds deep compassion for those less fortunate.
I teach to uplift, to share the richness of the yoga tradition and to inspire others to live a life filled with faith.
There are many paths to freedom, fulfillment and joy. I chose yoga and it's served me well.
If you struggle with faith, are plagued by doubt, are at the mercy of a diffuse, scattered or even dull mind, perhaps it's time to change that. You can book your free 30-minute consultation and get on a new path to faith-filled living.
Have a great week!