Monday, June 1, 2009

The Eightfold Path

My birthday was last week and I picked up my journal and began to chronicle some highlights from my previous year of life. It was pretty cool to see everything written out. Intense bouts of anxiety, highs and lows I experienced in the executive world, thoughts on new friends and stories about old ones, goals I accomplished and things I let fall to the wayside.

That year was amazing and my experiences priceless, but the one thing I found was that I was lacking a road map. I kind of scribbled out goals or things I wanted to do, I somewhat formed plans of action... but mainly I just drifted along on my journey.

So for this year, my 26th birthday marked the start of yearly goals and aspirations. I wrote down 5 attainable goals which I'm going to hold myself accountable for and I decided that each year I'm going to pick something to work on and grow with as well as enhance my spiritual journey and increase my knowledge in some way. The thing I chose to work on is my commitment. Almost everything in life takes commitment and I think it's something really worth paying attention to. So no more lame excuses when I don't make it to the gym or onto the mat. No more reasons for not emailing someone back or weak answers for when I say I'll do something and don't. And as for my spiritual journey I chose to focus on the 8 limbs of ashtanga, which in yoga, means steps for moral and ethical behavior and actions. (not to be confused with the ashtanga style of yoga)

The eightfold path is:
2) Niyamas
3) Asana (postures)
4) Prana (control of breath)
5) Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses)
6) Dharana (concentration)
7) Dhyana (meditation)
8) Samadhi (enlightenment)

These are the 8 steps of the yogic path. Each month I'm going to focus on a step. So, as of today, June 1st, I am making a commitment to practice the first step on this path. June is dedicated to me embracing the yamas and allowing them to help guide me through my journey. And i will be practicing the philosophies of the yamas on and off the mat!

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