There is a time and a place for everything—from work and play to spiritual practice.
However, too many people separate spiritual practice from everyday life. It’s time for everyone to blur the lines.
The idea that the pursuit of the spirit is restricted to monks who hide away and meditate is rapidly vanishing.
It is becoming not only increasingly possible, but also increasingly vital for us to be authentic and express the divine in all of our day-to-day actions. Caroline Myss calls us all to be shafts of light within society, not in a cave or monastery.
As I tell my students, what you do on your yoga mat is a perfect analogy for what you do in your life.
If you show up on the mat, you show up in life.
If you judge yourself and compare yourself to others on the mat, you will do so in life.
If you excel to reach your highest potential on your mat, you’ll do the same in life.
By allowing spiritual practice to permeate every aspect of our existence, we can create the personal and professional relationships we want in life.
We can change how we interact with the world.
Consider how the entrepreneur, the teacher and the musician touch the lives of more people than ever before. This new level of connection means that career paths and spiritual paths can be aligned.
Here are four yogi teachings you can use in your everyday life.
1. Patanjali: “Yoga is controlling the thought waves of the mind.”
A sage named Patanjali was one of the first to write about the power of yoga more than 1,600 years ago.
He and many wise teachers—such as Buddha, Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi and Paramahansa Yogananda—understood how our thoughts and prayers translate into reality.
Many spiritual practices aim to teach us to consciously project ourselves toward desirable, joyful, detached and expanding experiences of the universe and ourselves. It’s a way of quieting the mind, eliminating negative thoughts and directing toward high performance, peace and harmony.
The main lesson is to be mindful about what you say and think.
Only use your authentic voice, absent of insecurities, peer pressure and societal influence. The more we direct our thoughts toward our true purpose, the easier we flow toward it—and it flow towards us.
2. Yogi Bhajan: “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.”
The interconnectedness of people and the universe is becoming more and more obvious.
From our thoughts to our actions, everything we do affects others. Science is beginning to prove that humans are connected. Studies on mirror-neurons, quantum entanglement and clairsentience are showing that the moods, beliefs and habits of people impact us all.
Yogi Bhajan teaches us to respect this interconnectedness—this “God in all”—and to help foster a shared sense of joy, understanding and compassion. This starts with our thoughts and continues through our actions and interactions.
3. Ana Brett and Ravi Singh: “God is both in the details and the vastness.”
According to these contemporary sages, everything positive—from small acts of kindness to profound life experiences—connects us to the spirit. There is the potential for the spirit to be revealed in all things.
Often, people compartmentalize their interaction with the spirit, limiting it to their church or synagogue or other place of worship. But the spirit is in all the details, from the grocery list to the major revelations we have when we are deep in spiritual practice at a retreat.
4. Yogi Berra: “Love is the most important thing, but baseball is pretty good, too.”
OK, Yogi Berra is not your typical spiritual leader, but he is a wise man.
As a great sportsman, he understood the power of human compassion, empathy, love and gratitude.
Berra’s analogy extends beyond the field—love is key, and showing up to “the game” is essential if we’re going to enjoy taking part in life. We all need teammates and coaches to support us and help us have fun. After all, life is an adventure!
These lessons can help drive success and improvement in every aspect of your life. They certainly are working for me.
When I started my company, my goal was to create a social media space where users could leave behind judgment, negativity and superficiality. We established our company culture based upon the four lessons above. We moved forward knowing that our goals of making money and making a difference were not mutually exclusive.
With all of these teachings in mind, we progressed toward my original vision at breakneck speed. Our success has demonstrated the value of blending the spiritual and the practical.
In the end, it’s about erasing the lines between all aspects of our lives—spiritual, work and play.
Once you’ve accomplished that, there are only two things left to do—live and love.
Author: Paresh Shah
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Travis May