By Swami Satchidananda
It’s not difficult to practice Yoga, even with a very busy lifestyle. What do you think your Yoga practice is? Doing some postures, sitting in meditation and that’s all? No, there is a yogic way of doing everything; not that this is Yoga and that is not Yoga. Even the so-called Yoga practices may not be Yoga at all if you don’t know how to use them properly.
We can take the distinction between karma and Karma Yoga as an example. Karma is ordinary action and Karma Yoga is selfless action. If your actions are karma then you have to face the results of those actions. If your actions are selfless, you won’t have any problems at all. It doesn’t matter that you work 40 hours a week and have family responsibilities. Whatever kind of work you do, the work and the other responsibilities become Yoga if you treat them that way. Have the attitude that whatever you are doing, it is being done not for your own personal benefit but as a service to others. Let everything you do become a selfless act. Selflessness will never disturb the mind; it will keep the mind peaceful always. Then, whatever you do becomes a great Yoga practice.
Don’t think Yoga consists only of only asana and pranayama. They are only there to help you find the equanimity. Yoga is defined as equanimity of mind. Asana and pranayama make the body healthy; pratyahara, dhyana, and dharana make the mind steady. You need both a healthy body and a steady mind to have a balanced life. With a balanced mind you can do everything and anything and retain your peace. Then, whatever your circumstances in life, you are practicing Yoga.
There are three important qualities that permeate the entire creation. They are sattva or balance, rajas or super restless activity and, tamas, or dullness. All your efforts, whatever you do, should be done in a sattvic, balanced way. If you have a balanced mind, you can be anything and do anything. Know that you are here to serve everyone, to love everyone, to be kind and compassionate. With this kind of attitude, everything you do will be for a good purpose and you will be practicing Yoga.